8 epic waterfalls in Cornwall (to see for yourself!) holiday cottages

8 epic waterfalls in Cornwall (to see for yourself!)

Deborah Caine 13 March 2024

Visions of sandcastles lined up on stunning beaches are what many of us associate with the beautiful county of Cornwall. Yet Cornwall also has an abundance of alternative natural offerings for visitors and residents alike.

So, for something a little different, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the stand-out waterfalls in Cornwall – each offering something unique to behold. Search for ‘waterfall Cornwall’ and you’ll likely pull up enchanted forest walks and beach-side falls, with a cascade of other Cornwall waterfalls in between.

To save you time, we’ve done the hard work for you! Here are the top-pick waterfalls in Cornwall, which you may just wish to see for yourself. Once you’re done reading, click on the button below to book one of our wonderful holiday cottages in Cornwall and start counting down the days until your next getaway.

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  1. Eden Project Waterfall, Bodelva
  2. Golitha Falls, Bodmin Moor
  3. Lansallos Waterfall, near Polperro
  4. Luxulyan Valley Waterfalls, near St Blazey
  5. Pentargon Waterfall, Boscastle
  6. Rocky Valley, near Boscastle
  7. St Nectan’s Kieve, Trethevy 
  8. Tregardock Beach Waterfall, near Port Isaac

1. Eden Project Waterfall, Bodelva

Eden Project waterfall, surrounded by plants

This first ‘wildcard’ option isn’t a natural Cornish waterfall, but it’s pretty spectacular, nonetheless. Located in the rainforest biome of the Eden Project which houses over 1,000 plant varieties, this man-made waterfall is set in lush, tropical surrounds. Children will love travelling across the ‘rickety’ rope bridge which offers great views, checking out the wooden Malaysian House and artworks, and watching the free-range roul-roul partridges do their thing. 

Built upon a reclaimed china clay pit, this eco-destination opened fully in March 2001 as one of the UK Millenium Projects. You can find the attraction 1.2 miles from St Blazey and 3 miles from St Austell. The Eden Project is one of the best attractions in Cornwall, be sure to check out our guide on the top things to do in Cornwall to discover them all!

Useful to know: Visit the Eden Project website for ticket information.

2. Golitha Falls, Bodmin Moor

Stunning Golitha Falls, surrounded by greenery

Along the River Fowey, through Draynes Wood on Bodmin Moor, you’ll come to a stretch of magical and meandering, waterfall cascades. There are various walking trail options, including a mile-long circular walk, making for an easy enough jaunt for families and pups, though it’s probably unsuitable for prams. 

There are places to sit down and enjoy a picnic en route – you’ll need to bring your blanket and there are small beach inlets along the forest walk too, should anyone want to paddle. 

Useful to know: Parking is free and just across the road from the falls’ entrance. There’s a café and toilets at the car park too.   

3. Lansallos Waterfall, near Polperro

Lansallos waterfall, surrounded by countrysidePhoto credit: Explore Cornwall

Lansallos Beach is a small and some might say secret, sandy cove on Lantivet Bay near Polperro. Also, known as West Coombe Beach, legend has it that the area surrounding this Cornwall waterfall was once a well-used smugglers’ haunt. 

The beach offers rock pooling, snorkelling, swimming and yes, even its very own waterfall, named Reed Water, which plunges down on to the beach. The car park is by the church in Lansallos village, about a 20-minute walk away. The walk is unsuitable for wheelchairs and prams, as the route is steep and narrow in parts and passes through fields. The beachmis dog-friendly all year round, making this a lovely, little walk with your pooch.

Useful to know: No facilities, lifeguard or toilets at the beach.

4. Luxulyan Valley Waterfalls, near St Blazey

Beautiful photo of Luxulyan valley waterfall

The valley is enchanting through every season and hosts several of the waterfalls Cornwall has to offer. But if you have an interest in nature and industry, there’s a spot between St Austell and St Blazey on the Par River where you’ll find a waterfall with a difference. This particular Cornish waterfall has come about from a 19th-century waterwheel system. Now disused, the site offers an insight into the history of this once-mined area. You can spend anything from 30 minutes to a few hours here, so bring a picnic or pop into The Kings Arms pub on your return. 

