Walking Tour: Fowey, Polruan & Bodinnick

  • Start Fowey
  • Finish Fowey
  • Length 4 miles; 2½ hours

Fowey offers a special mix of scenery, with coast, countryside and river on its doorstep. This fabulous and easy walk factors in all three, and makes use of a couple of cross-river ferries.

Start in Fowey at the town quay, next to the rosy-pink King of Prussia pub. From here, catch the foot ferry across the River Fowey, and disembark in the hugger-mugger village of Polruan, a huddle of cottages and narrow streets stacked on a steep coastal cliffside. Take the coast path up to the village’s blockhouse, one of two such houses built around 1380, which would have enabled a chain to be raised across the harbour to prevent undesirable ships from entering it.

Climb up through town and pick up the path as it heads out past the black reefs known as the Washing Rocks. From here, the trail begins to leave the village behind and heads out on to the coast path proper. After a mile or so, you’ll reach the hidden sands of Lantic Bay, offering secluded sun-lounging and swimming. Turn right to see the views from Pencarrow Head, or turn left to reach the main road and the nearby National Trust car park. Follow the road round till you reach the little church of Lanteglos-by-Fowey, and take the path downhill through the churchyard till you reach the creek.

At the bottom of the hill, the road leads across a footbridge to a path which bears left along the banks of Pont Pill Creek, offering dreamy views of the river through the overhanging trees. At Penleath Point, there’s a lovely vantage point back across the river to Polruan and Fowey, as well as a small memorial to the novelist and scholar Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who lived in Fowey from 1891 until his death in 1944. From here, the trail winds on to Bodinnick, where you can have a pint at the homely Old Ferry Inn while waiting for the ferry to carry you back to the northern end of Fowey.