Cornwall unveils new walking route linking its north and south coasts | Cornwall

Following the banks of one of the UK’s great rivers, a new walking way has been unveiled linking the north and south coasts of Cornwall and for the first time creating a circular walk around the whole of the county.

The 87-mile (140km) Tamara Coast to Coast Way broadly tracks the River Tamar, which forms most of the border between Cornwall and Devon, taking in landscapes ranging from wooded valley to rolling farmland, heather-covered moors and areas shaped by the region’s mining history.

Cornwall coast-to-coast walking route map

Announced on Tuesday, one of the aims of the walk is to draw visitors who often stay on the coasts to an often neglected but beautiful hinterland. Will Darwall, the manager of the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme, said he hoped the route would inspire people to get out and explore parts of the far south-west of Britain that can be missed in the dash for the coast.

“People can now not only enjoy a largely overlooked natural landscape,” he said. “There is huge history and beauty to find here and walkers will also benefit local enterprises along the way, such as local B&Bs and pubs.”

Path going through wooded area along the track. Photograph: Tamara Landscape Partnership

The route stretches between the village of Cremyll, overlooking Plymouth Sound, in the south and Marsland Mouth near Morwenstow in the north.

Linking the two coasts has created a new 387-mile circular walking route around Cornwall, which has been named Kylgh Kernow, Cornish for “circuit of Cornwall”. The hardy will be able to walk the Tamara Coast to Coast Way and link up to the South West Coast Path.

Darwall said that in the north, walkers would pass the source of the Tamar, marked by a newly placed hefty granite boulder. Further south, the river broadens into a leafy river valley. The route zigs into Devon and back – though there are alternatives for purists who would prefer to remain in Cornwall if at all possible.

Darwall said one of his favourite spots was Horsebridge, a few miles north of Callington, which has a beautiful stone river crossing and a pub.

“We hope it will be well walked,” said Martin Howlett, the chair of Tamar Valley area of outstanding natural beauty. “It’s an opportunity for the public to enjoy not just the Cornish coastline but the inland countryside, of which we are very proud. It’s a special and unique landscape.”

The course of the path through Blaxton wood.
The course of the path through Blaxton wood. Photograph: Tamara Landscape Partnership

The route takes in two existing paths – the Discovery Trail in the south and the Bude Canal Trail in the north. A new permissive path on the Pentillie estate near St Mellion, which means walkers do not have to tackle a busy road, helped make the route possible.

Its planners have suggested people take seven days to cover the route, with stages ranging from just over four miles (6.5km) to 17 (27km). But walkers – or runners – are welcome to do it as quickly or slowly as they choose.

The link to the coastal path is likely to be particularly attractive. Walking in the far west of England has been popular for centuries but the publication of the The Salt Path, Raynor Winn’s award-winning description of an emotional walk of the South West Coast Path, has made the area even more of a destination for hikers.

Sign post on the coastal track.
Sign post on the coastal track. Photograph: Tamara Landscape Partnership

Nicky Wilson, the regional engagement officer for the walking charity the Ramblers, said she thought the coast to coast way, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, was “really exciting”.

“I think it will attract a mixture of long-distance walkers but people will also do sections,” she said, adding that she was also pleased because she lived in the south and her sister lived in the north, so they would be able to set off along the path and meet somewhere in the middle. “It’s lovely that these sort of connections are being made.”


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