Autumn is a special time to escape to Cornwall. With the changing of the seasons comes new opportunities to discover hidden gems forgotten by the summer fervour. Get your walking boots on, pack a raincoat and a flask of tea, and get exploring the places that you usually wouldn’t visit during a classic beach holiday.
St Necten’s Glen, North Cornwall
Still a big secret to most visitors to Corwnall, St Nectan’s Glen is a hit with believers in magic and nature-lovers alike. As well as the lush, mossy woodland, the main reason to make a pilgrimage to this place is the stunning 60ft waterfall. There are many stories surrounding the site, including this being the hermitage of St Nectan, although there is not a shred of evidence of this. Despite this, the place has a mystical and ancient feel to it. Lots of visitors like to add small piles of stones in and around the stream, and even sometimes trinkets and offerings.
Stay at: our Port Gaverne collection, which is just a short drive from the glen.
Starling murmurations, Marazion
Even if bird watching isn’t usually your thing, then we can highly recommend trying to spot this natural wonder. Sometimes seen above the marshes behind Marazion, unfathomable numbers of Starlings congregate into shifting and morphing shapes. According to the RSPB, these can be spotted as early as September, but more likely towards November. The best time being at dusk.
Ancient ruins, Men-an-Tol
Wonder down to the wilds of west Cornwall and see the mysterious standing stones of Men-an-Tol, the perfect place to connect with our ancient past. Believed to be Neolithic or early bronze-age, the site is made up of two upright stones with one circular stone with a hole in the centre. Folklore says if a women passes through the holed stone seven times backwards, she will soon become pregnant. Another story says it will cure a child of rickets, and for centuries unfortuntate children were passed through the hole. West Cornwall is full of standing stone sites, so we encourage you to explore more!
Explore old fishing villages
You’ve probably been to tourist honeypots such as Padstow and Port Isaac, so we encourage you to get off the beaten track and find fishing villages less visited. Try the small, but beautiful Porthallow on the Lizard Peninsula. The village’s houses go right up to the shingle beach, which is full of pleasure and fishing boats. We recommend parking on the beach, get exploring the surrounding rugged coastline, and return to the Five Pilchards Inn for a well-deserved G&T or pint.
Autumn is actually a great time to foraging, whether that’s on the land or the coast. Mussels, clams and other shellfish can only be picked in months with an “r”, so it’s game on from September. Or you could scour the land for mushrooms. Or even sloe berries and blackberries, which are great for making flavoured liquors!
Remember to consult experts and/or a foraging guide before picking and eating anything. We recommend Philleigh Way, where you can learn to cook with the wild food you find.
Woods – Golitha falls
If you’re going to be in Cornwall for autumn, you’ll need to experience the golden hues of ancient woodland. A great place for this is Golitha Falls, on the upper sections of the River Fowey, near the dramatic Bodmin Moor. From the car park, you can follow the river snaking its way between tree roots and boulders. The walk will eventually take you to the stunning falls, a great photo opportunity and wild swimming spot (if you’re feeling brave). Unsurprisingly this place is a haven for wildlife like salmon and otters.