St. Erth

OS Explorer Map: 102
Start Ref: 549 351
End Ref: 549 351
Grading: Easy
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 1.5hrs

This is a delightfully easy short walk, with only one slight incline and decline, and for which over half has us walking alongside the soothing sounds of the babbling River Hayle. When I did this walk, I was blessed with more dragonflies than I have seen in one day, a river teaming with brown trout and even a red capped woodpecker. All this and that lovely refreshed feeling that we are left with after being able to cool our feet off after a spot of lunch.

We leave our car at the end of the gravel bridleway which is alongside the playing field at St. Erth and right next to the bridge. To start our walk, we are going to follow this bridleway in a southerly direction (away from the road) and as far as Battery Mill, where we find that the footpath starts and leads us off through a narrow path to our left.

After a short distance the path splits left and right, with the right hand branch leading into a field – it is this one we want to take, and as we step into the path we are back in a wide open space and if we look diagonally across the field will see a gate which is where we are going to head towards.

An open grassy field

At this gate is a footpath marker (so we know we have taken the correct gate – as there are three) and as we go through we find ourselves on a slight uphill bridle path which leads us up to the very impressive Trewinnard Manor. In front of the manor, we turn right and then again left as we walk up, around and behind the grounds to pick up our slight downhill path which leads us into the courtyard of a house. Go through their gate and continue to follow the bridle path (not the footpath to the left) until we reach the river.

From now on we have the tranquil sounds of the babbling River Hayle. We could turn left, and staying on this same side of the river we can follow the path to the left, but I am going to suggest that you turn right first, to return to this spot later.

A river with a packed lunch laying on the grass

HOWEVER the official footpath on `our` side of the river is closed (due to erosion further upstream), so here we must cross the bridge and then use the opposite bank. About a quarter of a mile up, we find a lovely bend in the river with a tree sitting in the curve and the low lying bank is flat and ideal for our picnic (it is where I had mine). The path on this side of the river does not progress much farther, so here we must now return to the bridge and cross back to the original side of the river.

Once back on this side, we turn back in the direction of St. Erth and keeping the river on our right we will now follow it back to the car. Do though, take time to sit on one of the numerous benches on the banks, also stop and watch the flowing water as there are brown trout (not just in the fish lakes on the far side) and a profusion of dragonflies.

As we near the village, we suddenly find ourselves with a full view of the beautiful church in St. Erth and then we are by the bridge where the river is split before it heads on down to Hayle.

An old church

Take care as you emerge off the path as we are right on the road here, but should find that we are now back at the car.

Should you wish to extend this walk, if you cross the road (and cross the bridge) and enter the chapel car park, you will find it cuts through to the river path that will lead us the mile down (and back!) to The Causeway road at the head of the Hayle Estuary and its Nature Reserve. Again this is a short, flat and easy walk, and worth doing – if only to continue to listen to the sound of running water.

I hope that you will enjoy, please let me know if you do.