Walk - Creeks and Coves: Bodinnick, Polruan and Fowey

5.8 miles (9.3 km)

Bodinnick Car Park - PL23 1DF Bodinnick Car Park

Challenging - Quite a lot of ups and downs over varied terrain.

This walk takes in wonderful countryside, wooded creeks and stunning coastal views. There is a wealth of historical and literary interest as well as plenty of opportunities for refreshments. Add two short ferry rides to make a great day out. An inspirational walk in spring, when the heathland above the turquoise waters is bright with gorse and wildflowers, the hedges are decked in primroses and violets and there are swathes of snowdrops, then bluebells, wood anemone and wild garlic in the woodland, which rings with birdsong. Lovely in autumn, too, when the leaves start to turn and heather adds its colour to the heathland.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

The walk can be started from Fowey or Polruan, both of which can be reached by public transport, or as described from Bodinnick.

  1. Start from Bodinnick Car Park - on the left hand side as you drive down towards the ferry. Park here and walk to the foot of the hill. Turn left, going uphill again until you reach a narrow path on the right, signposted Hall Walk.

The name comes from the old manor of Hall, which fell into disrepair after the Civil War. (All that remains is the farm at Hall Barton and the walls of a 14th century chapel – you will need to divert a short distance off the route if you want to visit it).

  1. Following the main path shown on the map there are stunning views down the river and you will pass the War Memorial, and the granite monument to the Cornish author Arthur Quiller-Couch or “Q”.
  2. The path now turns left to follow Pont Pill, a typical wooded Cornish creek. It leaves the woodland briefly before re-entering it by a lovely stile and taking you down to the creek.
  3. Turn right and follow the track down behind the cottages to emerge on the riverside.

Pont Pill was at one time a busy little harbour but over the years has silted up and can now only be reached on high tides.

  1. Cross the footbridge and go straight ahead to the left of the buildings. Ignore the steps and continue up the path to the road. Turn left here and then take the path on your right, which climbs to the parish church of Lanteglos-by-Fowey.

Daphne du Maurier was married here in 1932 and it featured in her first novel The Loving Spirit as Lanoc Church.

  1. Turn left down the hill past the farm and follow the road up to the National Trust Car Park for Pencarrow Head. A path on the other side of the road takes you onto the cliffs above Lantic Bay.
  2. Here you turn right on to the South West Coast Path which will take you to Polruan. Although it is a bit of a climb at first, it soon levels out.
  3. Arriving in Polruan go through a gate and turn left before entering a field near the school.

From here there are views both out to sea and up river towards Bodinnick. Fowey lies on the other side of the river with its china clay docks to the north.

The pile of stones beside the National Coastwatch Station are the remains of St Saviour’s Chapel - once an important site for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain.

  1. The Coast Path leaves the car park at the western corner and heads out towards a promontory with a large wall. Before the point a path along the top of the field brings you onto a rough track. Follow it to the left until it reaches a tarmac lane where you turn right. At the bottom you turn right again towards the quay. If you have time, a quick detour to the 16th century Blockhouse is worthwhile.

The ferry across to Fowey operates a regular service (please CLICK HERE for details) and takes you either to Whitehouse Point or Town Quay (depending on the tides). At Whitehouse Point climb to the road where the house on your left - The Haven - was home to Arthur Quiller Couch until his death in 1944.

His good friend Kenneth Grahame stayed here for a while and is said to have based parts of Wind in the Willows on the wooded creeks of the Fowey River.

  1. To reach the town centre, turn right and follow the Esplanade; turn right again at the end and descend towards the Town Quay.

This is a good place to sit and watch the world go by.

  1. From here, head along Fore Street, and along to Caffa Mill where the car ferry leaves for Bodinnick.

This is also a regular service and takes you back to Bodinnick where you started your walk. As you cross take a good look at the house to the right of the ferry slip at Bodinnick. This is Ferryside where du Maurier lived from 1926 until 1943 and wrote Jamaica Inn, Rebecca and Frenchman’s Creek.

Nearby refreshments

Bodinnick, Polruan and Fowey.

Public transport

Bus (number 25 First Western) from St Austell to Fowey via Par Railway Station. Summer service between Looe and Polruan on weekday mornings. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Bodinnick, Pencarrow Head, Polruan and Fowey (Fowey Postcode for Sat Navs: PL23 1ET, PL23 1DF).


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