- Created: 4th February 2017
- Updated: 28th June 2017
- Distance 2.93 miles
- Time 1 h 10 min
- Speed 2 mph
- Min altitude 404 ft
- Peak 561 ft
- Climb 269 ft
- Descent 266 ft
- Distance Instructions
If arriving by car, ample car parking space can be found at Stithians Dam, just above the water treatment works, accessed from the main Stithians to Penhalvean road. From the car park you should walk down the lane in front of the bungalows towards the water treatment plant. About halfway down take the little lane on your left and follow all the way down the valley.
It pays to walk this track quietly, looking out for foxes, badgers and rabbits, listening for the sound of skylarks or buzzard, the chatter of disturbed snipe, and, on a lovely evening, watching the barn owl sweeping the valley or the kestrel hovering before it dives for its prey. In early summer the cuckoo is frequently heard through this valley, as well as the more obvious song birds. Watch and listen for the chatter and grate of the stonechat or the jinking flight of a woodcock. Sometimes deer can be observed.
Also seen through the gateways are a series of massive hedges. These are unusual for several reasons. They are made entirely of stone, some of which looks to have been dressed. A Cornish hedge is usually a layer of stone either side and an earthen infill. The solid stone is probably why there is little if any vegetation growing on these hedges. A further unusual feature is the straightness of the hedges: ruler straight. These structures are said to have been built by French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars: whether this is true or not remains to be demonstrated although French soldiers were certainly imprisoned at Roskrow a few miles to the south.
When the track becomes tarmac again you can follow the road to the end and then turn left towards the village of Stithians. If you are walking you can cut this corner by taking the footpath on the left just past the little bridge at Tretheague, thus avoiding a section on the road.
After you pass Tretheague House on your left if you are on foot you can take the footpath to the left which crosses the big field and again saves you walking on the road. At the end you can turn left and proceed down Crellow Hill into the centre of the village.
In the village you will find the Spar shop, public toilets and the Seven Stars public house which also serves food. but check opening times.
The church is also well worth a visit before you head out back towards the dam.