The Pentewan Valley Trail is a gentle 4km walk which follows the bed of an old narrow gauge railway through woodland and along the river down to the harbour at Pentewan. The railway was built in the 19th century to carry China clay and tin from St Austell to the docks at Pentewan where it could be transported by ship to other parts of the UK and beyond. Once a busy harbour, the dock basin is now separated from the sea by the beach and the harbour is filled with fresh water. While a ship hasn’t docked at Pentewan for over half a century, you can still find plenty of clues to Pentewan’s industrial past throughout the village.
The Pentewan Valley Trail is level and very popular with locals who make good use of it for cycling, walking, running and dog walking. We spent a happy few hours wandering along, with Wilfred and Sam on bikes, Megan walking and me pushing Jasmine in the pushchair.
We found a great rope swing half way along and Wilf splashed through the ford on his bike. Pooh sticks is compulsory wherever we find a bridge over a stream so we stopped and played beside some other wild kids who had taken their wellies off to use them as buckets. Great fun!
There is access to Kings Wood, a lovely broad-leaved woodland, managed by the Woodland Trust, rich in flora and fauna with lots of woodland trails to explore. It’s good for dog walking and has lovely views from the higher levels.
The trail is only a mile or so from Bosinver but as the road from Polgooth is very narrow I suggest driving to London Apprentice and parking there next to the Kingswood Restaurant (great for gourmet dining) then cycling down the trail to Pentewan for a trip to the beach or food at the Ship Inn. There is also a tea shop and restaurant in the village.
If you fancy hiring bikes, Pentewan Valley Cycle Hire can be found at the Pentewan end of the trail and it’s possible to follow Sustrans Route 3 from here to the Eden Project and beyond. Alternatively you could take the first left off the trail from Pentewan towards London Apprentice and do a circular route via Lost Gardens of Heligan and Mevagissey, mostly off road.
If you’re a walking enthusiast, you can follow the trail down to Pentewan and along the beach, before joining the coast path to Mevagissey. There are regular buses back to London Apprentice, and from there it’s only a short walk back to Bosinver.
There are several parking spots along the trail and a large free car park in Pentewan village.
Have you walked or cycled the Pentewan Valley Trail – or can you recommend any other family friendly trails in Cornwall? Why not share your thoughts below, post on our Facebook page or tweet @bosinver?