COLUMNIST: A DOG'S LIFE
PUBLISHED: 15:32 21 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:56 30 August 2017
Head to Kennall Vale and Praa Sands for the perfect walkies in Cornwall
Alexandra Pearce has been busy hunting out the best activities in Cornwall for our four-legged friends...
Nestled in Ponsanooth is the old gunpowder works of Kennall Vale. The stark contrast of the deep, still quarry and moss-coated ruins to the fast-flowing waterfalls and River Kennall makes this walk spectacular. Kennall Vale is amazing all year round, however there is something especially magical about it during the winter months; the cold air and touches of frost make it all the more ethereal.
Kennall Mills once produced gunpowder for the tin mining industry here. The site opened in 1812 and ran for 100 years before developments in the industry made it redundant. It fell into ruin before the Cornwall Wildlife Trust turned it into a reserve.
Entering through a wooden gate, the walk appears relatively unpromising however its hidden qualities are quickly revealed. Derelict water mills are revealed amongst the ivy and ferns.
There are two routes available; a flat, wide path which lets you observe the buildings, quarry and river or a riskier route which takes you across a bridge over the river, past the remaining water wheel and behind the ruins where waterfalls still fall from the unseen pool above. Both paths are circular, taking you back to your starting position.
Be aware: Walkways can be slippery. Walking boots or wellies recommended
Time: 1 hour
Access: Off the A393 at Ponsanooth, past the village shop and Kennall Vale School until you reach the entrance, highlighted by a small sign on the right
Parking: Park in layby
Facilities: None. Not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs
Wildlife: Dipper birds (Cinclus sp.) and wild garlic (Allium ursinum)
Beach in focus
Praa Sands is a mile long, sandy beach with disabled access and parking. Dogs are banned from Easter Sunday and 30 September between 7am and 7pm.
Why we love it: On Christmas Day, join in the Cornish tradition and head down to the beach to enjoy a festive run or swim. The Sandbar café opens its doors on Christmas day so you can warm up and toast the day with a mulled wine (dogs on leads).