8 Best Family Friendly Woodland Walks in Cornwall

February 05th, 2024

While Cornwall might be more well-known for its beaches than its woods, there are still plenty of gorgeous green spaces to explore with the family. Whether it’s a refreshing autumn amble or a leisurely summer stroll, here are some of our favourite woodland walks suitable for everyone to enjoy.

Staying at our luxury holiday village in Cornwall? Many of these walks are just a short distance away from us, providing a memorable day out as you embark on your Cornish adventure!

The Best Woodland Walks in Cornwall

  • Tehidy Country Park
  • Idless Woods
  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan
  • Cardinham Woods
  • Trelissick
  • King’s Wood
  • Lanhydrock
  • Kilminorth Woods

1. Tehidy Country Park, Cambourne

The Tehidy Country Park covers 250 acres of woodland with 9 miles of paths, offering plenty of routes for all the family, including those with little legs!

The circular walk surrounding the lake is ideal for families. It’s flat, off-road and signposted, making for a relaxed adventure in the great outdoors. With an array of local flora and wildlife to spot, it’s an engaging but tranquil trail – perfect for wiling away an afternoon.

The estate has toilets, a cafe and picnic areas located by the South Drive car park.

Tehidy Country Park

Clearing in North Cliff Plantation, Tehidy Country Park by Rod Allday. CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Idless Woods, Truro

Just outside of Truro, you’ll find Idless Woods, a stretch of woodland spanning almost three miles. Along the various paths, you’ll find a diverse assortment of trees, many of which are great for climbing if the adventurers among you are keen for a challenge! It’s also a fantastic spot for dogs, as they’ll have endless fun running through trees, too.

Managed by Forestry England, the woods have a number of routes set up to follow, as well as seven orienteering courses established to test out your navigational skills. The forest trails offer some stunning scenes, especially when autumn turns everything gold.

days out with dog in Truro

3. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan

Heligan is a treasure trove for nature lovers, with a network of magical gardens, woodland and even a jungle. Within the 60 acres of woodland, you’ll find paths winding through the lost valley and ancient woodlands created for the Tremayne family 200 years ago.

As well as an impressive panorama of trees and plants, you’ll also come across Heligan’s iconic sculptures, charcoal kilns, ponds and charming wildflowers.

Heligan Play Meadows (Cornwall’s largest outdoor play area) is another must-visit spot along your trail, providing somewhere for you to sit and relax while the kids run wild.

Heligan woods and gardens

A figure in the gardens at Lost Gardens of Heligan by Northmetpit. CC BY-SA 3.0

4. Cardinham Woods, Bodmin

Hidden in a picturesque valley just outside of Bodmin, you’ll find Cardinham Woods. A stunning place to stretch your legs and enjoy a breath of fresh air, Cardinham incorporates four walking trails of different lengths and gradients to suit all abilities.

For families, the Lady Vale Walk is ideal as it’s a flat and well-marked track that takes you through majestic woodland and past bubbling streams. The Woods Cafe makes a fantastic place to stop for refreshments when you’ve had enough of walking. There is also a play area by the cafe.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Cardinham Woods has some brilliant cycling and mountain biking trails to get you enjoying the sights on two wheels.

Lady Vale Bridge, Cardinham Woods, Cornwall

Lady Vale Bridge, Cardinham Woods, Cornwall by Terry McKenna. CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Trelissick, Truro

Trelissick is an estate run by the National Trust, comprising an impressive house, gardens and woodland. The estate is on its own peninsula with views out onto the River Fal. The three-mile woodland walk follows the river, offering a peaceful stroll with unbeatable views of the surrounding areas.

While dogs are not permitted in the main gardens, they are free to roam the parkland and woodland. There is a cafe and tea room on hand when you’re ready for refreshments.

Trelissick House and garden

Trelissick House and garden by Sarah Smith. CC BY-SA 2.0

6. King’s Wood, St Austell

The King’s Wood walk takes you on a circular path running from St Austell to Pentewan. As part of the Pentewan Trail, large parts of the route here are flat and easily accessible. The leafy woodland and meandering streams are especially beautiful in spring and summer, paired with the rich variety of colourful flora.

If you make it down to Pentewan, you can swap woodland views for sandy shores and crystal waters as you enjoy the beach here – the perfect combination of Cornish natural beauty!

Best beach for families to visit in Cornwall

7. Lanhydrock, Bodmin

Another National Trust property, Lanhydrock is a Victorian country house complete with a garden and wooded estate that stands out as one of Cornwall’s crowning jewels. Along with majestic views of the house itself, there are almost 1,000 acres of parkland and woodland to explore.

The circular walk is a great adventure for all the family, taking you through ancient woodland and riverside paths to enjoy the abundance of natural beauty. The estate offers several stunning walks, including the Respryn ramble, garden explorer trail and Great Wood and Beech Avenue trail. Keen cyclists will also have fun on the woodland cycle trails.

Avenue of trees at Lanhydrock, Bodmin, Cornwall by Derek Voller. CC BY-SA 2.0

8. Kilminorth Woods, Looe

As one of the largest valley oaklands in Cornwall, Kilminorth Woods provides some stunning woodland sights. The walk includes a stroll along the riverside path before leading you up the valley and into the woods, depending on the route you take.

This area is a nature reserve, so there are plenty of chances to spot a diverse range of local wildlife – be on the lookout for kingfishers, herons and even Roe deer!

Kilminorth Wood

Path junction, Kilminorth Wood by Derek Harper. CC BY-SA 2.0

At The Valley, our holiday cottages are nestled in amongst their own woodland area, offering a few country walks right on your doorstep. And when you want to venture further afield, we make the ideal base for when you’re ready to return and put your feet up!

For more inspiration on days out with the family, check out our favourite picnic spots.

Best picnic spots in Cornwall