Circular Walk: Along the Vale of Lanherne to St Mawgan Village and Back
If you ever decide you’ve had your fill of sea views and coastal walks, if you crave country views, green fields and sun-dappled shaded lanes, then try this easy two mile walk along the Vale of Lanherne to the picturesque village of St Mawgan.
From Bedruthan Steps Hotel, head down to Mawgan Porth beach and then turn inland. Follow the path marked with the National Trust mark along the Vale of Lanherne. After a mile you will need to carry along the lane for a short while, and then after rejoining the path you will shortly be walking alongside the River Menalhyl. After another mile you reach St Mawgan Village.
Here you’ll find the pretty parish church and the Convent of Lanherne, both of which are well worth a visit.
There’s a post office and village shop with an adjoining tea room serving homemade food including the obligatory Cornish cream tea. There’s an ancient ford here, too, long supplanted by an old stone bridge. The Falcon Inn is just a stone’s throw away and is a good place to stop for lunch.
Whilst in St. Mawgan you may like to visit the Japanese Garden and Bonsai nursery. This tranquil garden is set in one and a half acres, and has a beautiful water garden stocked with koi carp and other exotic fish. A pleasant woodland walk takes you through the Zen garden and bamboo grove and culminates in the Bonsai nursery. Complete your visit to St. Mawgan by going over the bridge from the Japanese Garden to the local craft shop, which has a plethora of original hand made object d’art for you to peruse.
The classic English village was chosen by the BBC as the location for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. In the Middle Ages the church was often referred to as the ‘church of Lanherne’, the name of the adjacent manor. Lanherne is the Vale of Lanherne, centred on St Mawgan-in-Pydar. The Arundells of Lanherne owned most of the country around here in the period 13-17th centuries. In the 17th century they moved off to Wardour Castle in Wiltshire. Set in the Vale of Lanherne, the church is the jewel of the beautiful Cornish village of St.Mawgan, with its cricket ground, ancient inn, ford and convent. The church, endowed by the Arundells of Lanherne who lived here from the 13th to 18th centuries, dates from the 13th century. The 14th century tower is unusually placed at the south transept: the upper part was added by the Arundells in 1433 at a cost of 10 pounds. The belfry houses a ring of eight bells, the oldest of which was cast between 1378 and 1407. Within the church are many beautiful items of interest, including the carved pulpit of 1553, 42 bench ends and a rood screen from the 15th century, many fine 16th century Arundell brasses, and an elaborate 15th century Pentewan stone font. The peaceful sloping churchyard contains many gems – look for the Lantern Cross (ca.1420) and the stern of a rowing boat – a memorial to ten men who drifted ashore, frozen to death in 1846.