Walk - Kilminorth Woods from Looe Station

4.0 miles (6.5 km)

Looe Station - PL13 1HP Looe Station

Moderate - Although there is some ascent and descent on this walk, only one short stretch of it is steep.

A stroll through one of the largest valley oaklands in Cornwall which is also a nature reserve teeming with wildlife, especially in spring, when blossom tumbles through the wild cherries and banks of primroses and bluebells are followed by wood anemones, wood sorrel and dog violets. Look out for herons and Canada geese on the water, and sparrowhawks and peregrines overhead. Songbirds trill from the ancient oaks, and woodpeckers can be heard drilling for insects. If you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of a roe deer, or a kingfisher. 


There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Bridgeside Guest House

A family run Victorian Guest House situated in the heart of Looe with bar, outdoor area and harbour views. A stone's throw from Looe's many shops and restaurants and 5 minutes from the coast path.

Studio Cottage Talland Bay

Experience the Beauty of Cornish Coastal Living at its Best - Self-Catering in Talland Bay for 10 max

Killigarth Manor Holiday Park

Nestled down a country lane, this Park offers a wide range of caravans and lodges. There's a direct path to the magical cove of Talland Bay and facilities for adults and children, including indoor pool, gym, sauna & tennis court.

Parkdean Resorts Looe Holiday Park

An award winning site close to Looe beach and East Looe in tranquil setting

Great Kellow Farm Caravan & Campsite

*Budget* Situated above the beautiful village of Polperro. We are a quiet family & dog friendly campsite. The campsite has sea views and easy access to country and coastal walks.

House on the Props

B&B & Restaurant.16th Century timber building 'propped' up over the river on old ships timbers. On the Path overlooking Polperro Harbour & Quay

Landaviddy Farm B & B

Situated just a 10 minute walk from Polperro and close to beautiful Lansallos & Lantic beaches. 2 ensuite bedrooms, ample parking.

Seascape Escape at Windsworth

Stay in our old stone house offgrid, yet very comfortable -- 300 feet up from the shore, in our 70 rewilded acres; the Coast Path runs through our land.

East Trenean Farm Luxury Holiday Cottages

Four luxury holiday cottages sleeping 2-20, each with wonderful rural views, private hot tubs and gardens, storage for walkers equipment and EV charging.

Highertown Farm Campsite Household

Campsite sits 3/4 of a mile from the secluded beach of Lansallos Cove. A simple site with basic facilities where guests can relax and enjoy the beautiful setting without distractions.

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Looe Tourist Information

Find all the information you need on places to stay, eat and drink and visit in the Looe area

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the railway station walk down Station Road to the bridge and cross the river to West Looe.
  2. Turning right on the path around the amusement arcade, go through the big car park beyond (Millpool car park) and make your way to the water's edge.
  3. Turn left (west) and carry on along the path by the river until you come to the gate at Kilminorth Woods.

Kilminorth Woods, together with Trenant Woods, across the water, forms one of the largest valley oaklands in Cornwall. The area has been continuously wooded for at least 400 years and Kilminmorth is classified as a semi-natural ancient woodland.

It is not described as a natural woodland, because coppicing took place for much of that time, artificially extending the life of the trees by many centuries. In coppicing, young trees are repeatedly chopped down, leaving a stump which produces thin branches to be harvested for brushwood, poles or firewood. In due course, when these branches are lopped, the process begins all over again. It keeps a tree in a juvenile condition, meaning that a regularly coppiced tree will never die.

Since coppicing is carried out in rotation through a woodland, the trees throughout are of many different ages, which provides a diversity of habitats for a wide range of species.

  1. You have a choice of routes through the woods to reach Watergate, at the far end: Choose the left-hand path for a woodland walk, taking in the Giant's Hedge.

The Giants Hedge is an earthen bank extending from Lerryn to Looe. It is thought to be from the Dark Ages, and was probably a boundary wall marking the territory of a local chief (see the Talland & the Giant's Hedge Walk). Stretches of it in Kilminorth Wood are as much as a metre high, and are still sturdy.

Alternatively, carry straight on ahead at the gate into the woods from Millpool, to follow the river bank past the old boatyard to Watergate.

The old boatyard stood on land reclaimed during the Second World War for this purpose, and it continued production until the 1990s, remaining an important source of employment in Looe.

The third choice of route might be to start out on the river path and then take a left-hand turn, further on through the woods, to turn right again on the top path through the trees and get the best of both worlds.

Kilminorth is a Local Nature Reserve, with an abundance of species through the year. Although the wood is predominantly sessile oak and birch, there are also beech and sycamore trees growing here, as well as sweet chestnut and the occasional Scots pine, and a holly understorey. In the spring there are banks of primroses and bluebells, followed by wood anemones, wood sorrel and dog violets. Blossom tumbles through the wild cherries, and in the summer honeysuckle twines through the undergrowth. Autumn brings edible berries to the bilberry bushes, and a profusion of fungi in the dark damp corners.

Many different mammals live among the trees, from tiny shrews and dormice all the way up to roe deer. Butterflies love it here, too. Look out for the white orange tip, the brown speckled wood, the holly blue and the silver-washed fritillary. You'll have to look even harder for the very rare "scarce merveille du jour" moth, which is found here, because with its mottled green-grey wings it is perfectly camouflaged against the lichen-clad trees! Other moths living here include hawk moths, swallowtails, and the peach blossom moth with its bold white spots.

Birds include predators like buzzards, sparrowhawks and sometimes peregrines, as well as owls. Nuthatches and various tits scamper around in the trees, as do squirrels, and green and greater spotted woodpeckers can be heard drilling in the bark for insects, while the liquid notes of birdsong from warblers, blackbirds and mistle thrushes mix with the gentle cooing of woodpigeons.

Many different species of waterbirds and wildfowl make their home on the creek, to be joined at various times of year by migrant visitors passing through. These include herons and Canada geese, as well as smaller birds such as shelduck, little grebes and dabchicks. The shrill calls of oystercatchers and curlews mingle with the cries of the gulls coming in from the sea, while further inland you may be lucky enough to glimpse the blue and orange flash of a kingfisher over the water.

  1. Reaching Watergate, turn left on the road and walk gently uphill to Kilminorth.
  2. At Kilminorth carry on past the turnings left and right, leading to buildings, until you come to the lane on your left at the right-hand bend.
  3. Turn left here on the footpath and follow it downhill and through the fields to the path which drops steeply through the woods.
  4. Turn right on the path at the bottom, and follow it back down through the woods to Millpool car park. Retrace your steps through West Looe to re-cross the bridge, and then turn left up Station Road to return to the station.

Public transport

Looe Valley Line services run year round Monday to Saturday. The line has a Sunday service in the summer. The Looe Valley Line links to the mainline at Liskeard which has connections from London, Bristol, Plymouth and many other places. For details of all train times and fares contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or visit Great Western Railway

Nearby Events

  • Lucy Daniel Guide - Walks & Tours For All

    Various Dates Available  |  Organised by Lucy Daniel Guide

    Join award-winning walker and guide Lucy Daniel for pre-organised or bespoke tours in Cornwall. Whether you're an individual looking for someone to join you on a walk to help you gain confidence, a family on holiday looking for a fascinating insight into local life, or even a group of friends looking for insights into local TV filming locations, Lucy is committed to providing memorable experiences for all.

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