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Put your best foot forward for the SE Cornwall Walking Festival

A staggering 76% of people visiting Cornwall say that walking is a favourite things to do & the Southeast Cornwall Walking Festival is right up their street
Those who like walking in scenic countryside will love the Southeast Cornwall Walking Festival which takes place during the second week in September. The event is an 8-day-long celebration of the beautiful walks and trails around southeast Cornwall and you can join in for one walk, or commit to the whole week.

Gorgeous walks in SE Cornwall

Walks take in rural hamlets, coastal villages, beaches, the and up to on some hikes. Walks are planned around the pretty village of Duloe, Hannafore Point in West Looe, the Liskeard to Looe Valley, Porthnadler Beach, the banks of the Fower River, Caradon Hill, the parish of St Veep and around Calstock on the banks of the Tamar River. Ranging from evening social strolls to 11 mile hikes, there’s something for every type of walker.

Whether you are a visitor or a longstanding local, you are sure to enjoy the scenery on these beautiful walks. Despite living in for many years and seeking out as many local walks as possible, there are several walks here that are new to me!

How to join in the SE Cornwall Walking Festival

You don’t need to sign up or buy tickets to be part of this great walking festival, just note the dates and the walks you fancy. Details are not yet available for each individual itinerary for 2014 but you will find them on the official tourism website for southeast Cornwall once they are available.

Pack some tasty sandwiches and drinks, put on your hiking boots and meet up at the prearranged starting point. There are some pubs along some walks where refreshments and food may be available, so check out the official walk itinerary first.

Each walk is led by local volunteers who know the countryside well. They offer their services free but a donation is requested of £4 per person to go towards the charity of their choice.

The event has been running for over a decade and generally enjoys good weather and some gorgeous autumn foliage and wildlife spotting. The walks change from year to year, but to give you an idea of what to expect, here’s the itinerary for September 2013.

Past walks in Southeast Cornwall

Those who fancied a four mile warm-up walk for the 2013 Walking Festival met at St Duloe church on the first Saturday of the event. The walk took in the 4000 year-old stone circle, finishing back in Duloe in time for the Beer and Cider Festival.

Another popular walk met at the Looe Marine Conservation Group near the Hannafore Coastguard Station for a walk searching for, identifying and pressing seaweed.

On the Sunday, walkers participated in a 7-hour amble from Liskeard Railway Station down the West Looe Valley. Gorgeous scenery, and it’s mostly downhill for this 11-milewalk! The return was by bus or train.

Other walks include a shorter walk with a coastal expert from to Portnadler Beach. The Respryn Ramble started out from Bodmin Parkway Station. The guided walk followed the Fowey River around the historic Lanhydrock Estate with sights of the remains of the china clay industry and possibly even a steam train.

How about a 3-hour walk from Minions Post Office up Caradon Hill? See what’s changing as part of the Caradon Hill Heritage Project. There’s even an evening walk with the sociable West Looe Evening Strollabout from Looe Library specially for those who work during the day.

Last year Thursday was a Peep at St Veep walk. The hike started at St Veep Church and included tales of local characters from Mark Camp as well as sampling some local cider.

Another all-day walk included a railway trip and legstretch for 8 miles along the Tamar Valley, meeting at Calstock Station. Hopefully once again there will be an Earth Walk with the starting at Hannafore Fields. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

Southeast Cornwall undoubtedly has some great walks. My favourite is in the woods along the West Looe River near Herodsfoot. Do you have a favourite walk in Cornwall you’d like to share with other readers?

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.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.


  1. Wendy Tomlinson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t make the festival but I’m sending the link to this post to a friend I know will be interested. Such a beautiful area for walking.

  2. Katie Newton says:

    Sounds lovely this. I enjoy a good walk in the countryside. I wanna know which of these walks are through conservation areas as, being a city girl, I’d love to get out and immerse myself in the true wilderness.

    By the way, as a lover of nature it’s always nice to hear of conservation efforts and donations being made to support these charities.

  3. Gillian says:

    Hi Katie, If you’re looking for walks far from civilisation I would suggest joining the walk around Duloe, the amble from Liskeard down the Looe Valley (plenty of brambly footpaths and usually not a soul along the way), or the Minions/Caradon Hill walk as this is high on the moors and totally away from it all. Let us know how you get on, and enjoy!

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