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National Trust walks in Cornwall

The National Trust has 17 National Trust properties in Cornwall including an old tin mine, stately homes, garden estates and local beauty spots. Many of these attractions make great starting points for scenic walks.
The National Trust has 17 National Trust properties in Cornwall including an old tin mine, stately homes, garden estates and local beauty spots. Many of these attractions make great starting points for scenic walks, and there’s usually a car park and a tearoom as an added incentive.

Penzance to Trengwainton Gardens

Although many walks in Cornwall tend to be steeply uphill or down, this circular one-to-two hour walk is gently undulating, making it suitable for all fitness levels. It covers two miles and the starting point is the YHA in Penzance. Follow St Just Road and Lesingey Lane then turn right into Heamoor Road to reach the entrance to the National Trust Trengwainton Gardens on Madron Road. You can stop off and enjoy the gardens, or earmark it for another day. To complete the circular walk, return to Heamoor Road, take the stile near the reservoir and follow the path to Rosehill Farm and back to the Youth Hostel.

Looe to Polperro via Talland Bay

The best way to visit Polperro with its narrow traffic-free streets is on foot, so this 5-mile walk definitely serves a dual purpose. From Hannafore Point in West Looe, join the South West Coast Path which runs along the cliffs with wonderful views out to Looe Island. After a couple of miles, the path drops down to Talland Bay and this is a great place to park and join the walk if you want a shorter option.

After skirting Talland Bay the coastal path climbs to a War Memorial and seat where you can catch your breath at this lovely viewpoint. Soon afterwards, Polperro Harbour appears around the headland and you can ponder whether to indulge in a Cornish ice cream, a clotted cream tea – or both! Buses regularly depart for Looe from the bus stop near the main car park.

Boscastle to Tintagel

Start your trip with a look around the picturesque fishing village and harbour at Boscastle before joining the South West Coast Path heading south. The scenery towards the headland of Grower Rock is spectacular, with waves constantly dashing the rocks below. The path continues rising and falling for about 4 miles past Long Island (a haven for gulls), the remains of an Iron Age fort on Willapark Peninsula, and Barras Nose, the first length of coastline to be bought by the National Trust.

The clifftop village of Tintagel is best known for the ruined remains of Tintagel Castle, associated with legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Explore the village and visit the National Trust Old Post Office before returning to Boscastle via St Nectar’s Glen.

Camelford, Bodmin Moor and Brown Willy

This 10-mile walk starts at Camelford and takes in some of Cornwall’s unspoilt countryside. The walk follows the Moorland Way to Harpur’s Down, famous for the scattered remains of about 150 ancient stone circles.

From here, strike out across the open moorland to Roughtor Moors. The National Trust-owned granite tors offer great views of the Stannon China Clay Works and Brown Willy, the next target to head for. You may want to climb to the top of Brown Willy, which is no big deal as it rises just 1,030 feet (314m) above the surrounding moors After climbing the peak, which is often shrouded in cloud, pass Maiden Tor and join the Roughtor Road, a quiet road leading back to Camelford.

These are just a few of the selection of walks through beautiful National Trust countryside. More details and maps are available here.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

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