A Car Free Day Out around St Austell EA08
Grid ref. L5
Bodinnick – Polruan
Distance 6.5km (4mls) Generally moderate/easy walking with some short steep sections. Well waymarked.
OS ref SX 130 520
Principle landowners … National Trust and Fowey Harbour Commissioners
Access from St Austell,via Par…No. 25 bus from the bus station. ½ hourly, weekdays,(hourly Sat) to the main car park above Fowey. Either walk down through the town or take the mini bus.(if available)
The walk proper starts on the northern edge of Fowey (near the port) with a short ride on the ferry between Caffa Mill and Bodinnick on the opposite bank of the River Fowey.
As you approach Bodinnick note the big riverside house to the right; “Ferryside”, the home of author Daphne du Maurier in the 1920s.
got off the ferry, walk up the steep road in front of you, passing the Old Ferry Inn and some cottages on your left, before turning up the narrow waymarked path to your right. The path emerges above the back of the village…you are now on the Hall Walk, one of the area’s favourite walking routes.
Pass a war memorial before coming to a second memorial above Penleath Point. This one is to the Edwardian scholar and author, Sir Arthur Quiller Couch, known by all as “Q”. Standing by his memorial take in the excellent views of Fowey, Polruan and the estuary.
The path now swings around the headland passing first through open but increasingly scrubby land formerly used as allotments, before entering an area of woodland. After a brief walk along the edge of a field and over a stile, walk down the steep (and often slippery) path to the settlement of Pont.
Once a busy little quay with boat sheds, lime kilns and its own pub, some of the buildings are now National Trust holiday cottages.
Cross the footbridge and walk up the steep path in front of you which leads to the
nearby 14th century church of St. Wyllow, Lanteglos however your route takes a sharp right up a stepped path through the trees to an open field. Running along the shoulder of the hill, initially through open fields, there are some excellent views back across the Pill before the path runs into an area of broadleaf woodland (oak, ash, sycamore and hazel) where Fowey Harbour Commissioners have recently undertaken some much needed management, including the coppicing of old hazel stools.
Eventually the path emerges above Polruan. Make your way down through the village to the quay where you can catch one of the regular water taxis back over to Fowey.
The land you have just walked over not only has strong literary associations, it was also close to the site of much activity during the English Civil War, when the Cornish Royalists, who dominated the area, fought a series of skirmishes with the Parliamentarian force sent to subjugate them, culminating in the latter’s defeat at nearby Castle Dor in the summer of 1644. There is even a story that King Charles 1 when walking near Bodinnick, narrowly escaped death when a Parliamentarian musketeer took a pot shot at him but missed.
The walk itself takes its name from the nearby Hall Farm, the site of a 14thc.manor house, damaged beyond repair during the Civil War. All that remains are the walls of a chapel.