We’d forgotten just how magical it is at Kennall Vale. It’s a beautiful woodland with a stream rushing through creating small waterfalls, a wonderful sound and a freshness to the air. There’s also the fascinating remains of Gunpowder Works; leats directing the water to the old mills, a quarry overtaken by nature and various abandoned buildings to stir the imagination. The trees overhead are mostly beech so we hope to go again later in the year to see some autumn colour. If it’s ever hot in the summer this would be a good place to escape to! Kennall Vale is a Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. Read this informative leaflet with all you need to know, and see the bird’s eye tour in the fantastic video below (love the dogs running around!) Video – credit to Mark Thomas.
Today was a special birthday walk for Youngest who is 3. We enjoyed clambering over stones to cross the river (bridge also available) whilst Youngest mostly waded in her red wellies. We had fun making echoes against the quarry wall and stamping in puddles to make mud hot chocolate (of course). We also got drenched at the end. The trees provided some shelter for the first 5 minutes of the downpour, but then delivered fat, cold drops down our necks and so we made a splashy run for it. We were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow though.
Paths here are stony but the ground is often wet so wellies are a must for little ones at least. The steps and paths around the old mills can be narrow in places and wet. A close eye is needed around here. There are steep drops and fast water. And be prepared to get wet! The leats drop the water down into the old mill buildings (and all over the path).
What you need to know
Parking: We usually park on the streets just down the hill. There is space for a few cars on the lane outside.
Cafe: No, but I did notice the village shop in Perranwell had picnic benches outside.
Pushchair suitable? Part of the woodland could be explored with a pushchair. The mill buildings and leats on the opposite side of the river are not pushchair friendly.
Time: As little or as long as you like depending on how much you want to explore. About an hour and a half gives you time to see most things.
From the road, walk between the stone gateposts and keep the wooden clad house on your left , follow the small path that runs beside the driveway. Just past the gateway there is an information board on the right. You can work out your route here, or just take a wander around.
On the map, follow the lane towards the river and you’ll find the woodland.