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9 best hidden waterfalls to explore in Cornwall and Devon

Updated: Mar 9

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track waterfalls scattered across Cornwall and Devon.

Cornwall and Devon are known for its breath-taking stunning beaches, and let's not forget those Cornish pasties and clotted cream! However, the amount of people that think the only waterfall in Cornwall is St Nectan's Glen is mind-blowing! There are many more hidden waterfalls scattered around Cornwall which are waiting for YOU to explore them!

In this article, we share 9 of the best hidden waterfalls in Cornwall and Devon which you need to add to your bucket list this year.

Image of Spekes Mill Mouth Waterfall in Devon

The Golitha Falls are a gorgeous place to walk and admire these amazing waterfalls. There is a long path which visitors can walk around which meanders around the woodland, streams and rocks. You can also find some cool old mine workings and shafts nearby.

Golitha Falls is a great destination for all the nature hiker lovers, and it's clear to see why judging by the photos! We'd recommend sticking to the main paths, but if you're feeling adventurous we recommend going closer to the falls which requires some scrambling.

It's worth noting that you shouldn't visit Golitha Falls and expect a massive 40ft waterfall! It's better described as rapids than a waterfall; none-the-less its perfect for a scenic quiet walk whilst admiring nature!

FAQs/Things to know before visiting Golitha Falls

1) What makes Golitha Falls a hidden gem in Cornwall?

Golitha Falls is celebrated as a hidden gem in Cornwall for its enchanting waterfalls and serene woodland setting. Tucked away in the ancient oak woodland of Draynes Wood, this captivating spot offers visitors a tranquil retreat amidst the natural beauty of Bodmin Moor.

With its cascading waterfalls, moss-covered rocks, and verdant foliage, Golitha Falls provides an idyllic backdrop for nature lovers seeking solace and serenity.

2) How do I access Golitha Falls in Cornwall?

Accessing Golitha Falls in Cornwall involves a scenic walk through the enchanting woodland of Draynes Wood. Visitors can begin their journey from the designated parking area near Draynes Bridge, following a well-marked footpath that winds its way along the banks of the River Fowey.

The trail offers picturesque views of the river and surrounding woodlands, leading hikers to the captivating sight of Golitha Falls. While the walk may entail some moderate challenges, the reward of discovering this hidden gem amidst the tranquility of nature makes it a truly memorable experience.

3) Is Golitha Falls suitable for swimming?

Golitha Falls is not recommended for swimming due to safety concerns. The waterfalls' rocky surroundings make it unsuitable for swimming, posing potential risks to visitors. However, visitors can still appreciate the beauty of Golitha Falls from designated viewing areas along the trail.

It's essential to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines when exploring natural attractions like Golitha Falls to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Places to stay near Golitha Falls

A beautiful adventurous trail which rewards visitors with an amazing waterfall. It's safe to say this is Cornwall's most unspoilt hidden corner. To explore the whole trail you are probably looking at around 1 to 2 hours, however please bare in mind that there is a small entrance fee to gain access to this site.

It’s obviously grown in popularity, due to the rise of social media as well as the COVID-19 lockdown; forcing everybody to travel in the UK. However, you’d be surprised at how many people still don’t know about this place!

Many visitors to St Nectan's Glen think it is one of the most spiritual places in the UK. As a result, as you walk along the trail, you'll see numerous small stone piles along with ribbons and crystals strung from tree branches.

FAQs/Things to know before visiting St Nectan’s Glen

1) What is St Nectan’s Glen?

St Nectan’s Glen is a picturesque natural attraction located near Tintagel in Cornwall. It features stunning waterfalls cascading through an ancient wooded gorge, creating a serene and mystical atmosphere.

2) How do I get to St Nectan’s Glen?

To reach St Nectan’s Glen, visitors can follow a scenic footpath from the village of Trethevy, near Tintagel. The trail meanders through tranquil woodland alongside the River Trevillet, leading to the enchanting waterfalls of St Nectan’s Glen.

3) What can I expect to see at St Nectan’s Glen?

At St Nectan’s Glen, visitors can expect to see breathtaking waterfalls, lush vegetation, and moss-covered rocks. The glen is renowned for its tranquil beauty and spiritual significance, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Places to stay near St Nectan’s Glen

Visitors can have a gorgeous day at this secluded beach, but at the same time be rewarded with this gorgeous hidden gem of a waterfall! It's a small picturesque waterfall which can be admired at the back of the beach, which actually used to power a small mill.

For those wanting to visit, there is a National Trust car park in Lansallos village which has access via a footpath to the beach.

Places to stay near Lansallos Waterfall

Image of Lansallos Waterfall in Cornwall

An easy accessible waterfall which most people surprisingly find unexpectedly! You can park in Hartland Quay which is only a 30 minute stroll to see the waterfall. Once you get to the waterfall you will also be rewarded with amazing views.

Along the South West footpath on a great stretch of coast line is Speke's Mill Mouth Waterfall. It's a unique waterfall in our eyes, and it's something different to see on a coast line (especially on one of the best coast lines in Britain!).

Why not take a scramble to the beach at the bottom too to enjoy the scenic views and also have a play around in the rockpools?

FAQs/Things to know before visiting Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall

1) What is Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall?

Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall is a spectacular natural attraction located along the North Devon coastline near Hartland. It features a stunning 50-foot cascade that tumbles down rugged cliffs into a picturesque rocky cove, creating a mesmerizing scene of beauty and tranquility.

