Golitha Falls

The beautiful Golitha Falls are literally just down the lane from Redgate, and are set in the lovely wooded valley of the River Fowey. 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. At Redgate, we are very lucky to have this peaceful and mysterious place so close to us. (See also our main website at Redgate Smithy B&B).

Entrance to Golitha Falls
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.

Along the beach avenue at Golitha Falls
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.

At the top of Golitha Falls
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.

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

Looking down 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.

Old wheel pit at Golitha Falls
One of the old wheel pits associated with the old Wheal Victoria Copper Mine

The lower falls at Golitha
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 and enchanted pools
Looking down towards more enchanted pools

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!

Fisherman at Golitha Falls
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.

Winter evening at Golitha Falls
A Winter's evening

Above the Falls on the hill, 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 and the bluebells
Bluebells in the Spring in Golitha Woods

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 - the Old Man of the Woods
The Old Man of the Woods
See the old mine workings on the Wheal Victoria Copper Mine PhotoFile page.

Back to the PhotoFile Cornwall St.Cleer & Local Area.
Back to the PhotoFile Cornwall


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