Helford is also the name the beautiful and tiny village on the river’s southern bank. It has a charming thatched pub ‘The Shipwrights’ as well as a delicatessen and bakery. Close by is Frenchman’s Creek, made famous by Daphne Du Maurier, as well as the hamlet of Kestle where we have some beautiful holiday cottages.
On the opposite northern bank of the river you will find Helford Passage, with its stunning, 300 year old pub, the ‘Ferryboat Inn’. The two sides of the river are connected here via a foot ferry. Other villages on or near Helford river are Gweek, Mawnan Smith, Port Navas, St Mawgan-in-Meneage, Manaccan, St. Antony-in-Meneage and Constantine, all with their own charms.
The beaches around the Helford are small but most are very picturesque – and you may even have one to yourself if you’re lucky! Do be aware that while swimming is generally safe on the river, none of the beaches are lifeguarded. On the north shore, one of the bigger beaches is the shingled shore of Helford Passage. With a few rock pools, boat hire, toilets and the Ferryboat Inn, this beach is favourite. Between here and the sea is a string of little river beaches including Durgan, Grebe and Porth Saxon – whilst on the sea coast you’ll find the sandy beach of Maenporth (with lifeguards) as well as Swanpool and other beaches in Falmouth. On the southern shore the beaches are generally much smaller, but framed with beautiful scenery and rarely busy, they are great for those after a little peace and quiet. The hidden gem of the Helford River has to be Bosahan Cove, and it is very much worth the effort to get there – it cannot be reached by car. Hire a boat from Helford Passage and cross the river, or incorporate a scenic walk into your beach day, but bear in mind it is a good mile walk along the South West Coast Path from St. Antony-in-Meneage. The most stunning route of access is down the Bosahan Estate’s sub-tropical gardens – but make sure that the estate is open before making the trip! The sandy shore, highlighted with lush trees looking out over the river will always make the trek worthwhile.
Aside from the numerous coves, make time for a visit to the beautiful gardens that line the Helford River. Stroll through the ethereal pathways of Trebah, lose yourself in Glendurgan’s maze, or simply make use of the natural woodland and South West Coast Path that line the river. Support the local wildlife at the Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, where injured and orphaned seals from Cornish beaches are nursed back to health. There is plenty to keep everyone entertained in this peaceful, tranquil part of Cornwall. We have beautiful self catering holiday cottages in Helford – all of which are carefully selected and inspected.