Downderry and Cornish Seaton

Downderry, Cornwall, UK
Downderry, Cornwall, UK
Downderry is a small Cornish fishing village and this is where we have decided to stay for this weeks adventure.

Our site is on a farm at the top of a very steep hill overlooking the village. Once settled in our spot, we dived straight in and walked down the hill to Downderry, looking for the beach. The walk to the beach is just under a mile from our site. Most of it was down a very steep little lane. According to a lovely old local man, whom we met on his way up. This road doesn’t get any traffic because there is a much better road in, used by locals. He was in the mood for a chat. As a result, filled us with lots of great information about best walks in the area. Some of which we were hoping to use whilst in the area.

It was a lovely afternoon. Most of our journey down the hill was filled with beautiful views across the valley to the sea. The tide was pretty must all the way in by the time we reached the beach. Despite that, there was enough beach for us to have a little wander with the dogs. Enjoying the feel of the sun and the wind on our faces. The weather has been amazingly mild for October and we’re trying to make the most of it while we can.

Downderry Beach, Cornwall, UK
Downderry Beach, Cornwall, UK

The beach is a bit of pebble at the top and sand further down when the tide is out. There is a lot of seaweed washed up on this beach. And we could see rocks in the waves. I suspect there will be some lovely rock pools to play in when the tide is all the way out.

Nik and I walked to the far left of the beach. Realising, that a lot of the houses overlooking the sea have had some extensive reinforcements erected below their gardens to combat erosion. We didn’t think it was an overly long walk. Getting back up to the top of the hill was quite a workout. We got back minutes before sunset. Quite surprised to find we’d been out for a good few hours.

While we were buying this weeks food, we found some roles of silver backed polystyrene and some wide draft excluders for windows and doors. So Nik spent the evening cutting and fitting them to windows and doors, in readiness for the colder weather. He also found all the vents that have no more purpose than letting cold air in and sealed them up. We are hoping that with the extra solar panels, bigger leisure batteries and heat proofing we won’t have to stay on sites with electric too often over winter. Of course with the tourist season at an end, it’s getting harder to find sites that don’t have electric.


The sun was out when we got up. Which was a welcome sight as the evening before had turned quite cold. For our days adventure, we walked back down to the beach. Turning right and walked along the beach to Seaton. This lovely little village has quite a fast flowing river running through it and down into the sea. The dogs had got quite warm and Oscar was enjoying playing in the river. So we stopped here for a rest and a little snack.

The river is quite deep and fast in places, hence, we were really surprised when Oscar decided he was going to wade through it. Up to his tummy, to the other side. Then the little monkey had a poo on the other side before coming back. Neither Nik or I were going to walk through the water, which was cold. Wet feet at the beginning of our day didn’t appeal. Therefore, we had to hurriedly put everything back in our kit bags and walk all the way around the river. Over a bridge and through a café (which has it’s seating along the walkway), to get to the area he went in. To we could pick it up.

What we didn’t realise until much later in our walk was that in the rush, Nik had dropped the dogs water bowl. This bowl is one that folds in on its self, making it very easy to carry. We’d bought it before you could get cheaper ‘knock offs’, therefore, we didn’t want to loose it.

Seaton Beach, Cornwall, UK
Seaton Beach, Cornwall, UK

After retrieving Oscar’s mess we made our way to Seaton Valley Countryside Park and Local Nature Reserve. Here are a series of trails through countryside and woodland in various directions. One of which follows the river to Hessenford along what is called an otter trail.

We got half way around one of these trails before topping to give the dogs a drink. It was at this point we realised we’d lost the bowl. Walking back along this trail quite fast was more tiring than I was expecting. We did eventually, find the bowl on the beach so we were happy.

Once the bowl was retrieved we realised that we wouldn’t be able to walk to the end of the trail. Not unless we intended to find our way back to the site in the dark. The trail has the usual information boards in various places, with a map of trails. We had noticed that about a third of the way along the track it splits. With a trail leading through woodland in the direction of our site. Consequently, this is the route we took.

This trail was obviously going to go up hill being as our site was at the top of a hill. What we didn’t know was how steep the climb would be. It turned out not to be too steep at all. We had a lovely walk through autumn leaves with the occasional view across the valley down to the sea. The dogs were enjoying being in the cooler air and there was so much for them to sniff. It was a lovely way to finish our walk.

Walkway through Seaton Valley Countryside park, Seaton, Cornwall, UK
Walkway through Seaton Valley Countryside park, Seaton, Cornwall, UK


After consulting the maps we came to the conclusion that walking the coastal path wasn’t going to produce too many pictures. It is October after all and although we’ve been very lucky so far, the sun was hiding behind the clouds. Therefore, we decided to follow the woodland path back down into Seaton Country Park into Hessenford. Hoping to find a circular route back to ‘daisy by the end of the day.

The path we followed is the Otter Nature trail. Which takes you through a woodland path following the River Seaton all the way into Hessenford. This is the most picturesque walk Nik and I have been on for a while. The pathway is part wooden walkway and part woodland track. This day, the river was quite deep in place and ran quite fast. Which meant the sound of water followed us for the whole walk. The moment the path was covered with orange and brown autumn leaves. Also, there are so many different types of fungus everywhere. Sadly we didn’t see any otters but we did see plenty of fish in the water. Kingfishers can be seen flitting along the banks of the river but sadly not today. We did, however, hear an abundance of birdsong all along the route. And were quite disappointed to arrive at Hessenford.

Armillaria fungi growing along a fallen tree, Cornwall, UK
Armillaria fungi growing along a fallen tree, Cornwall, UK

Hessenford is a very small village at the end of the Seaton Valley Countryside Park. There is a very pretty public house. The Copley Arms, which was recommended to us for food, we didn’t test it, though.

Copley Arms pub, Hessenford, Cornwall, UK
Copley Arms pub, Hessenford, Cornwall, UK

The main road runs through the village without many pavements. After stopping at the pub to take some photos we wandered up the hill to have a look at St. Anne’s Church. St. Anne’s was built in 1832 as a chapel of ease to serve the growing population of the village. Whilst at the church we found a footpath that leads into some woodland. Having spoken with a local dog walker we found that one of the paths leads back to the road we needed to get too. We had no idea how long this path was or how long it would take us to get back. So we decided to start our walk there and then.

We were walking through Bake Wood, which our friendly local had told us had many lovely paths to follow. The path that we had to follow was full of the sights, smells and sounds of autumn. We thoroughly enjoyed our walk. The light was quite dim here though so Nik didn’t get any photos. When we eventually came out the other side we had to start walking along a country lane. And we were all starting to feel a little tired. Therefore last part of our walk dragged a little. Especially as we were walking along a road for a good 2 miles. I always find pavement pounding to be the least enjoyable part of any walk.

We all arrived back at our site shattered but content from a lovely day exploring.

For more about Cornwall click HERE

9 thoughts on “Downderry and Cornish Seaton

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