After a long hot soak in the bath at our guesthouse at Bokiddick Farm, near Lanivet, we were treated to a delicious cream tea by our hostess Gill. She called and booked a meal at the Crown Inn at Lanlivery and after a rest and catch up with friend Ali who had nobly transported our overnight bags, we set off down the winding lanes on a quest for food. The pub was great, solidly built of granite, with a lovely roaring log fire and popular with locals.
Gill made us a delicious breakfast next morning and a packed lunch too as there are few refreshment stops of any kind en route.
The walk: The second part of our walk from Lanivet to Fowey was 13.5 miles in tranquil, sheltered rolling farmland, ancient woods, and secluded valleys.
We retraced our steps to the small hamlet of Trebell Green and picked up the familiar signposts along the Saints Way trail from Lanivet.
First stop Helman Tor. This granite outcrop was an obvious landmark for early travellers to plot their progress across the county and is now an important nature reserve. The views from the top are stunning – on a clear day you can see both coasts and the whole of the Saints Way.
We left the Tor via an ancient ridgeway which was very muddy underfoot and headed for the distant spire of the church of St Brevita at Lanlivery. There are lovely views across to Fowey and the Gribben Head as you leave the enclosed track and the path soon joins a road where you turn left and pass Pennant crossroads with its attractive signpost, soon arriving in the centre of Lanlivery with its beautiful church and the Crown Inn which was once a medieval longhouse.
The route leads away from the village following the road signposted Lostwithiel. At Pelyntor cottage, a footpath sign directs you through fields to the B3269. We took a footpath immediately opposite to avoid walking along the busy A390 road. It emerges opposite the granite gate posts of the Pelyn estate. Cross here and walk up the narrow road a little way and take the first right through a farmyard and down a narrow bridle way to Castle hamlet (much farmyard mud here!).
Bear right at the hamlet and follow the sign to Milltown, quiet now but once a bustling place with two flour mills and a pub.
Now head south and pass under the mainline railway bridge carrying the Paddington to Penzance line. Pass the ancient farmstead of Lantyan, keep left and head uphill. Down through the trees are glimpses of the River Fowey and the beautiful old creekside church of St Winnow. Beyond the next valley the church crosses a stile on the left and climbs through field to the crest of a hill. Continue through the fields then along the lane leading down to the beautiful church of St Sampson’s with its superb vaulted barrel ceiling.
Continue down the hill to the lovely creek side village of Golant. The Way crosses the main road and along the lane, leaving the village by a path onto the Downs. If you are in need of refreshment a short detour into the village takes you to a great pub, the Fishermans Arms. The path follows the creek side with glimpses of the Fowey estuary below and soon arrives at Sawmills creek, once a 17th century water mill but now a recording studio.
Cross the stream and take the right hand path to climb uphill through the woods to Penventinue farm. Turn left at the road and head downhill crossing the former Par to Fowey railway line, now a private road used for transporting China clay for shipment from Fowey.
On reaching the main road turn left and head into Fowey town, passing Caffa Mill where the Bodinnick ferry runs. Look out for the large White House on the other side of the river – Ferryside where Daphne du Maurer once lived.
The last leg of the Saints Way climbs Bull hill leading to the parish church of St Fimbarrus in the centre of town and the end of the walk for us but the start of an exciting adventure into the unknown for early pilgrims.
There are lots of lovely places to stay and eat in Fowey and you can find many of them on the town’s website for visitors.