Chasing waterfalls in Cornwall
The ocean isn't Cornwall’s only watery wonder. Checkout these six stunning waterfalls
St Nectan’s Glen, nr Tintagel
Veer inland from beautiful Bossiney Cove and Rocky Valley, to explore the magical trio of waterfalls at St Nectan’s Glen. At the heart of this leafy vale you’ll find a 60-foot waterfall thundering through a rock arch. Legend says that this sacred site was used as part of a ritual to cleanse King Arthur’s squires and turn them into knights. Experience the power of the waterfall from the shallow pool, then push on past the main waterfall to discover a secondary waterfall, before crossing a walkway to a third hidden fall.
Golitha Falls, nr Liskeard
Tunnel through a wooded valley alongside the tumbling River Fowey, following trails through Golitha Falls Nature Reserve. Children will love exploring the terrain and hunting for Cornish piskies as they scale along tree trunks, tip-toe across stepping-stones and stomp over bridges. Your adventure will eventually lead you to a waterfall cascading down the gorge, but there are plenty of places to unpack a picnic in a fairytale glen en route.
Tregardock Beach, nr Port Isaac
Tackle the descent to one of Cornwall’s wildest beaches, and you’ll be rewarded with the raw beauty of soaring cliffs, sea caves and sandy expanses. Keep your eye on the tide as you scour the rock pools and trace the shoreline to the northern end of the beach, where you’ll find a waterfall flowing over the mouth of a shallow cave. Rest assured it’s worth the 15-minute walk off the beaten track to reach this low-tide gem, just make sure you get up early to bag one of the few parking spaces along the farm lane.
Lansallos, West Polruan
Stretch your legs along the 20-minute trail from the church in Lansallos village to reach a hidden cove. Children will love following the activity points along the stream, making their way to this idyllic beach with a waterfall that once powered an old mill. Known as Reed Water, the falls tumble onto the sand and rocks of this stunning, south-facing cove that’s made for swimming and family picnics.
Eden Project, St Austell
The world-famous Eden Project needs little introduction. Step into the tropical rainforest and discover the waterfall that splashes its way from the very top of the biome and through the heart of the awe-inspiring jungle. Follow the higher path and cross the bridge to feel the cooling spray, and find out how this unique eco attraction harvests rainwater to irrigate the plants, top up the waterfall and create the humidity of the rainforest. Even if you’ve visited Eden before, the ever-changing seasons, exhibitions and family trails make it one to return to at any time of year.
Follow in the footsteps of Thomas Hardy as you strike out along Beeny Cliffs to find the spectacular Pentargon waterfall that plunges 120ft through a hanging valley to the shoreline below. It’s little wonder that Hardy and his first wife, Emma Gifford, fell in love as they explored the romantic scenery around beautiful Boscastle. Peer down from Fire Beacon Point to spot seals sunning themselves on the rocks below, soak up spectacular views of the harbour, and head back to Boscastle to dip into its quirky cafés, bewitching history and castle ruins.