All You Need to Know About the Fal River Autumn Festival

October 12th, 2017

Autumn is a spectacular time of year to visit Cornwall, especially around the Fal River. The woodland turns from green to gold, and the bustling summer atmosphere comes to an end. The Fal River Autumn Festival provides the perfect opportunity for visitors and locals to get out and enjoy the area in all its glory this season. The festival takes place from Thursday 19 October to Sunday 29 October.

The focus of the festival is walking, and there are several to try out; from modest strolls and child-friendly rambles to full day walks and ambitious challenges. You can even try some self-guided strolls or join in a guided walk, letting someone else lead the way and provide information about the place around you. The walks around Fal River incorporate everything the area has to offer, historical points of interest, breath-taking coastal paths and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Be sure to have sturdy walking boots, waterproof and warm clothing with you if you head out on a walk in the area.

These are some of the events taking place during the festival:

Lou Tonkin autumn exhibition, 19 October- 30 November

Take a trip on the King Harry Ferry to admire the work of Lou Tonkin. Lou is a local artist and printmaker based at Penryn. She studied illustration at Falmouth, then travelled a lot, and her work shows her interest in nature and hedgerows in particular. The exhibition of her work will be on the ferry itself!

Magic in Motion, 21-29 October

At the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, there are plenty of exhibitions to check out. During the half-term week, they are putting on a special exhibition and family-friendly workshops. There is a chance to get crafty and creative, making an animation reel or shadow puppet show, zoetrope or even your own kaleidoscope.

National Trust Trelissick Gardens

The National Trust Trelissick Gardens has views over the estuary of the Fal River and is hosting several of the autumn festival’s events. There is a chance to learn more about Nordic Walking on 20 October from 10.30-11.30am, a Halloween-themed trail where you have to find clues on various paths in the garden, which will be taking place every day from 21-29 October and a park run on the 21 October starting at 9 am. Several events will be required to book in advance.

Beach Cleaning, 22 October

Part of the festival will give people the chance to learn more about the world around them and discover how important the natural world is, and also a chance to make it better. Beach cleaning takes place at Glendurgan Garden that looks over Helford River, and all you need is enthusiasm. Bags and litter pickers are provided, and it will end with a hot drink at the Fish Cellar in Durgan village.

Sketchy Walkabout in Penryn, 24 October

Take part in a walkabout of Penryn led by local artist Elizabeth Perry, where you can take a look at the variety of creative businesses in the town. Bring along a sketchbook, pens and pencils (or buy them as you set off) and be creative yourself with speed drawing and sketching.

Open Water Swimming, 27 October

There are plenty of great swimming location surrounding the Fal River and the rest of Cornwall, so why not take the plunge yourself? Head to St Mawes and have an open water taster session. The sessions are at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm, it is £4 per swimmer and age 14+. Booking is essential, and participants need to be good swimmers and have a wetsuit and goggles.

In addition to these events, there are of course the many walks taking place each day of the festival. Many are free to join, but guided tours may need booking in advance. Visit to find out more about what there is to do and how to take part.

After a day of activities at Fal River Autumn Festival, you will be very happy to come back to our five-star cottages in Cornwall, tuck into a delicious meal at Cafe Azur or flop straight into bed!

Image credit: Colin21958