Sleepy village on a quiet creek
Helford is a sleepy village on the south side of the Helford River. It is on the soft side of the Lizard Peninsula, far removed from the ragged cliffs and treeless heath further south. Here you can find secluded villages, sub-tropical gardens and waterside taverns where you can relax and watch the river flow. The population of the village was 321 at the 2011 census.
Take one look at the mysterious winding inlet of Frenchman's Creek, and you'll know why Daphne du Maurier used it as the setting for her romantic tale of piracy and smuggling. The creek is best reached by a footpath, indeed much of the area can only be enjoyed on foot. Explore by car and you'll get mere tantalising glimpses of this tranquil wooded river-world.
Peaceful villages stowaway in the folds of this landscape. Explore Helford, with its riverside inn; the ancient churches of Mawgan, Manaccan and St. Anthony; and Gweek, once a Roman port, today a charming clutter of boatyards and quays, and home to the renowned Seal Sanctuary. From the pretty villages of Constantine and Mawgan, you can meander down gladed footpaths to creeks such as Porth Navas or Polwheveral with their oyster-beds and yacht moorings. Porth Navas, on a northern creek, is home to the Oyster Farm owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
Strike north from Mawnan Smith to the lush gardens of Penjerrick. or south for the sub-tropical gardens sloping gently to the river at Glendurgan, Trebah and Carwinion. The hidden gem of Bosvathick House and Garden is also nearby. Take a stroll along the shore of Durgan, a tiny hamlet which lived on fishing for centuries, or simply pass an idle hour at Helford Passage watching the boats coming and going. At the Argal and College Waterpark, you can enjoy good coarse angling, a variety of water-sports and excellent amenities with picnic and play areas for the children.
The ferry connecting the north and south banks of the Helford River has been running continuously since the Middle Ages. Then, it was a vital link for the communities providing transportation for local produce to the markets in Falmouth. The cart and driver travelled on the ferry and the horse swam along behind! These days travel is slightly more conventional and the ferry is purely for passengers although bicycles, dogs and pushchairs can all be accommodated. The Ferryboat Inn on the Helford Passage side has been there since the 1700's.
Down by the Riverside Cafe
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Kestle Barton Lizard Peninsula The Coastal Footpath Cornwall's Ferrys