Saints Way Day 2 - The Western route to Fowey via Luxulyan and Par
Easy to Moderate Grade Walking 13 miles - what this grade means.
From Lanivet, The Saints Way takes an easy start on back lanes and tracks linking Celtic crosses that accompany the route back into the wilds at Helmans Tor and Redmoor. Just as the iconic summit of Helman's Tor starts to tower above you, the route splits and you have a choice for the remainder of the journey to take the Western Leg via Luxulyan and the coast OR choose the stunning Fowey River valley on the Eastern Leg to Fowey.
Which route to take? Both have their merits and are very different. If you want a taste of the sea, take the western option. However for a more peaceful option and the avoidance of the modern world, then the eastern leg down the Fowey estuary is the most remote. The clever solution is to take three days walking on the trail and walk both sections via Fowey thereby missing nothing.
See the options section for how to build this into your Saints Way walk.
Saints Way Western Route to Fowey via Luxulyan and Par.
On the western leg of the Saints Way, your path continues through the almost mangrove swamp like nature reserves of Redmoor and Breeny Common on remote back lanes, before heading into ancient sunken droves and green lanes characterised by wonderful old granite block stiles alongside racing streams and marshes.
Luxulyan village provides a brief respite from the remoteness. Founded by a Celtic saint, the cross in the churchyard is made of the same volcanic rock boulders that loom up to accompany you on this section of the walk. The village has a shop and a very pleasant pub (though for a drink you must make a ¼ mile detour from the path). The Holy Well of St Cyor is passed as you leave the village.
Beyond Luxulyan you pass through more ancient woodland on trails passing the impressive Treffry Viaduct, with the remains of an aqueduct, before rising once more to Prideaux and an Iron Age hill fort. Finally, the sea is in sight, and you drop down to the marshes of Par. In medieval times this was part of the sea and the setting for Daphne du Maurier's surreal ‘House on the Strand’ novel.
Pass through the beautiful and unspoilt village of Tywardreath with St Andrews Church, former site of the Benedictine Monastery that so fascinated Du Maurier, before final sections of coastal pasture bring you down to the golden tracks of Par Sands and the sea. The Saints Way route now heads inland passing more Celtic relics and crossing the old carriage drive of Menabilly (Du Maurier’s Mandalay) with easy walking across the pasturelands of the peninsular to Fowey. However, many of our walkers opt to finish the trail from Par by leaving the Saints Way here and using the South West Coast Path for the final section instead.
The four miles from here to Fowey are superb and a really fitting end to the walk. Passing through Polkerris, with its perfect golden horseshoe beach, the Rashleigh Inn makes a great afternoon stop before you climb the cliff tops to round dramatic Gribbin Head with its huge red and white Daymark Tower.