Explore the Fabulous Frenchman’s Creek
Frenchman’s Creek is a remote and enchanting creek lying on the southern shore of the Helford River, close to bustling Falmouth. It is one of seven inlets along the Helford River. It was made famous by Daphne Du Maurier’s novel of the same name.
The area is still as pristine and unspoilt as it was centuries ago. At one time it was a busy trading port, although this is hard to imagine when standing in its serene surroundings. This famous spot is owned by the National Trust, and they only permit small boats to enter the creek.
It is a haven for walkers and provides great coastal, creek and ancient woodland walks along its long shoreline. The walks may be challenging for some, as there are steps up and down through the woodland. Also located along this coastal stretch are beautiful Glendurgan Gardens and Trebah Gardens that are well worth a visit.
Being a nature reserve, it is a superb place for viewing wildlife, hiking, boating, and bird watching. In the spring and summer, the flowers in the woodlands are simply lovely. Carpets of wild garlic also cover the woodland floor in the spring.
Walks can be enjoyed here all year round. Although, in the wet weather or wintertime, it can get very muddy, so walking boots or wellies are a practical choice.
It is also a good idea to check the tide times before you visit. At low tide the water pretty much disappears, and you will be potentially just looking at mud.
Along this scenic river you will come across idyllic villages with great pubs serving delicious food as well as local residents who are happy to stop and chat. Or take a picnic and enjoy the solitude and natural beauty of the area.
The decaying boat in a tiny cove at the mouth of the creek has been moored there for more than 100 years. It is now partially obscured by trees and is rusting away. The ‘Iron Duke’ has remained here since it was sailed there by London-born artist Percy ‘Powder’ Thurbur and his wife in 1920. It was here they decided they wanted to live and went about constructing a wooden shack in the land above where they lived until he died in 1961.
The creek can also be explored by small boat, kayak or paddle board, they are great modes to enjoy this beautiful creek and its calm waters. High tide is best to time to explore these waters, as they take on the appearance of a rain forest.
You can take a kayak tour of Frenchman’s Creek and find all about the area. Discover old shipwrecks and stop at secluded beaches where you can swim during the summer months. Groups range in size and no experience is necessary.
Helford River Cruises also offer a 90 minute cruise along the Helford River taking in Frenchman’s Creek, along with villages and other creeks along the way.
Frenchman’s Creek is very beautiful, atmospheric with excellent far-reaching views up the river towards Gweek.