Walking Cornwall: Tresillian to Malpas

Boat moored up by a house with a thatched roof at Tresillian

This is a lovely, easy walk along the banks of the River Fal with opportunities for wildlife spotting along the way. When the tide’s out, look out for wading birds. You’re likely to see herons, egrets, and cormorants. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a flash of turquoise as a kingfisher darts past.

Highlights of the walk include the picturesque village of St Clement (pictured above) and the thrill of walking along the causeway (pictured below), where you’re surrounded by water on all sides.

There’s been a crossing place at Malpas for over 800 years. Legend has it that this is the crossing Isolde (from the Cornish legend Tristan and Isolde) made to King Marks’s palace.


The historic rowing-boat ferry still runs on occasion. In the past, you could summon the ferry by ringing the bell on the slipway by the marina, signalling to the ferryman in his cottage on the other side of the river that someone wanted to cross.

Lunch at the Heron Inn

The Heron Inn in Malpas is a great place to stop for lunch or a drink and a snack. If you sit outside on the terrace you can enjoy the spectacular view across the water where the Truro and Tresillian rivers join the River Fal. There’s an excellent menu bursting with local produce, including a range of daily specials, vegetarian, children’s and gluten-free options. If seafood’s your thing, try the crab sandwiches, made with locally caught crab.

Getting there & walk details

From Bosinver, take the A390 towards Truro. Drive through the village of Tresillian, past the Post Office and the petrol station, and look out for the information sign and parking places on the opposite site of the road. It’s usually fairly easy to find a space during the day. When you’ve parked, cross over the road towards the river and look out for the footpath signs. The path runs alongside the river, through St Clement village to Malpas.

The walk from Tresillian to Malpas is approximately three miles. Once you get to Malpas, there are a number of options. You can either retrace your footsteps back to your car, or you could walk into Truro (approx 2 miles), explore the city, and then get the bus back to Tresillian.

We’ve got maps in the office you can borrow if you want to take a look at the route or fancy planning any variations – just pop in and ask.

Where’s your favourite place to go walking in Cornwall? We’d love to hear your recommendations. Write a comment below, tweet @bosinver or post on our Facebook page.

Editor’s note: this post was first published in March 2013 and has been revised and updated.

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