Walking Gillan Creek to Helford Passage
Distance 3.2 miles (5.1 km).
Grid reference SW786251 to SW763268.
As it was not low tide at the time of this walk, we decided to walk overland through Manaccan to the northern shore of Gillan Creek before passing 'The Bar' and the river crossing point - the endpoint of our previous walk. From here we joined the coast path and continued past St. Anthony-in-Meneage around Dennis Head to Helford Village in an anticlockwise direction.
Park in the large car park at Helford. Walk down towards the village but bear left up road rather than cross the footbridge to the village. After a few yards you pass a very weathered public footpath sign to Manaccan. Pass another thatched cottage set beside the path and its waymarker. You now enter a tranquil woodland walk - just birdsong and the flowing stream breaking the silence. Now about 10 minutes into your walk the sound of the stream gets louder and the path forks. Be sure to carry straight on. The path that bears right will lead you to 'Frenchman's Creek'.
After about 5 minutes somewhat muddy walking cross the small tumbling stream by a wide stone bridge. Bear left uphill ignoring the first coastal footpath marker and proceed over 3 stiles on the much drier path. Enter the field (Daffodils) by a 4th stile and follow the homemade footpath signs to the corner of a hedge. Bear right as signed and proceed up the slope to the road. Join the road by passing through small metal gate and stile. Turn left at the road for about 20 yards before crossing the road to follow the footpath sign across a field. If you are on the right track you should pass beside some beige coloured houses at the cul-de-sac of Minster Meadow, Manaccan.
Turn right down road heading for the church. Walk through the church grounds and cross the road. Pass the Vicarage on your right and proceed up public path for about 2 minutes. Directly opposite the house named 'Collingdale', turn right down footpath signed 'Carne'. A woodland walk now leads you down towards the head of Gillan Creek. Cross the busy stream at the end of your descent and meet the road where you turn left. Now about ¾ hour into your walk continue on until you see a large signpost indicating 'St. Anthony 1 mile'. Walk along the narrow road beside Gillan Creek with great care as the whole 25 minute stretch is road walking and cars are quite frequent. We dropped down to the shingle beach and sat near where it narrows to have some dinner (20 minutes). Look across the creek to Gillan and Flushing Cove. If it is low tide try and locate the crossing point used on the previous walk. Refreshed, return to the road and pass the lovely waterside church
Follow the road around the church and begin to climb the hill. Opposite the upper church gate bear left up narrow track which is soon indicated as the Coast Path by the usual acorn sign. Pass through a kissing gate to enter Bosahan Estate. As you pass the house turn sharp left to follow the slightly overgrown FP arrow up left hand side of the sloping field. Continue through the kissing gate and follow waymarkers to another such gate. This area is known as 'The Gew'. The path now narrows as it runs through thorny thickets and low trees passing above the small cove known as Ponsence Cove with its tiny Grove Beach. Keep travelling westward with the river to your right. Shortly you will cross a small stream - now about 2 hours into your walk. After a few yards bear right to follow waymarker, passing beside another precariously sited metal kissing gate to drop down to sandy Bosahan Cove - complete with its own boathouse.
After another 15 minute break for drinks and photographs we set off once more. Walk above another small cove known as Padagarrack Cove. Soon Helford Passage fills your view of the opposite bank. Pass some stone steps leading to the river and between some buildings. Continue up the wide track until you reach a metalled lane. Walk down the lane passing the 'Old Pilchard Shed'. Shortly turn sharp left up some hidden steps signed 'Coast Path'. Pass through a small kissing gate to walk behind the Helford River Sailing Club. Later turn right through a second kissing gate into the Car Park and return to your vehicle.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: