Truro to St. Clement to Malpas circular walk, taking in Truro’s spectacular river, our secret hamlet of St. Clement and snaking along the Tresillian River, this 5 to 5½ mile walk will get your heart pumping at the start but then reward you with some of the best bird watching spots around, keep your eyes peeled for Curlews, Herons, Kingfishers, Egrets and of course our Canadian Geese.
Starting from Lemon Quay Piazza, armed with flint and steel, and marshmallows for our en-route bushcraft lesson, we head along Morlaix Avenue to our famous ‘Hedgehog Roundabout’ and start the climb up St. Clement’s Hill, if you have time, head into Truro Cemetery for some of the best views across the City.
Reaching the brow of the hill we turn up the pretty lane on our right, signposted St. Clement Village. This stretch of road seems to go on forever but with its high hedges peppered with beautiful wildflowers including Campions, Primroses and Periwinkles, there is plenty to admire along the way. As we start our descent into the village, we are greeted with stunning views of St. Clement Parish Church, which apparently has vicar’s records dating back to 1265 and interestingly, has windows that are painted rather than stained! Below the Church we find the Old Vicarage, now converted into Tearooms, an unexpected surprise in such a secluded location.
As we head along the permissive path leading out from the small car park at the bottom of the hill, we look out for St. Clement Holy Well, only a few paces off the track but hiding itself easily amongst the trees. Moving along the gentle track known as Denas Road, we traverse over the first of many wooden stiles along this route and with the tide out just enough, we decide to make use of the shingle beaches left behind for our first rest stop.
Tasking the boys to find some dry twigs and bracken, we set about building our marshmallow roaster! With only flint and steel to spark our fire, enthusiasm began to dwindle after 20 minutes of continued effort from the boys to produce any ignition and me, being the earth mother, forest school teacher, Bear Grylls wannabe, with misplaced confidence had decided against bringing a backup fire lighting device! Not to be beaten, I decided to take over, growling in my best cave woman roar ‘I will make fire!!’, and, after a few attempts, what’s that, a spark, some smoke … ‘quick, blow on it!’ … ‘don’t smother it!’ … ‘stop blowing on it!’ … ‘we’ve done it!’. Marshmallows at the ready we cheered as the flames began to grow and we devoured our charcoal clad sugary treats!
After ensuring that our campfire was well and truly extinguished, we continue on our way, watching our footing to avoid the tree roots that shared the path. As we reach a right hand bend we spot an old and well-loved rope swing overhanging the dropping tide, high on sugar I figured it best to use this opportunity for the boys to burn it off, while I enjoy some of the views up and down the estuary. Moving on again, over another stile we enter a lush green meadow, steeply rising up to our right. On the turn of a heel the boys are off up the hill, ready to charge back down as fast as their little legs will carry them, in the meantime I’ve got my phone out ready to call the emergency services.
Thankfully avoiding any calamities, we head on into the woods, full of towering Pines, Oaks and Conifers these woods have a peaceful but eery atmosphere about them. We carefully pick our way down some 20 or 30 steps, through an iron kissing gate and cross a wonderful clapper bridge joining the two sides of the valley separated by a stream. We amble up the other side of the valley and as the trees thin and the light dapples around us we take turns through the final kissing gate, onto tarmac and back into civilisation having reached Bar Meadows.
We make our way to The Heron Inn to share some well earnt doorstep sandwiches and refreshments, enjoying stunning views across the creek whilst resting our weary feet, this being the convergence of three of the Fal’s waterways - the Tresillian River, the Truro River (leading to the city) and the Truro River (leading to the Fal and Carrick Roads). Once refuelled, we stroll through Malpas Village, (originally Mopus Passage in early 1800) admiring the fisherman’s cottages that line our way.
Heading down to Sunny Corner we are greeted with a blanket of colour as the beautifully kept flower beds are the perfect surrounding for a quiet place to sit and reflect. Needless to say, spurred on by the promise of ice-cream at Boscawen Park there was no quiet sitting or reflecting from the Wildthings, on we trot, keeping to the river path that circumferences the cricket and football pitches. With cones purchased and feet throbbing we make for home, following the river down Malpas Road watching the abundance of wild birds feeding on the mudflats along the way.