The Helford River and surrounding area
Here on the Lizard Peninsula, in the South West of Cornwall, is the peaceful Helford River, a tidal estuary, the sparkling jewel flowing through the centre of the Helford area. The scenery is ever changing and will delight and inspire the senses.
Well known from the writings of Daphne du Maurier, Frenchman’s Creek near to Helford Village has long drawn visitors to walk along its banks to experience the quiet air of mystery and secrecy there. A feeling of timelessness and history, the stories of smugglers, pirates, moonlight meetings, the splashing of oars in the silence…
On the opposite side, Helford Passage has the welcoming Ferryboat Inn where you can sit on the beach to watch the many coloured sails and passing boats. The local pubs often have music in the evenings and it is fun to listen to the bands from the water or beach on these evenings. Ferries can be taken from here along the banks of the river to the superb gardens of Trebah and Glendurgan. Visitors come throughout the seasons to admire the early spring flowers and shrubs, seas of summer colour in their hydrangeas and the golden autumn lights of leaves and sunsets along the water.
The deep wooded banks of the river dipping into calm waters are home to herons, egrets, curlew, swans; many varieties of river birds abound. Even a glimpse is enough to cast a spell. The river flows into Falmouth Bay, a famous area for sailing. The tidal Helford beaches are accessible from a handful of holiday homes along the river bank, the open gardens and little villages of St. Anthony and Helford. Boats can be hired or guided trips taken. Walks are easy and enjoyable, along cliffs above the sea or quiet paths inland, with pretty villages, warm thatched pubs, ancient churches; enchanting hidden places to discover.
Surrounded by many rocky and sandy beaches, with interesting seaside and little towns nearby, the Helford area has diverse attractions to suit all tastes. Places to visit include St. Michael’s Mount, The National Maritime Museum in the lively port of Falmouth, The Tate at St. Ives, many local galleries and estates, all within an hour’s drive. Trips to the Isles of Scilly, the Eden Project and Heligan are also within reach from here as a day trip. Surfing days can be enjoyed from the area, from the beaches of The Lizard at Kynance and around.
We have a number of welcoming pubs and farm shop cafes nearby to relax in after your adventures. Local food is the by-word here and the restaurants are of the highest quality. They serve the freshest of fish and meat with a wonderful choice of local vegetables, fruit and organic bread.
Farmers, fishermen, sailors, writers, craftsmen, artists, musicians, shipwrights, gardeners, bakers, generous cooks all live here and are happy to share their love of this special place with guests.
Written by Kate Kirby – Owner of Property 984 in Helford, Cornwall Make a holiday rental home or a holiday cottage in Helford your home away from home
Helford lies on a beautiful coastline and an idyllic atmosphere. The village dates back hundreds of years and is considered to have one of the most unspoilt natural areas. Helford is located on a costal inlet and sits alongside the Helford River.
Places to holiday in Helford
Helford’s charming appearance is reflected in its buildings, with quaint thatched rooftops lining winding streets, opening out onto seaside oasis. Upon your arrival, a fantastic way to explore is from a rowing boat, where you can search for many species of birds. Golf, rock climbing, sailing, fishing and horse riding are hugely popular activities, as well as discovery of the deep valleys of ancient oak and gardens with lush plant life. Many charming houses and self catering cottages are found in this centuries old village with castles, and coastal inlands sitting against a backdrop of a rugged inland ocean front.
Self catering cottages in Helford are plentiful, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the tranquil surroundings of this popular village. Staying in a guest house or self catering holiday cottage allows visitors to stay within close proximity of an area which was once a bustling sea port which brought in rum, tobacco, and lace. So busy was the port it had its own customs building.
Structures symbolic of this areas rich history are many, including St. Anthony-in-Meneage with its picturesque location near the Helford River and Gillian Creek. Pendennis Castle is also reminiscent of a bygone wartime era, as well as beautiful churches built in the 1200’s like St Mawnan.
Things to do in Helford
You can easily take out a self-drive dinghy next to a riverside beach available at Helford Passage, take the beautiful cliff walk or try to find your way through the 19th century maze. Remnants of Henry VIII efforts to protect the area from Spanish and French invaders are evident today when visiting Pendennis Castle. Over 400 years of history overlook the surrounding water in this historically rich area.
In addition to the rich history of the area, the historical seaside community offers a wealth of beautiful gardens. Helford’s warm climate allows gardens to flourish in an oasis of semi tropical plants amongst Italian and Victorian gardens. When headed a short distance north, Penjerrick’s blossoming gardens are a beautiful escape. Carwinion is known for its beautiful rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas, and a national collection of bamboo. Several other gardens are great for a stroll like Bosloe, which is owned by Heritage Trust.
It is easy to simply relax on the blue waters of Trebah Beach or Durgan Beach. Other seaside areas like the National Seal Sanctuary nurse seals back to health and release them back into the wild. Many Helford self catering holiday houses are positioned along the water with architecture dating back hundreds of years. All guest cottages are in close proximity to pubs and village stores with items like clothing, arts, and crafts.
Weather in Helford
Helford’s southern location is credited with the areas warm climate. The climate is so warm that subtropical vegetation grows in many of the areas parks.
Flights to Helford
Newquay Airport (NQY) is approximately 120 km from Helford with cheap flights available from Air Southwest.