Explore the sleepy Helford village and today you will find a drowsy backwater, lazily reflected in the near still waters of the river. It wasn’t always so however, once it was a thriving port. The port was home to smugglers, fishermen and tin traders and important enough to have a customs post on the harbour.
As always the ticking of time changed its history forever. The formation of the Loe bar made Gweek a more attractive port. Finally, the collapse of the tin trade led the miners to leave, for the new mining areas in Australia.
Daphne Du Maurier
Helford was the romantic spot chosen by Daphne Du Maurier for her honeymoon and it was later to inspire her novel “Frenchman’s Creek.” In the introduction she wrote lyrically about Helford…
There were a few cottages in Helford hamlet, but they made no impression upon the river life itself, which belongd to the birds – curlew and redshank, guillemot and puffin…..
So the winding river remained unvisited, the woods and the hills untrodden, and all the drowsy beauty of midsummer that gives Helford river a strange enchantmetns was never seen and never known.
Daphne du Maurier Frenchman’s Creek
Our visit to the Helford Village
As we arrived at Helford the sheen of Blue sky and sea, glittered through the Pine trees below the car Park. The just glimpsed yachts below on the estuary promised a richly inspired day, even to a committed land-lubber like me!
Our friends had invited us out to lunch and led the way down to The Holy Mackerel – an exquisitely converted church. Here we spent an intense hour devouring sharing fish platters, as befits a modest café with a Good Food Guide accolade.
Finally after every scrap had been consumed and every plate carefully mopped, we launched ourselves for a restorative walk to explore the Helford Village. “Oh Mea Culpa” we have eaten too much and it was delicious!
A short walk down to Helford Village
A short walk along the lane brought us to one of the most picturesque villages (there I said the over used “P” word but nothing else quite covered it!) that I have ever seen. Hollywood would have dreamt of such a village I’m sure. It felt almost dream like to cross the river and watch cottages in the changing reflections in the water.
A small boat drifted steadily up the stream towards us then It quietly slipped passed us. Just as the smugglers of the past may have stealthily plied the tangled inlets that surround the Helford.
The autumn light was so beautiful, as it gently threw the cottages and landscape into dramatic relief!
Where to Eat in Helford
The Holy Mackeral
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch with friends in the Good Food Guide rated, Holy Mackerel. The building was sympathetically, converted from a chapel. The eclectic interior is an entertainment in itself with chalky powder blue finishes and objects trouvé to vie for your attention.
Contact (No website) 6JX, S W Coast Path, Helston
An idyllic thatched pub,terraced down to water with a handy pontoon for thirsty visiting yatchsmen.
Website: – http://www.shipwrightshelford.co.uk/
Explore the Helford area and Gardens
Ferry from Helford
What better way to explore a trio of Cornwall’s much loved Sub tropical gardens than to take a ferry across to Trebah, Glendurgan or Trelissick.
N.B this is a gratuitous boat picture – the real deal is bigger but raise yellow paddle to summuns!
Helford Gardens Ferry- Helford to Trebah – Glendurgan (Foot Passenger):
1st April to October 31st. This service runs continuously from 10:30 to 4:30 during the season. At half past the hour the ferry visits Trebah and Durgan at twenty to the hour. Operated by Helford River Boats.
Tel: 01326 250770, Web: www.helford-river-boats.co.uk
Walking from Helford
Sadly for us time was too short but this is a great area to explore on foot. Try this walk up through the woods from Helford to Frenchman’s Creek
Find The Helford Village
- Take the A394 to Helston
- A3083 Continue to The Lizard
- Pass the Prince of Wales pub
- Turn up Greenhill
- Take two left and two right turns to Orchard lane