As the name suggests, the Golitha Falls Nature Reserve (pronounced Gol-ee-tha) are a series of magnificent waterfalls, which boarder a section of the river Fowey. The waterfalls are situated through ancient oak woodland within Bodmin Moor and are a definite must-see during your break in Cornwall. Renowned for fast-flowing waterfalls, Golitha Falls is particularly beautiful after rainfall and dramatic craggy gorges reveal magical woodland glades. Are you thinking of conquering the Golitha Falls walk? Discover our guide filled with top tips to make the most out of your visit.
The Golitha Falls is a National Nature Reserve, managed by English Nature. It is part of Bodmin Moor, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) so it isn’t surprising that you’ll be greeted by the most beautiful flora and fauna. The nature reserve is also home to rare wildlife: horseshoe bats, brown-eared bat, noctule bat, otters, and dormice. The river is also home to a variety of fish including salmon and sea trout.
The Golitha Falls car park can be found at Draynes Wood (PL14 6RY). The nearest train station is at Liskeard, just a 15-minute drive away. There is also a place to safely lockup bikes. The Golitha Falls walk is free to the public, with the trail starting just across the road from the entrance to the car park. There are toilets located in the Golitha Falls parking area should you need to use them before embarking on your walk to the falls. It’s free to park, however Inkie’s Smokehouse do ask that you make a small purchase from them, or the shop next door, but more about that later.
Golitha Falls is particularly beautiful after rainfall.
The walk is only about a mile long, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you’ll be finished in a matter of minutes. The terrain is rough and there are trails everywhere revealing many more interesting things to explore including several rare species you’re unlikely to see anywhere else.
There are two routes to choose from, the Golitha Falls circular walk (red route) follows the river Fowey and features some of the smaller waterfalls before looping back to the car park. The other trail (yellow route) takes you further along the river to uncover bigger falls. Both trails feature red or yellow arrows depending on which route you take to help you along the way, but there is a Golitha Falls map too. Both trails start at the same point on relatively flat terrain and split further on with the yellow route featuring some challenging areas with uneven ground and steep inclines. Be prepared to climb over rocks and tree roots - we suggest wearing a sturdy pair of shoes! Once you reach the river to your left, you can walk down to the banks or continue along the trail to well-maintained stairs that take you down to the water’s edge where you can witness bigger falls allowing you to really immerse yourself within your surroundings.
Golitha Falls swimming opportunities come in abundance with the first 700m of the trail offering access to shallows perfect for paddling. We recommend walking to the main falls area where you will find a more secluded plunge pool. Whilst the swimming holes aren’t quite deep enough to go swimming, they’re a great option for taking a cooling dip before continuing.
The terrain is rough and there are trails everywhere.
Taking on Golitha Falls can work up quite an appetite so if you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat then look no further than Inkie’s Smokehouse! The smell of freshly brewed coffee and smoked food permeating through the falls is far too tempting to resist. Award-winning, this little barbecue hut is just next to the car park making it an ideal pitstop before heading home. We recommend trying one of their famous milkshakes, or in cooler weather, warm up with an indulgent hot chocolate.
Golitha Falls is a dog friendly area welcoming dogs all year round. It’s important to note that the area is home to roaming wildlife, so you’ll have to be observant of your surrounding and always keep your lead in reach. Your pup will love exploring and chasing sticks down the river. Be mindful of the fast-flowing currents when allowing your dog to swim in the river, but there are also parts more suitable for dogs who aren't such great swimmers.
One of the best-known beauty spots on Bodmin Moor, the Golitha Falls are less than a 20-minute drive from our accommodation at Deerpark. Choose from cabins nestled deep in beautiful woodland or beside the picturesque millpond. Book your pet-friendly holiday and explore the delights that Cornwall offers.
Your pup will love exploring and chasing sticks down the river.