PhotoFile Cornwall Logo PhotoFile Cornwall Banner

Connect with us, Like us and Follow us on Facebook!

PhotoFile Cornwall supports CoaST and Sustainable Tourism

Golitha Falls

Photographs taken 2004 to 2011

The beautiful Golitha Falls are just down the lane from Redgate and across the Draynes Bridge, and are set in the lovely wooded valley of the River Fowey. They are a peaceful and mysterious place; there is history here, and legend... a King of Cornwall died here. In amongst the lichen covered trees you can also find all that now remains of what was a nineteenth century industrial mining complex - the old Wheal Victoria Copper Mine, and its various wheel-pits, shafts and adits.

Golitha Sign
At the entrance to Golitha Falls nature reserve

To get to the Falls, which are part of a National Nature Reserve, it is a very short walk down the lane from Redgate, and then left over Draynes Bridge. Alternatively, there is a large car park opposite the reserve for those driving from further afield. The reserve is just over the bridge in the old Draynes Wood, and there is a bi-lingual (Cornish) welcome plaque near the entrance, giving details of walks, and the wildlife to be seen.

Draynes Bridge
Looking back at Draynes Bridge, built in 1876, just above the old ford

The path then continues into the reserve, down an old planted beech avenue, now looking a little more knarled than perhaps it was in its heyday! The path is well made here and easy walking, including disabled access, although the paths get a little rougher further on.

Golitha Path
The path further along the beech avenue

The path eventually leads down into the wooded gorge, with many ways to climb around and explore, or if you wish, you can follow the way-marked paths. In fine weather, access for disabled and wheelchair users continues for a little further, to gain views down onto the river and the upper falls.

Golitha towards Bend
Looking back up towards the bend in the river where it enters the gorge

As you find your way further down the river, the lichen covered trees close in, disguising all that has gone on here before, and hiding all that is left of the old copper mine. After wet days on the moor, the River Fowey swells its flow, and the Falls further down its course become very full; and the noise and the visual effect of sitting next to them can become quite entrancing. After a lot of rain, the roaring of the Falls can clearly be heard in our garden.

Golitha looking down Upper Falls
Looking down the start of the upper falls

Golitha Falls
View down the Upper Falls

By the side of the upper falls you will find the old wheel pits of the old Wheal Victoria copper mine, and further down by the lower Falls, near where King Doniert supposedly met his doom, you will also find hidden away at the water's edge an old mine adit that is now only home to bats.

Golitha Falls Wheel Pit
One of the old wheel pits associated with the old Wheal Victoria Copper Mine

Golitha Lower Falls
Part of the Lower Falls

Beyond the lower Falls, there is even more to explore for the adventurous; where there are further wooded and steep valley sides, that come down either side of more enchanted pools and waterfalls.

Golitha Falls towards Pool
Looking down towards more enchanted pools

Golitha Falls Beach
"The Beach" at the bottom of Golitha Falls, just above the Lower Falls

The Falls are also good for fishing (with a licence!), and the adventurous can find some good spots, and know where the fish will be. Even without a rod, looking carefully, you may be surprised what you see!

golitha Falls Fisherman
Fishing the falls ~ a keen fisherman on the opposite bank

During the winter, the falls still have a special magic of their own, and all through the seasons you can see the changes as the year renews itself, and the valley brings forth its greenery once again.

Golitha Falls Winter Evening
A Winter's evening

Above the Falls on the hill, in Golitha Woods (or more correctly, Draynes Woods) and on the higher wooded slopes where the shafts of the mine can be found, the bluebells in Spring-time create a carpet of blue among the trees.

Golitha Woods Path
The path at the top of Golitha Woods (Draynes Woods)

Golitha Woods Bluebells
Sunlight on the Bluebells in the Spring in Golitha Woods

Golitha Woods Bluebells
More Bluebells!

And if that's not all, hidden in the depths of the woods by the river, if you search carefully in the right light with the moon full, you may just catch a glimpse of old Golitha, the mysterious Old Man of the Woods...

Golitha Old Man in the Woods
The Old Man of the Woods

Golitha Painting Gary Cedeira
A lovely painting of Golitha Falls by Gary Cedeira, in who's words:

"the painting is very large and weighs a lot due to the way in which I work... I add natural materials into my art from
the landscape so my Golitha painting has real blue bells in it as a signification of the time that I painted it".

 Spot the Bluebells! See Gary's Landscape Gallery for more of his work. Commissions are undertaken.

For more images of Golitha Falls, see:

Golitha Falls in January       Golitha Falls in the Snow       Golitha Falls Floods

For information and images of the old mine workings, see the Wheal Victoria Copper Mine page.

Back to the Top