Camborne Trail 2 - Red River Trail

Running  from Camborne to the sea at Gwithian the Red River is a fine example of how natural regeneration can work. As one of the most industrialised valleys during the mining period, the Red River is now a designated Local Nature Reserve (LNR) with a partially wooded valley, areas of heath and some beautiful lakes and ponds along the way.

Some great wildlife has been spotted on the Reserve including badgers, foxes, otters, woodpeckers and a whole array of butterflies and insects. The plants are very special too.The area is still regenerating and lots of conservation work goes on to clear areas for habitat improvements and to create better access.

The Red River gets its name from the mining wastes that used to be washed into the river, turning it a rusty red colour. With the closure of the mines this has almost stopped but you can still see the orange ochre on the river bed, a legacy of the mining era.Tin streaming was still being carried out here in the 1960s.

Bell Lake is a beautiful area of lake and wetland which used to be a millpond feeding a water wheel which would have poweed the equipment used for tin streaming.

Address: Rosewarne Rd, Camborne TR14 8BE

Lat: N 50° 21′ 55.40″
Long: W -5° 29′ 77.90″

OS Grid Ref: SW 64828 40265

Distance: 7 miles

Terrain: Moderate

Facilities available for this trail

Parking – parking in car park.

Picnic areas – there are numerous appropriate places along the route to stop.

Eating and shopping – various stores in the town centre.

Public houses – pubs in the centre of town only.


Family and children friendly – the route is fairly family friendly.

Cycle Trail – good trail but some rough sections.

Horse Riding Trail – some parts are suitable.

Walking Trail – a moderate trail.

Disability access – large scooters are needed.

17th July 2017 12:49 pm

Camborne Trail 2

  • Author: Administrator
  • Created: 17th July 2017 12:49 pm
  • Updated: 3rd October 2017 10:58 am
Route type: Cycling/Walking Trail
Difficulty grade: Moderate
Disabled Friendly: Large Scooters
  • Distance 6 miles
  • Time 2 h 18 min
  • Speed 2 mph
  • Min altitude 66 ft
  • Peak 331 ft
  • Climb 371 ft
  • Descent 371 ft

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  • Distance Instructions

Points of Interest

The Glebe

Going behind the Health Centre and Nursery School.  You are now on the Glebe, land once belonging to the church on the ancient churchway.

Location: SW 64428 40054

Prayer Crosses

All along the church way, crosses were erected according to the will of Dr Reginald Mertherderwa, in 1447.  In the days of walking funerals, these crosses were stopping points for the bearers, for prayer and rest.  Near the furthest point of the church way one old cross was re-erected in the early twentieth century.  People who used the church way to go to school still remember the tradition of curtseying when passing the cross.  Due to road improvements the cross has now been removed to the courtyard of the Donald Thomas Centre in Commercial Square.

Location: SW 64008 40130

The Merry Pit

This may be a corruption of the term ‘Marl Pit’, where suitable clay could be found for the creation of “cob” a very popular building material in earlier days.  There is another depression in the fields of Treswithian Farm. Treswithian was once a hamlet some distance from the centre of Camborne and was known to locals as “Jethan”.

Location: SW 63547 40391

Met Office

The village of  Kehelland was called Kellihellan in 1297 and lies on the church way and the more recent architecture is interesting as it shows the development of non conformist faith in the village. You will have also just passed the most westerly meteorological station in the British Isles.

Location: SW 62535 40905

The Red River

Here the church way crosses the Red River, named due to the discharges of iron oxide from many tin and copper mines. The bridge still contains medieval elements and  Dr Mertherderwa left provision in his will for its maintenance. The river runs far below the present ground level as a result of a build up of treated sediment over many centuries of tin streaming.  The material in the path you are walking on is a very fine sand with a reddish hue left after the process of tin recovery which utilised water to separate the heavier tin from the lighter waste. Looked after by the Red River Rescuers volunteer group.

Location: SW 61405 41583

Magor Farm

Up the slope to your left is Magor Farm – ‘ruin’ in Cornish – this is the site of the only Roman type villa ever found in Cornwall.  It is so poorly constructed that it is thought to have been built by a British person who copied the design of the Villas that he had seen when travelling.  It is likely that it controlled an estate in the Iron Age from here to other Romano-British remains at Godrevy.

Location: SW 63528 42086

Meriasek’s Well

Once on the Tehidy road the wall on your left was once the boundary of the Holman’s estate at Rosewarne.  Near here was also the site of “Meriasek’s Well” renowned for treating complaints of the eye.  It was drained long ago by mining operations.  Behind the wall is the elegant mansion of the Holman family.

Location: SW 64507 40692

More infomation

Click here for more information on this walk.