Messing about on the river…

Sun shining, birds singing and blue water beckoning. We drove down to Helford Passage and took a short ferry ride across to Helford Village. DSCF1482

Small boats and buoys float on the Helford River.



A narrow lane lined with hedgerows of a ghostly white mist (the delicate blossom of the blackthorn) leads from the ferry point into the village. Finches flit from one side of the lane to the other, others sing merrily in the bushes and all the while the warmth of the sun intensifies the coconut fragrance of the deep yellow gorse flowers.


A pretty white-washed, thatched cottages, cute welcoming pub, type of Cornish village greets you, with even a General Stores! If only all Cornwall’s villages were this pretty.


Walking around the village only takes a few minutes – it isn’t big. But you can stroll through woodland, at this time of year delightfully sunny, wild primroses, violets, wild angelica and early ransomes with their light garlic fragrance, line the banks. Periwinkle in shades from white through palest lavender to deepest purple clamber over the dry stone walls, and red and white campion, yellow celandine and the common daisy are raising their heads to the sun.

Best wear good walking boots…

A circular walk takes you to Kestle Barton which has a cultural centre (closed on a Monday) and on towards Frenchman’s Creek. Now anyone who is a fan of Daphne du Maurier will have heard of this place and I had to have a closer look, despite it involving  a steep walk down (and naturally back up) a rather steep track.

Finding the creek though was magic. Especially as there were several white egrets feeding there. Of course as soon as I appeared with camera in hand, they flew away. But I enjoyed a short walk alongside the water with its tantalisingly flashes of blue and green appearing to me between the trees. I could have continued around the headland back to Helford, but as I had left the OH on a particularly lovely granite bench at the top of the track I had to head back the way I had come.

Returning to the village on a higher level

Back to the other side of the river we spent a pleasant hour or two at the Ferryboat Inn, supping ginger beer with ice and lime slices and watching hardy children play in the water and the fog rolling in from the south. An agreeable way to spend the afternoon.

DSCF1675If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in. And I am sure she will forgive me using a boat on part of this walk as I know Jo is extremely partial to boats and water 🙂


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I now live back in the UK, but spent several years travelling the world and then living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

72 thoughts on “Messing about on the river…”

  1. Frenchman’s Creek looks idyllic. Despite many visits to Cornwall, I never got there.
    In that weather, it could be somewhere other than England.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  2. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

    Shall we take Ratty and Mole with us next time? This place looks gorgeous in all that sunshine. 🙂

  3. Ohhh, Jude! These are awesome little nests you’ve captured here! My personal favourite is the steps with a gate pic. But, I do have a question….the pic right above the mermaid pic (Shipwrights Arms), there is a little white house/building that has an opening like where a garage door might go, but there is no door. Since this is on the water, am I to assume they keep a boat in there, or is there some other purpose?

  4. Oh what nostalgia that was for me. As children we stayed at the Ferryboat Inn – we were those hardy children. I was captivated with Frenchman’s Creek – it was the first Daphne du Maurier I ever read. Your pics are stunning, Jude. What a wonderful time of year to go, and how fortunate the weather!

    1. Oh, the wildflowers were just so beautiful Sue. I have never seen so many as there are this year. The hedgerows are bursting with colour – I find it hard to walk by without stopping for another photo!

      1. I love the description of it Jude! I am sitting outside on my deck having a coffee after a little walk. No green here yet but it is warm, well relatively. 🙂

        1. I know what you mean! This was just a very small boat – the red one in the header picture and the river was very calm (plus it was only a 5 min crossing) even I can manage that sort of trip on water 😀

  5. As Sue said, this looks like a storybook village and a pretty place to visit and explore … but my favourite picture is the seagull sitting on the pink float. He just looks rather smug sitting there 🙂

    1. ALL seagulls look smug! Especially when pinching your chips 😉

      Helford Village is a picture-book place. Goodness knows how much property costs there! And you’d probably need to have a boat.

    1. I swear they watch me and as soon as my finger reaches for the button – whoosh – off they go! Birds, bees, butterflies! Although yesterday a sweet robin practically posed for me, staring directly at the camera and showing me both sides as if to say “is this better?”

  6. This is a beauty, Jude – or have I said that before? So diverse – and includes benches (at least a mention), afloat and a Jo’s walk. As an odd coincidence I downloaded “Frenchman’s Creek” for holiday reading, influenced by Roger Deakin’s mention of it in “Waterlog”. Haven’t started it though: too busy holidaying! Good to see your photos.

    1. It has been years since I read Frenchman’s Creek. I was an avid du Maurier reader as a young teenager. I shall look in the library on my return, might be nice to read some of them again.

  7. Pure magic in your photos. What a rewarding outing. I read about it in “Waterlog” last year, (highly recommend by Laurence Mitchell), thanks for sharing this! Selma is now eagerly putting it on out must see list, quite high up. 🙂

      1. We had a canoe in the States, one of those aluminium ones, and we often used to go out in it exploring. Great fun. We also did a bit of kayaking in Franch last year too. You should try it if you get the opportunity, it’s really easy. Just make sure to wear a life jacket at all times!!!
        Jude, I’ll be catching up here slowly after recent events and only just getting back on track with a major catch up (my brother was taken suddenly very ill but is slowly recovering thank goodness) and just wanted you to know why I’ve been MIA xx

        1. Sorry to hear that Sherri – hope things continue to improve for him, it’s such a shock when things happen suddenly. Take your time… I’m not going anywhere, yet!

  8. There are a couple of heart stopping photos on here, Jude! That shot of the creek, and the lovely old boathouse are among my favourites. Thank you for thinking of me. I’m impressed that you are managing to go on blogging while you’re down there. 🙂 And you’ve done ok with the weather! Happy hols!

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