Once the lifelines of the county
Camel De Lank Fal Fowey Hayle Helford
Inny Lynher Ottery Seaton Tamar
Cornwall has some fine and interesting rivers most of which flow through farm and woodland, past mills, over huge boulders and under ancient stone bridges, but all end in beautiful estuaries.
Starting with its source on the northern edge of Bodmin Moor, the Camel turns south and flows under several bridges, Slaughterbridge, Gam and Helland to name a few on its way down the western edge of the moor from Camelford, to near Bodmin at Nanstallon, having been joined by the De Lank. From here, after a change of direction to north-east, the river makes its way to Wadebridge, where it is crossed by a long 17 arched bridge. Now a wide tidal estuary, followed by the former railway which is now used as the Camel Trail and flanked by sand dunes, it weaves its way past Rock and Padstow joined by a ferry then on past Polzeath, and between Pentire and Stepper points, before crossing the infamous Doom bar into the Atlantic ocean.
The De Lank River features some of the most pristine habitats in Cornwall with outstanding water quality and a wealth of wildlife. A walk along the De Lank River still reveals many remains of old tin mining streamworks. These can be found along much of its moorland stretches which were originally worked for tin lodes contained in its bed, banks and silts. The source of the De Lank is high up on the northern slopes of Brown Willy not far from the source of the River Fowey which runs off its southern side. Passing by the quarries of Hantergantick, the river drops steeply off the moor passing the hamlet of Bradford before joining the River Camel near to Penpont, about 10 miles from its source. Many rare species of plant and animal life are found in and around the River including Otters and Kingfishers.
With its source in the heart of Cornwall, near Indian Queens, the Fal as a small stream flows south past the villages of St. Stephens, Grampound and Tregony, to which point it used to be navigable many years ago. Then on through some woods before opening out into a tidal estuary near Ruan Lanihorne. Now meandering around below the estates near St. Michael Penkevil where it is joined by the river coming down from Truro, soon after which it is crossed by the King Harry ferry, and then past the gardens at Trelissick. Here the river Fal joins into Carrick Roads before passing Falmouth and St. Mawes on its way out into the English channel at the tip of the Roseland Peninsula.
With its source high on the wilds of Bodmin Moor near the famous Jamaica Inn, the Fowey flows south under the A30 at Palmers bridge and then across the moor, down through the Fowey valley, joined by the water from Siblyback Reservoir, eventually dropping down over the boulders in the woods at Golitha falls. The river then turns west and runs along the wooded Glynn valley, soon joined by another moorland stream, the St. Neot. Near Bodmin the river makes another turn, this time to the south, past the great estate of Lanhydrock, under Respryn bridge, and then down to Lostwithiel, overlooked by Restormel Castle. Here the river is crossed by a 700 year old bridge, the lowest bridge on the river. From here down it becomes more of a tidal estuary, joined by a river that starts on the Boconnoc estate and flows down through Lerryn, and then on past the sleepy village of Golant before passing Boddinnick, Fowey and Polruan with their ferrys, and finally out into the English Channel.
The River Hayle is approx 12 miles long and its source is south-west of Crowan, near Helston. It runs west for approx 5 miles (which brings the river to within 3 miles of the south coast at Marazion). It then flows through a steep wooded valley north of the granite high ground at Trescowe Common, formerly a mining area, before turning abruptly north near the hamlet of Relubbus. It then follows a northerly course for the remaining 6 miles, passing St. Erth and the salt marsh of Lelant before reaching the Atlantic ocean at Hayle harbour.
Rising a couple of miles north of Gweek near Helston as a tiny stream between the fields, the Helford becomes a quiet tidal creek from here down, almost making an island of the Lizard Peninsula. Gweek used to be a working shipyard, but is now well known for the seal sanctuary. It continues on down through a flooded, wooded valley, past Trelowarren and joined by several other smaller creeks, amongst them Frenchmans creek made famous by Daphne du Maurier, and the Duchy Oyster Farm on the creek near Port Navas. Then on past Helford village on the right bank joined by a ferry to Helford Passage on the other bank. Opening out into a wide estuary with Glendurgan and Trebah gardens on the left and the tiny St. Antony church on Dennis Head nestling in a headland on the right where it finally meets the sea, south of Falmouth.
Another 20 mile long river that drains the northern part of Bodmin Moor near Davidstow. Flowing quietly down the valley past St. Clether, Laneast and Trewen before it passes under the A30 at Polyphant. Continuing on in a south-easterly direction eventually reaching Wooda Bridge on the Callington to Launceston Road. Then passing Bealsmill and dropping through some woods it joins the River Tamar.
Starting high on Bodmin Moor, near Altarnun and about 21 miles long, the Lynher tumbling over boulders, follows the eastern edge of the moors passing Trebartha, North Hill, Berriowbridge, Bathpool and Rilla Mill. Then crossing gentler country, and passing under Newbridge near Callington, where it is overlooked by the Iron age fort of Cadsonbury. Then ever onwards, down past Clapper bridge and Pillaton to Notter bridge, near Landrake where the A38 crosses over. From here down the river becomes tidal and is soon joined by the river Tiddy near St. Germans. Now much wider and slower, it passes Sheviock and Antony with its country house and woodland garden, and then Ince Castle Gardens, before it runs into the River Tamar near Torpoint.
A small river in north-east Cornwall which is approximately 20 miles long. Starting from its source south-east of Otterham it passes the villages of Canworthy Water and Yeolmbridge before its confluence with the River Tamar at Nether Bridge, 2 miles north-east of Launceston. The River Ottery system was severely affected by flooding in north Cornwall on 16th August 2004 when up to eight inches of rain fell during a single afternoon.
The Seaton is a small lively river about 10 miles in length, starting on the lower slopes of Bodmin Moor near Crows Nest and flowing down past Merrymeet, Menheniot and Hessenford, before reaching the sea at Seaton.
A grand river that forms almost the entire 50 mile border between Devon and Cornwall except for a few miles from its source to the north coast cliffs. The river winds its way from east of Morwenstow near Bude in the north, through Tamar Lake, down through Bridgerule, past North Tamerton and Boyton, before it is joined by the River Ottery at Nether Bridge, and soon after by the River Kensey. Then on past Launceston, with its hill-top castle, through wide water meadows, under the 15th century Greystone bridge, and between high cliffs, through woods where it is joined by the River Inny. Passing under Horsebridge on its way to towards the village of Gunnislake, with it seven arched bridge which was the original main route into Cornwall, and where it becomes tidal. Then continuing on down past the port of Morwellham on the Devon side, with its water-wheels and mine, round a large loop and under the grand viaduct at Calstock. The river becomes wider and slower from here, past the lush little market gardens, and Cotehele House on the Cornish bank, on past the tiny Halton quay and overlooked by Pentillie Castle, and passing by the pretty little village of Cargreen. Soon after which, the river Tavy, rushing down from Dartmoor, joins forces with the Tamar, before flowing gracefully under Brunel's famous railway bridge at Saltash. An ancient highway crossed the estuary by means of a ferry until the building of the road bridge here in 1961. The River Lynher adds its waters here, then with Devonport Dockyard on one side and Torpoint on the other, the river Tamar finally flows out into Plymouth sound with Mount Edgcumbe watching from the Cornish side.
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