Walk - Helford to Falmouth

10.3 miles (16.6 km)

Helford Falmouth

Moderate - Moderate

The day begins with a journey across the Helford River, once favoured by pirates and smugglers. The river supports many different types of fish, birds and plantlife and at the other side you will cross the openings of lush valleys with subtropical gardens. After the river crossing, the journey consists of fairly gentle, easy walking through fields and along wooded clifftop paths, passing many attractive little coves, offering fantastic views across the Fal to St Anthony Lighthouse and Zone Point.

Exhilarating views from Pendennis Castle await after passing the Swanpool Nature Reserve. There is much to see in Falmouth including the Killigrew Monument, the red brick chimney known as the King or Queen’s Pipe, which was used to burn confiscated contraband tobacco, and the beautifully restored Arwenack House, the former 14th century manor house of the Killigrew family who were the original town planners of Falmouth.

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.

Trevarn B&B

Comfortable B&B. Convenient to Coast Path and excellent village amenities. A warm welcome awaits.

Tresooth Cottages

16 Cornish stone cottages with pool, sauna & hot tubs

Falmouth Lodge

Falmouth Lodge is a simple home with two rooms available for short stays. You are welcome to prepare your own breakfast in our kitchen

Sail Loft B & B

Twin ensuite in quirky converted sail loft in Helford village. 3 mins from the ferry and local pub. Spectacular view of Helford river. Directly on the Path.

Menaver B&B

Comfortable and welcoming B & B with double rooms and garden, close to Gillan beach and Path. Ideal for walkers.

Braganza B&B

Stunning views of the harbour and bay from our Regency home. The perfect base to explore locally. Ample parking, free wifi, style and elegance.
You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Royal Castle

Individually decorated rooms in a riverside 17th-century hotel with a grill restaurant.

Fat Apples Cafe

Fat Apples Cafe ,B&B and camping . Located minutes from Porthallow beach and the SWCP halfway marker. Breakfast , Lunch afternoon tea ,packed lunches , luggage transfer .

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.

Glendurgan Garden, National Trust

Stroll down through the peaceful, exotic and playful valley to a sheltered beach at the bottom. This distinctive garden was created by Alfred and Sarah Fox in the 1820s.

Koru Kayaking - Helford River and creeks

2 hour Stunning Guided Kayak and Paddleboard Adventures along the Helford River and Frenchman's Creek from the Budock Vean Hotel foreshore. All equipment provided.

Helford River Boats

Cross Helford Passage on this 1,000 year old ferry trip. Boat/Kayak hire also available..

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Nestled by Falmouth’s deep-water harbour discover National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Across 15 galleries, explore the overwhelming influence of the sea on our history and culture.

Fal River Visitor Information Centre

Find all the information you need to enjoy the beautiful Fal river section of the SW Coast Path and buy boat tickets tickets t

Interactive Elevation


  • Crossing the Helford River: there has been a ferry crossing the river from Helford Village to Helford Passage since medieval times. Helford River Boats operate regular ferry trips daily from April to October, Tel: 01326 250770. If you are walking out of season you will need to take a bus or taxi round to Helford Passage, or alternatively walk the additional 13 miles (21 km).
  • Helford Estuary. The wildlife of the beautiful Helford Estuary. The river supports many types of fish, sea anemones and shellfish, and a thriving birdlife, such as ducks, egrets, herons, ospreys, kingfishers and fulmers, to name just a few.
  • The Ferry Boat Inn at Helford Passage, which is at least 300 years old and has many interesting marine artifacts inside.
  • Trebah Beach at Polgwidden Cove: in June 1944 the Americans left this very beach making for Omaha Beach in Normandy for the D-Day Landings.
  • The quiet little hamlet of Durgan lying at the end of a steep valley at the edge of the Helford River.
  • Frenchman’s Creek and Porthnavas Creek.
  • The views of the Path from Rosemullion Head as it winds ahead to Falmouth and the Roseland beyond.
  • Sitting on the sheltered beach of Maenporth and watching the boats passing by.
  • The wreck of The Ben Asdale: this very visible evidence of the force of the sea is the remains of a trawler from Aberdeen which was forced ashore in terrible storms in the winter of 1978.
  • Views to Falmouth from Pennance Point. The monument here is to Falmouth’s Home Guard.
  • Gyllyngvase Beach: Falmouth’s crescent-shaped main beach is sandy and sheltered and popular with water sport enthusiasts.
  • Outstanding views from Pendennis Point across the Fal to
    St Anthony’s Lighthouse. The Blockhouse just south of Crab Quay is the keep for nearby Pendennis Castle and is known as Little Dennis.
  • The imposing structure of Pendennis Castle guarding the River Fal. Built in the early 1540s, the castle was one of a number of new defences along the south coast protecting against a possible attack from the combined forces of Spain, France and the Pope in response to Henry VIII’s rather controversial actions. For opening times and details of events see English Heritage-Pendennis Castle or tel: 01326 316594.
  • Views of Falmouth harbour: reputed to be the third-largest natural harbour in the world and the second busiest port of the British Empire.
  • Exploring the shops and art galleries of Falmouth and maybe visiting The National Maritime Museum. Open daily from

Shorter option

There isn’t a great deal of accommodation near the Path, although you may find more options inland in Mawnan Smith.

Longer option

There is limited accommodation in St Mawes (a ferry ride from Falmouth) and Portscatho (an additional 6.2 miles, 10 km).

Public transport

The nearest mainline station is Truro, from where you can catch buses to Helford by changing at Helston. Falmouth also has train station - change at Truro for the scenic Maritime line, or in the summer you can catch a ferry from Truro down to Falmouth.   For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station and bus stop symbols, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

For information about availability of the Helford ferry check our Ferry & Estuaries page.



Helford (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR12 6LD), Bosveal, Mawnan, Maenporth, Swanpool Beach and many others in and around Falmouth.


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