Canoe Days Out

Cornwall - River Fal - King Harry Ferry to Tresilian or Ruan (& return)

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - B3289 at the ferry; difficult - keep out of the way of the ferry and be prepared to park the car a mile away. Alternatively, seek permission from the owner of Tolverne Cottage, 1/2 mile N. (for those with SatNav the postcode is TR2 5NG). He has a private hard, but does not allow yacht launches. He may allow canoeists who approach him politely; if so, return the compliment by having lunch/tea in his (very good) cafe.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - King Harry Ferry - by side of ferry ramp but do so just after ferry has left so as not to get in the way. Tolverne Cottage - easy-to-use hard but needs permission. There are landing stages at Ruan, Malpas and Tresilian, at the top of the estuary, but only accessible at high tide which means either a one-way trip or a long day out.

General Description - A most attractive set of wooded creeks winding between steep hillsides and lined by picturesque villages. An added novelty is the possibility of paddling round ocean-going ships laid up in the 20m. deep water of the narrow estuary. Allow 4 hours return to Tresilian (10 miles) or 2 hours return to Ruan (6 miles).

However, note that tides are strong. Set out from King Harry/Tolverne about 1.5 hours before Falmouth high tide so as to take advantage of tide both ways. In the upper reaches, make sure to keep to the main channel on a falling tide to avoid stranding on soft mud. The wind also funnels between the hills, so have spray decks ready unless calm conditions are expected. Below the ferry is for experienced sea canoeists only. Don't let this put you off - as a couple in their mid-60s we enjoyed these trips a lot! If in doubt, try the Fowey or Pencuil estuaries first, as easier rivers to manage.

Comments on this trip

James Berwick
24 Apr 2007
If you have problems launching Loe Beach Watersports Centre is about a mile down river and has parking and a slipway. (see map)


River Fal
Smugglers Cottage, Tolverne
Tide Times

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson