Driving down the B3273 in Cornwall, we got our first glimpse of the beautiful Pentewan valley, home to the Pentewan Trail. Both sides of the road were flanked with trees, shades of green stretching as far as the eye could see. We saw the sign for Little Winnick caravan site, and turned in and set about making our camp for the week. The grass was short and the ground level and we soon had the awning up and the kettle on.
One of the bonuses of the site apart from its location central to lots of great places to explore and its excellent facilities, was that you could access the Pentewan trail directly from the site. So after settling in, we decided to explore.
Pentewan Trail and Kings Wood
We turned right outside the gates of the campsite. Then following the Pentewan Trail signpost we took another right turn that led across the bridge. That was it, we were onto the Pentewan trail.
The trail runs along the St Austell (White) river which flows south to the village of Pentewan, where it crosses the beach and flows gently into the sea. The river is shallow, picturesque, and very clean. This part of the route (also a cycle trail) is flat and easy to walk.
So, with the river on one side and Kings Wood on the other, we set out to follow the trail to Pentewan beach. The sun was shining, and it wasn’t long before we started to appreciate our surroundings. There were damselflies and wildflowers, and the birdsong and soft rush of the river water as it crossed the stones in its path, added to the soundscape. Bike riders passed us by with a cheery hello, and the relaxed pace and warm temperatures added to feel of being in a natural haven.
Following the signpost, we turned left into the shadow of Kings Wood. Kings Wood is a relic of an ancient woodland that dates back several hundred years. It has a wonderful mix of broadleaf woodland and meandering streams, and we could feel the age of the place as we followed the sun-spattered track through the woodland and down to the village of Pentewan.
Pentewan Village and Beach
Pentewan itself is a pretty little village. It was once a harbour used to export tin and china clay from the surrounding area, and also to receive shipments of coal, which in turn was used in local tin mines. The dock basin is now separated from the sea by the beach and is filled with fresh water. Despite not having welcomed a ship for over 60 years, evidence of its industrial past are still scattered around the village. We wandered past the pub and across the village and headed toward the beach.
We walked past the sign that says private beach and over a little bridge. Then all at once the half a mile of east-facing sandy beach opened up in front of us. It was gorgeous. We strolled along the shoreline, then sat and watched the ocean for a while.
We were now ready to make our return journey. After brushing off the sand we made our way back through the village. Rejoining the Pentewan trail, we retraced our route back to the campsite. We’d had a really great afternoon exploring the area.
If you are near the Pentewan Valley then why not follow our route along the trail? You won’t be disappointed!