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Constantine

An idyllic village...

On the north side of the Helford River, just a short drive from the seaside town of Falmouth, lies the charming village of Constantine. Whilst one could easily mistake this village for a remote cluster of houses, Constantine is actually home to a wonderfully well-stocked shop, an arts centre with a variety of events and woodland walks galore. Nearby you’ll discover typical Cornish villages, scenic wooded creeks, award-winning sub-tropical gardens and access to some of the quieter beaches of Cornwall. The Helford river has a rich history and has long been one of the most important in Cornwall. A few fishing boats still head out to sea from here and it’s a haven for yachts and leisure boating – as well as for wildlife. There are mussel and oyster beds here too, and rich farmland, giving the area a great reputation for food and drink.

Other villages near Constantine river are Gweek, Mawnan Smith, Port Navas, St Mawgan-in-Meneage, Manaccan, St. Antony-in-Meneage and Helford village, all with their own charms.

The helford & constantine guide

Shipwrights

Helford Village

The picturesque Helford Village with its riverside cottages, thatched roofs and stunning views, sits just south of Constantine, about 10 miles away (or less if you get the ferry across the river!) and is a must visit. A true countryside village, Helford residents are only fussed about the essentials – a village shop, cafe, and a great pub… be sure to take the time to visit all three! The village shop is excellently stocked with freshly baked bread, homemade cakes, local farm produce as well as all the basics, and the Holy Mackerel Cafe, an old church, serves delightful food and showstopping hot chocolates complete with toasted marshmallows!

Spend an evening at The Shipwrights, sit out on the waterside decking as night falls and sample a host of Cornish spirits, local ales and an excellent choice of wines too. Helford Village may be small but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in quality. In addition to the local establishments, Helford Village offers visitors a certain charm that can only be found in small, rural villages. Sit on the quayside with a crabbing line, watch the sailing club race on the river or explore this beautiful part of Cornwall and the creeks nearby by foot. On a sunny day, the crystal clear water of the river is beautiful, yet if you’re lucky enough to visit on a grey, still day, the atmosphere is captivating.

Forever Cornwall Mullion Kayaking

On the water

The sheltered waters of the Helford River are a haven for those wanting to enjoy leisurely watersports – and when the wind picks up, they’re also a favourite with anyone seeking a little more gentle adrenaline, particularly sailing. There are several sailing clubs in the area, with Port Navas Yacht Club situated just a short drive from Constantine. You can get on the water on all different flotation devices – give Sailaway a call in St. Anthony.

From sailing boats to kayaks, whether you want an afternoon of fishing, exploring or paddling, they can sort it out for you. Although Sailaway are based in St. Anthony, a few miles away, if you ring and prebook then they will arrange for your motorboat or kayaks to be dropped off at Helford Passage or Port Navas for you. If you are after a spot of fishing, you can expect pollack, wrasse, ray or even gilthead bream, and there’s plenty of shore fishing that’s accessible via the coastal footpath from Helford Passage. Whatever you love about the water – be that on it, in it or near it – Helford won’t disappoint!

Sea Thrift At St. Ives *2*

Creekside walks and garden exploring...

The banks of the Helford River are delightfully sheltered and allow fauna to thrive along the coast paths. From your doorstep you can discover Constantine’s woodland, carpeted with bluebells in spring, fields bursting with the yellow of daffodils in winter and the scent of wildflowers protruding from hedgerows in the heat of the summer sun, there’s never a lack of colour in this part of Cornwall. It’s unsurprising that it is these creeks that provided inspiration to one of the country’s greatest novelists – Daphne du Maurier. Her popular 1940’s novel, Frenchman’s Creek, takes its name from one such gentle creek just a short stroll from Helford Village.

Of course, if you’re after something a little more rugged then head for the Lizard Peninsula, to the dramatic cliffs of Coverack, Cadgwith and the Lizard Point. With grazing ponies, crashing waves and unobstructed views up and down the coast, this part of the coastal footpath is sure to blow the cobwebs away. The natural curation of the creek sides is something to be marvelled at, but there are estates nearby that take the gardening to the next level.

Beaches
Kynance Cove The Helford Cornwall

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is one of Cornwall’s most dramatic beaches. A bit of a walk from the car park, visitors are rewarded with turquoise seas, huge rock stacks and hidden corners of sandy beach (when the tide’s out!) where you feel as though you’re the only ones there. In the winter, grab a hot chocolate from the cafe above and watch the waves roll into this dramatic cove. Dogs are welcome between October and Easter Sunday.

Maenporth 3 Tim Green

Maenporth

Maenporth is a sandy beach just south of Falmouth, that is perfect for a family day in the sun. With parking moments away, a cafe, restaurant and a place to hire watersports equipment from (including kayaks), Maenporth is very well equipped! Dogs are welcome between October and Easter Sunday.

Poldhu Cove, Cornwall

Poldhu

Poldhu is a sheltered cove with parking, a cafe and a surf school – and blissful golden sands. With seasonal lifeguards, it’s a great place to try out watersports, go for a paddle or, when the tide’s out, head to the rockpools for some exploring. Dogs are welcome between October and Easter Sunday.

Things to do
Trebah, The Helford

Glorious gardens

The natural curation of the creeksides is something to be marvelled at on the Helford, but there are estates nearby that take the gardening to the next level. Take the ferry across the river and visit one of two sub-tropical gardens, Trebah or Glendurgan, and stroll through the gardens that tumble down to the riverside for a little more exotic horticulture.

Tall Ship Cadgwith

Cadgwith

Make the short trip down the coastal fishing village of Cadgwith one Friday, and experience the atmosphere of the Cadgwith Singers. The sea shanties are brilliant, the beer is delicious and it’s a quintessentially Cornish way to spend a Friday evening.

Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

The Seal Sanctuary

The Seal Sanctuary is an excellent day out for families, friends or couples come rain or shine. It’s home to otters, sea lions, penguins and of course, seals, and is dedicated to educating people on the struggles of marine life and why conservation for these seemingly abundant animals is so necessary. Visit the penguins at feeding time, become a keeper for a day and see seals on their way to recovery at the Seal Hospital.

Food & Drink
Kestle Barton Honesty Box AG

Eat local

It is so easy to eat local on the Helford. Choose from the best sausage rolls at Gear Farm, head into Falmouth or visit Constantine stores for a simply unbelievable choice of spirits, wines and beers (as well as local produce and basics!). Mawgan-in-Meneage stores also offers plenty of essentials as well as a ton of local fruit, veg and baked goods.

Shipwrights Arms Helford, Cornwall Food

The Shipwrights

The Shipwrights Arms in Helford Village is a 17th Century waterfront inn, offering local spirits, wines and ales. Perhaps its most surprising offering is the food, however. Whilst local produce is heavily featured, the style of cuisine is very much a fusion. From pub classics like steak and moules frites to divine Thai fish curries and, in the summer, arrive on the pontoon to be greeted by the mouthwatering scent of the outside pizza oven – bliss.

Trengilly Wartha

Voted Westcountry Pub of the Year, if you’re staying in Constantine then you must book a table at Trengilly Wartha. The pub is renowned for its excellently executed food, and their menu features vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes that are all utterly delicious. With a huge garden to wander through and great live music on Wednesdays and Sundays, it’s one of our favourites.

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