A walk from the 15th century church of St Gwendron in Cornwall’s largest parish to St Michael’s in the heart of Helston.
If you would like to walk the same route as Dom and Ben, you can follow the directions below:
From the church, turn right onto the main road and right again in a few yards onto the right of way that heads down a track between the churchyard and Salena Cottage, then turn right again, following the churchyard boundary wall to a stile that leads into a small field. Keep to the left-hand edge of this first field to a stile that then leads into another field. Again, keep to the left-hand edge of the field as it descends into the valley. At the bottom of the field a small gateway leads to a footpath lined by small trees which winds down to the valley bottom, crosses the river Cober and then heads uphill for a short distance until a junction is reached. Here, turn left onto a bridleway. Keep on the bridleway for half a mile or so down the valley. It will eventually become a small tarmac lane leading to the hamlet of Boscadjack. At a T-junction, head straight on down the lane for a few hundred yards to Coverack Bridges. At the junction, turn right, heading uphill for a hundred yards or so until a signposted bridleway comes into view on the left. Follow this down, past Trannack Quarry. Beyond the quarry is a large property, which should be passed on its upper side, although it is possible to pass on the lower side also. From here, the way descends gently through a wooded area until a small railway arch is reached, marking the line of the old Helston branch line. Pass under the arch and keep descending the track until it becomes a tarmac lane, leading all the way to the village of Lowertown itself. In the valley bottom, bear right onto a track that leads to the stepping stones over the Cober. From here follow the river all the way to Helston. On Mill Lane, shortly before reaching Cross Street, a set of steps leads steeply uphill, emerging onto Church Lane. From here the way into St Michael’s Churchyard is obvious.
A short section of the old Helston branch railway line has in recent years been reopened and in normal times operates as a tourist attraction in the summer months. Services are currently suspended, but for more details and for an in-depth history of the line, visit the website of the Helston Railway Preservation Society: www.helstonrailway.co.uk