A Car Free Day Out around St Austell SW10
This is a circular trail walk which makes an interesting addition to a day visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It climbs steadily up to Heligan via Heligan Mill and then descends back by cycle route 3 to Mevagissey.
It offers attractive views of the countryside and there are opportunities to deviate off the route and take in signposted woodland walks or to descend down an alternative footpath to Pentewan to take the return bus to St. Austell or Mevagissey.
Bus No 26 from St. Austell bus station to Mevagissey and alight at Mevagissey. The facilities in Mevagissey include Pubs, Cafés, Shops, Restaurants and Public Toilets.
From the Bus stop follow the route back out of Mevagissey, past the large Car park on the right and follow the signs for “Cycle Route 3” or the Footpath signs to Heligan.
The route is clearly marked past the Mevagissey activities centre and indicates that Heligan is 1 mile away (2 miles would be closer to the truth)! Follow this trail until a 5 bar gate appears on the left with a sign stating “Pedestrian Access to Heligan Approx 1 1/2 miles”. Leave cycle route 3 here and go through this gate.
The path now continues down to Heligan Mill where the stream is crossed by a granite slab footbridge. Once past the Mill the trail starts to ascend through the woods until a gate is reached on the left hand side giving permitted access to Mill Woods. It is here that a detour can be taken as there is a map on the gate defining the paths.
It is possible by taking this detour and bearing right that the original trail can be regained further up the hill. Once the top of the hill is gained the trail continues on past some of Heligan’s outlying properties until it reaches the entrance to Heligan.
There are toilet facilities a shop/ café available here and of course the Lost Gardens of Heligan can be visited.
To return via cycle route 3 continue along the trail towards the main road but before you reach the main road you need to turn right through the camping and caravan park and pick up cycle route 3. This will enable you to circumnavigate the outside of Heligan and the route is well marked back to Mevagissey.
Whilst close to the main road entrance to Heligan tale a look over towards St. Austell and see the huge spoil heaps known locally as the “The Cornish Alps”. On the return route follow the signs for Mevagissey and you will eventually come back to the 5 bar gate you entered from there simply re-trace your steps to Mevagissey.
Alternatively, there is a sign posted route off to the left which descends down into the Pentewan Valley and picks up the Pentewan Valley Cycle trail. From there the choice is to turn left and walk the trail back to St Austell or to turn right and walk the trail back to Pentewan.