2) How do I get to Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall?

To reach Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall, visitors can embark on a scenic coastal walk from the nearby village of Hartland Quay. The trail follows the South West Coast Path, offering breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs before descending to the waterfall and rocky beach below.

3) What can I expect to see at Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall?

At Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall, visitors can expect to see the impressive cascade plunging into the sea-carved gorge below. Surrounding the waterfall is a rugged landscape of cliffs, rock formations, and wild coastal vegetation, providing a stunning backdrop for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Places to stay near Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall

Kennall Vale Nature Reserve is a beautiful woodland walk which features old ruins from the gun powder factory which has been left to nature. There are plenty of waterfalls to see, some small and some fast flowing.

Kennall Vale is a great place for a scenic walk with decent pathways and is a photographers dream location! It's surrounded by mini waterfalls and historic buildings, and is a good destination to spend a few hours.

Overall, Kennall Vale is a place of great atmosphere; featuring wet bright mosses and overhanging trees suddenly give way to the remains of old stone buildings and waterfalls. It can get muddy so we recommend bringing walking boots.

FAQs/Things to know before visiting Kennall Vale

1) What is Kennall Vale?

Kennall Vale is a captivating woodland nature reserve located near Ponsanooth in Cornwall. It is renowned for its lush vegetation, tranquil atmosphere, and historic industrial ruins, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

2) How do I get to Kennall Vale?

To reach Kennall Vale, visitors can follow a well-marked footpath from the village of Ponsanooth. The trail winds its way through ancient woodland alongside the Kennall River, offering picturesque views of waterfalls, moss-covered rocks, and diverse plant life. Access to the reserve is free, and there are designated parking areas available nearby.

3) What can I expect to see at Kennall Vale?

At Kennall Vale, visitors can expect to see a range of natural and historical features. The woodland is home to a variety of native flora and fauna, including ancient oak trees, ferns, and woodland flowers.

Additionally, the reserve is dotted with remnants of its industrial past, such as the ruins of former gunpowder mills and waterwheels, providing insight into Cornwall's industrial heritage.

Places to stay near Kennall Vale

This hidden gem is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. Once you get to the waterfalls the scenery around them are amazing! However, we would recommend visiting after heavy rainfall otherwise they'll only be a trickle, and it is quite steep to get too.

It can be quite easy to miss Pentargon Waterfall, but it's a very scenic walk so if you don't mind the long hike then this could be the gem to visit for you. Also, if you're a fan of seals then you might be lucky to see in the bay below!

It's a great 15-20 minute walk from Bocastle Farm Shop, offering visitors beautiful views along the way. Also, we recommend stopping at the farm shop for a nice piece of cake!

FAQs/Things to know before visiting Pentargon Waterfall

1) What is Pentargon Waterfall?

Pentargon Waterfall is a stunning natural waterfall located near Boscastle on the rugged North Cornwall coast. It is known for its dramatic cascade as the Pentargon stream tumbles over rocky cliffs into a secluded cove, creating a picturesque and serene setting.

2) How do I access Pentargon Waterfall?

To reach Pentargon Waterfall, visitors can embark on a scenic coastal walk from the village of Boscastle. The trail follows the South West Coast Path, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and surrounding cliffs. After descending a steep path, visitors will reach the secluded cove where Pentargon Waterfall can be admired up close.

3) What can I expect to see at Pentargon Waterfall?

At Pentargon Waterfall, visitors can expect to see the impressive cascade as it plunges into the rocky cove below. Surrounding the waterfall are towering cliffs, rugged coastline, and wild coastal vegetation, providing a picturesque backdrop for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Places to stay near Pentargon Waterfall

Tintagel Castle is a stunning place especially when the weather is on the good side. However, what most people don't realise is that theres an amazing hidden waterfall tucked away! Look towards the beach and you'll see the waterfall flowing down.

It's worth venturing down to the beach whilst you're here, and with the sight of the waterfall it's even better! You'll have to visit when the tide is out as that's how you'll get onto the beach, and also to explore the cool caves down there.

Places to stay near Tintagel Castle Waterfall

Tregardock Beach is a secluded beach in Cornwall which rarely has visitors. However, the visitors that turn up don't even discover the hidden waterfall located here! It's located at the northern end of the beach and cascades over the mouth of a shallow cave.

It's definitely worth a visit if you happen to be visiting Newquay; whether you're on holiday or just in the area! It's found partway between Tintagel and Port Isaac, and if the waterfall doesn't float your boat, you can always just relax on the beach for the day!

Places to stay near Tregardock Beach Waterfall

Luxulyan Valley is a paradise for all waterfall lovers. It's full of waterfalls, and depending on how far you'd like to explore and walk, the length will be around 4 to 6 miles.

Luxulyan Valley is not only for waterfall lovers; it's also amazing for woodland and industrial archaeology. It has a variety of ecologies; from sandy heath to damp boggy marsh, in which it provides a changing display of flora in the verges.

If you've ever visited the rainforest waterfall located in the Eden Project but you're after a waterfall which is something of Cornwall's own historical landscape, then Luxulyan Valley Waterfall is the one to visit!

Places to stay near Luxulyan Valley Waterfall

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known waterfalls which are scattered around Cornwall. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Cornwall trip even more memorable!

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