Golitha Falls, Cornwall – Guide to Exploring This Ancient Woodland Walk

Golitha Falls

Golitha Falls, Cornwall

Golitha Falls (pronounced Gol-ee-tha) are a series of tumbling waterfalls along the river Fowey set within the gnarled Draynes woodland just off the edge of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall and just a stones throw from Liskeard.

Serviced by a car park, bicycle lockup, toilets and Inkie’s Smokehouse you have everything you need for a morning or afternoons exploration. 

So if you’re in the area, we would fully recommend popping by and spending a bit of time at here. Here’s our full guide to exploring Golitha Falls. 

It’s worth noting that the whole area is dog friendly and a wonderful place for our 4 legged pals to sniff and explore.

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    Where is Golitha Falls

    Golitha Falls is just off Bodmin Moor, but still within the Bodmin Moor AONB. 

    Located on the river Fowey it is about 4 miles from Liskeard by road and 12 miles from Bodmin.  

    Walking the Forestry and Falls

    Golitha Falls Map

    Walking the falls is only about a miles walk. But don’t let that fool you into thinking you’ll be done and dusted in a matter of half an hour or so. 

    There’s criss-crossed trails everywhere revealing countless interesting things to explore. 

    From the old clay pipe overhead, bridges and contorted trees, tumbling mossy boulders and of course, the river Fowey cascading haphazardly over the rocks this is not an area to hike quickly and complete. 

    Take a little time to explore properly and discover the magic and mystery of Golitha Falls. 

    A note on accessibility. There are many tree roots crossing the main footpath and anyone with mobility difficulties, a wheelchair or pushchair might struggle. 

    Some of the paths at Golitha Falls aren't wheelchair friendly
    Some of the paths at Golitha Falls aren't wheelchair friendly

    Wild Swimming at Golitha Falls

    Golitha Falls

    Unfortunately Golitha Falls is not suitable for wild swimming.

    Tragically a canoeist drowned here in recent history and the river is fast, unpredictable and strong making it an unwise choice for a dip.

    Particularly if you are visiting in the winter months, which we recommend, as the water is at its most powerful and spectacular at this time. 

    When To Visit Golitha Falls

    Balancing on a log at Golitha Falls

    A beautiful area year round but we do feel that depending on what you are after there are better times to visit or not visit:

    For the most dramatic white water, visit in the winter or after a period of heavy rain

    For a brilliant carpet of bluebells visit in the Spring.

    In the summer it will be busy but arrive early, or late, to enjoy the tranquility on a summers day. 

    If you’re lucky you on a quiet morning you may even spot an Otter or two. 

    A Brief History of Golitha Falls

    Old pipeline used to transport raw clay

    As with almost anywhere in Cornwall Golitha Falls is mired in mystery and myth.

    The last King of Cornwall, King Doniert drowned in the falls some 1100 years ago in 875AD. The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear but motives for murder are not hard to find and it’s rumored he ticked off the Saxons by working those pesky Vikings.

    If myth andmysetry are your thing we can’t recommend the Marvellous Maps ‘Great British Folklore and Superstition Map‘.

    Golitha Falls Parking

    The carpark at Golitha Falls is a medium sized, flat affair. 

    The car park is free (as are the toilets) but the folks at Inkie’s Smokehouse do ask you to make a small purchase. Either from the smokehouse itself or from the shop next door. Which, to be honest, I think we’d recommend doing anyway – just take a look below at their menu on their Facebook page to get an idea!

     If the Smokehouse is closed then the parking is 100% free, no questions asked. 

    Free Parking at Golitha Falls
    Bike Locks at Golitha Falls

    Golitha Falls Cafe

    Inkies Smokehouse

    Golitha Falls is serviced by Inkie’s Smokehouse.  An award winning BBQ joint adjacent to the car park. 

    After an hour or two’s exploring the smell of coffee and smoked BBQ will surely be too tempting to resist!

    They also have a small shop of preserves, pickles and the like as well to buy and take home with you. 

    Near to Golitha Falls

    So what else is there to do in the area around Golitha Falls?

    A little bit further afield

    • Visit Newquay
    • Cycle between Wadebridge and Padstow (one of our favourite things to do in Cornwall by the way)
    • Visit St Austell and check out the famous St Austell Brewery
    • Check out the exotic plants and biodomes at the Eden Project

    Golitha Falls Summary

    While Golitha Falls are an excellent way to pass half a day it is probably not worth making a special visit to just to explore. 

    But if you are in the area then definitely take the time for a stop and a leg stretch (and some BBQ…).

    Here’s one of our travel diaries of our time in Devon and Cornwall in April 2021.

    Go Explore! At Golitha Falls!

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