A Car Free Day Out around St Austell EA09
Grid ref. K 1- 5
Lostwithiel – Milltown 2.2km (1 ½ mls) 1 hour Easy walking
Milltown – Fowey 9 km (5 ¾ mls) 2 ¾ hours Moderate/Hard walking
OS Ref SX 105 596 – 125 517
Start by taking one of the regular trains from St. Austell through Lostwithiel but note that not all main line trains to Plymouth and beyond, stop at Lostwithiel … please check!
Having arrived at Lostwithiel station cross the River Fowey on the nearby 15th century bridge, turn left along the Parade passing the Drill Hall on your left, before turning left again by the Co-op. Passing the Duchy Palace* on your right, you emerge onto the old Town Quay. Walking on the road alongside the river, pass under the railway bridge and into Coulson’s Park*
Walk through the park before turning right under the railway line and then immediately left on the path to Pill Farm. Walk through the farm complex on the footpath, through a gate on your left and then keeping to the track against the hedge on your right, carry on across the fields to Milltown. The riverside railway line on your left is now a goods only line taking China clay down to the port at Fowey.
At Milltown, after climbing a stile your path follows a creek and under the main line railway viaduct, before crossing a little footbridge by two cottages. You now have the choice of walking into Milltown Woods* (entrance to your left) or up to the nearby public road, turning left and following it towards Golant…the easier option but beware of traffic on a narrow country road!
If you have chosen to go into Milltown wood, follow the footpath running alongside the creek and then above the river (there is also a separate horse route) before it begins to climb away from the river up through the adjoining Lantyan Woods, eventually emerging on the public road. Turn left…you are now on the Saints Way*.
After walking for 20 minutes or so, a roadside Saints Way marker turns you left across fields on a path that emerges on another road above St. Sampson’s church*. After pausing to admire the church, walk down the hill towards the riverside village of Golant. When you reach a cross roads you have another choice…
either follow the Saints Way markers straight ahead or take a detour downhill to the boat filled river basin before walking up the hill past (or indeed, stop at) the Fisherman’s Arms and back on to the Saints Way. Your route now takes you high above the river and across the downs before dropping down to Sawmills Creek. The old sawmills are now a recording studio. Cross over the creek, walk past the studios and up a steep path to Penventinue Farm where you rejoin a public road…Penventinue Lane. Turn left and walk down the hill toward Fowey.
When you reach a road junction, turn left (beware of traffic) and still on the Saints Way, walk down into Caffa Mill and its views of the port, river and Bodinnick ferry. Carry on through the streets of Fowey.
To get back to St. Austell, you will have to get to the Hanson Drive bus stop above the town, either by walking up a (steep) hill or catching the town mini bus which stops at the Hanson Drive car park. The No. 25 bus to St. Austell goes at half hourly intervals during the week, hourly on Saturdays. Unfortunately, there is no Sunday or public holiday service!
*Duchy Palace – part of a 13th century complex and once used as the seat of Royal Duchy administration …badly damaged by Parliamentarian troops in 1644.
*Coulson’s Park – gifted to the town by Nathaniel Coulson, a local boy who made good in the U.S.A. at the beginning of the 20th century
* Milltown and Lantyan Woods – ancient broadleaf woodlands in the ownership of the Woodland Trust. See W.T. website for details
*The Saints Way – the ancient coast to coast path between Padstow and Fowey, named after monks and other holy men in transit between Ireland/Wales and Brittany. Now a long distance walking route (48km/30mls) managed by Cornwall Council. (Walking guide available)
*St Sampson’s Church – built in the 15thc.and dedicated to St Sampson, a 6thc. Irish saint who walked the Saints Way, pausing at Golant to kill an “evil serpent”!