While you’re here, why not check out the valley’s ten-arch ‘Treffry Viaduct’? You can gaze up at it from ground level or use the pathway to access its upper level and walk across the top for fantastic views! 

Useful to know: Luxulyan Valley has a designated car park. There may be no mobile reception in parts of the valley.

5. Pentargon Waterfall, Boscastle

Photo of Pentargon waterfall, surrounded by rocks

Enigmatic Pentargon Waterfall Cornwall has a drop of 120 feet from clifftop to sea. Located in the Boscastle area, this waterfall can be best reached via the South West Coast Path (1.7 miles from Boscastle). Park at the public car park in Boscastle village, head to the harbour and follow the coastal path uphill and along the cliffs. You’ll catch sight of the waterfall just before coming to a stone stile.   

The pool at the waterfall’s base is known as ‘Seals' Hole’, for its many seal sightings. However, legend claims the pool is haunted by the ghost of a servant girl. The sad tale says, she was in love with a young man from a wealthy family but on discovering their relationship, the man’s father put a swift stop to the pair. The heartbroken young woman threw herself into the pool and is now said to reveal herself to young men who look similar to her true love.   

Useful to know: The nearest facilities are in Boscastle. You can walk a 1.7 mile loop, that starts and ends in Boscastle. 

6. Rocky Valley, near Boscastle

Photo of Rocky Valley near Boscastle

Along the South West Coast Path between Tintagel and Boscastle, these wild Cornish waterfalls run through a dramatic, craggy gorge. To see them for yourself, you’ll need to be feeling a little energetic, as part of the 1.7-mile walk is steep and slippery. There are historical points of interest along the way, including the remnants of Trewethet Mill and rock carvings. 

To get here, you can park at the lay-by on the main road near Rocky Valley or at Bossiney Cove car park. Follow the signs to Trevillet Mill, where a public footpath through the restaurant takes you over a bridge, into the woods and along the Trevillet River, across another bridge and to the clifftop.  

Useful to know: There are toilets at Bossiney Cove car park.

7. St Nectan’s Kieve, Trethevy 

Photo of St Nectan's Kieve

Ancient legend, fairy vibes and crystal-clear waters: this Cornish waterfall on the Trevillet River has an abundance of spirituality and is well-renowned for being a sacred hotspot. Near Tintagel, this magnificent Cornwall waterfall in St Nectan’s Glen stands 60-feet-high and plunges down into a basin (aka kieve) at the bottom.  

Named after Saint Nectan, whom mythology claims lived here, the site has attracted pilgrims since the 5th century. It’s believed the on-site Hermitage is built upon Saint Nectan’s original place of worship some 1,500 years ago and as such, many modern-day visitors leave tokens and light candles. 

Park on the road and follow the path up through the vibrant valley for a mile. Once at the top, go through the turnstile and follow the path down to the waterfall. Though you won’t need to pay to access the woodland walk, you’ll need to buy a ticket to visit the waterfall.

Useful to know: There’s a shop, café and even an ice cream parlour! 

8. Tregardock Beach Waterfall, near Port Isaac

Photo of Tregardock Beach Waterfall, near Port Isaac

Midway between Port Isaac and Tintagel, you’ll find this captivating Cornish waterfall at the northern end of the beach. The water plummets more than 160 feet over the mouth of a cave and onto the sand below. The beach is a mile or so from Trebarwith Strand and at high tide completely disappears, so please be mindful of timings!  

The beach is dog friendly and ideal for rock pooling. It tends to be quiet due to its position but isn’t suitable for swimming due to the rips and submerged rocks. There are a few parking spaces along the roadside near the farm at Treligga. The beach is accessed via a winding, steep public footpath leading down from the parking area.

Useful to know: Bring your own snacks, as there are no facilities. 

Waterfalls in Cornwall map

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Stay with us in Cornwall

If you’re feeling inspired to get back into nature, our map will help you find your Cornwall waterfall bearings. And if you’re planning a getaway, we have a wide range of Cornish cottages and other accommodation to suit your needs and ensure your Cornwall break is a memorable one. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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