A picturesque walking route around Rocky Valley

PUBLISHED: 16:33 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 16 July 2019

As Rocky Valley opens to the sea. Copyright: Neil Alexander McKee, Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

As Rocky Valley opens to the sea. Copyright: Neil Alexander McKee, Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)


A walk route around Rocky Valley at Bossiney, near Tintagel with plenty of photo ops to inspire

From its start this walk has drama. At St Nectan's Kieve the River Trevillet plunges down a 60-foot waterfall with such force that it has carved a series of basins in the rock. From here it flows through St Nectan's Glen and on past the ruins of a medieval mill, where the carvings on the rock-face are said to be almost 4,000-years-old. The last leg of the journey reveals a vista of the sea tumbling and splashing through a deep canyon it has sculpted through a breathtakingly beautiful wilderness.

For lovers of flora and fauna, you will pass through a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) filled with ferns and mosses and two rare liverworts grow here, as well as rare mosses. The maritime grassland in Rocky Valley is full of wildflowers, and occasionally an otter is seen in the river. The flowers ensure a thriving insect population which includes the dramatically-patterned tiger moth and the thrift clearwing moth.

Nectan is said to have been one of the 24 missionary offspring of the fifth-century King Brychan of Brycheiniog. During your walk you will also pass St Piran's Well. Cornwall's patron saint of tin miners is said to have fallen to his death here, at the ripe old age of 200, after a drinking session with his pal St Nectan.

Further on Trewethet Mill is particularly renowned for the Celtic labyrinth carved into the rock-face beside it. There is evidence of people living here in the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) period, but the carvings are thought to be from the early Bronze Age although some historians believe that the carvings were faked in Victorian times to bring in the tourists. Decide for yourself!


3.7 miles (6km)

Difficulty: Easy. Woodland paths that may be muddy, stony tracks, rocky, footpaths, steps and steep slopes. Wear good shoes!

Start and finish: Halgabron Rocky Valley layby PL34 0BB

The Walk

1. From the layby below Halgabron on the Boscastle road walk a short distance towards Tintagel. Turn left on the small road to Halgabron and follow it steeply uphill past the houses.

2. Take the footpath on the left, shortly after the houses, and follow it through the fields and on along St Nectan's Glen. Fork right in the valley to climb to St Nectan's Kieve.

3. At the top of the steps turn left to take the track over the hill towards the coast, following it downhill to Trethevy.

4. In Trethevy take the lane to the right and walk to the road.

5. On the road turn right to pick up the footpath opposite to Trevalga.

6. In Trevalga bear left and then turn left on the road. When it splits into two lanes take the right-hand fork.

7. Turn left on the South West Coast Path and follow it past Ladies Window and on along Trevalga Cliff, where the quarry workings sound like windchimes as you walk on them.

8. Descending steeply to Rocky Valley, leave the coast path to turn left and walk up through the valley back to the road at the start of the walk.

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