Spring is a wonderful time to be in Cornwall. As the land wakes up after the long winter, delicate new leaves unfurl and wildflowers come in to bloom, creating a spectacular display of colour.
One of the best ways to make the most spring in Cornwall is to get outdoors and explore. Whether you prefer a gentle walk along the coast path or opt for a hike across the moors, it’s a feast for the senses – warmth of the sun on your skin, birdsong surrounding you, and the sweet coconut scent of gorse flowers.
We’re spoilt for choice for walks in Cornwall, but these are some of our favourites places to visit in April and early May. And while we can’t guarantee sunshine (this is Cornwall!), a shower or two can add to the experience – think rainbow spotting and that incredible, fresh smell after it’s rained…
The Hall Walk
Follow in the footsteps of Daphne Du Maurier and explore the Fowey estuary. The Hall Wall is one of Cornwall’s most popular dog-friendly walks and is lovely in the spring. This spectacular 4-mile circular walk takes you through woodland and along the banks of Pont Pill, a pretty, tidal creek, and offers impressive views of Fowey harbour.
A four-mile circular walk with breathtaking views across the Helford Estuary. The coast path is fringed with wildflowers, and you’ll find a carpet of bluebells and wild garlic here later on. Starting at the church, which dates back to the 14th century, follow the path down towards the coast, enjoying glimpses of glittering water through the trees before you reach the headland.
Follow the coast path round towards Porth Saxon. If you fancy a spot of stone skimming, this pebbly cove is ideal. Behind the boat house you’ll find a path leading up into the woods, where you’ll be surrounded by birdsong and wildflowers. Stop at The Red Lion pub in Mawnan Smith for lunch before continuing your walk through the village and along the road back to the car park.
Crantock & Penpol Creek
Crantock beach, with its sweeping golden sands backed with undulating dunes is simply spectacular. This short, circular walk starts at the National Trust car park and takes you up through this pretty coastal village (worth exploring if you have time), alongside Penpol Creek through the woods to the Gannel Estuary, before continuing to the beach and back to the car park. During the spring, it’s a great area for birdwatching – listen out for the calls of kittiwakes nesting on the cliffs.
Porthgwarra to Porthcurno
If you’re a fan of the recent BBC production of Poldark, you may already recognise Porthgwarra. It’s been featured several times during the series – this was where the famous swimming scene took place when Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) set hearts aflutter with an early morning swim. Starting in this tiny fishing cove, this 2.8-mile walk will take you along the coast to Porthcurno, where you’ll find one of the most stunning beaches in Cornwall. During the spring, it’s a great place to spot migrant birds.
The Roseland Peninsula is a walkers’ paradise. We love the 6-mile Cliffs & Creeks walk, but you can easily shorten or extend this walk if you prefer (see the Fal River website for more options). Starting in Place, this walk will take you across fields and along the coast path to Porthbeor, an impressive beach with coarse golden sand and rock pools. Continue on to Towan Beach before turning inland to walk through the woods along Porth Creek and the Percuil River.
For more spring walk ideas in Cornwall, visit the South West Coast Path website.