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A Scenic Walk from Restormel Castle to Lostwithiel

Nestled in the lush, rolling hills of Cornwall, the walk from Restormel Castle to the historic town of Lostwithiel offers an enchanting journey through time and nature.

Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a casual stroller, this route promises a blend of captivating history, picturesque landscapes, and the quintessential charm of Cornwall. Here’s a guide to making the most of this delightful trek.


Starting Point: Restormel Castle

Perched above the River Fowey, Restormel Castle is one of the most well-preserved Norman castles in England. Built in the late 13th century, it offers a fascinating glimpse into medieval life. The castle's circular design is unique, and walking through its ruins, one can almost hear the echoes of knights and nobility who once roamed its halls.

Once a luxurious residence for the Earl of Cornwall, visitors can explore its grand hall, gatehouse, and chapel while enjoying panoramic views of the lush, rolling countryside that surrounds it. The tranquility and historical significance of Restormel Castle make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Before setting off on your walk, take some time to explore the castle. It is a Historic England site so if you have membership, it is free. The panoramic views from the top are breath-taking, with the Cornish countryside stretching out in all directions. It’s a perfect spot to take in the landscape that you will soon be traversing.


A Blend of History and Nature

Leaving Restormel Castle, you will follow the River Fowey as it meanders towards Lostwithiel. The path is well-marked and relatively easy, making it suitable for walkers of all levels. As you walk, the tranquil sounds of the river accompany you, and the canopy of trees provides a natural shade, keeping the walk comfortable even on sunnier days.


Lostwithiel

Arriving in Lostwithiel, you’ll find yourself stepping into a town rich with history and character. Known as the "Antique Capital of Cornwall," Lostwithiel is brimming with antique shops, historic buildings, and quaint cafes. Founded in the late 12th century by the Normans, it quickly grew into an important port and stannary town, central to the medieval tin trade.

Today, Lostwithiel retains its historical allure with narrow, winding streets lined with period buildings. The town is also known for its vibrant community spirit, hosting an array of events throughout the year, such as the Lostwithiel Festival and the annual Dickensian Evening, which attract both locals and visitors. With its blend of rich history, scenic beauty, and lively cultural scene, Lostwithiel offers a unique and enchanting glimpse into Cornwall's past and present.


Below are just a few things to watch out for when visiting Lostwithiel...


St. Bartholomew's Church

One of the first landmarks you’ll encounter is St. Bartholomew's Church, a stunning example of medieval architecture. Take a moment to admire its intricate stonework and the serene beauty of its interior. Originally built in the 13th century, the church is renowned for its impressive 14th-century tower, one of the tallest in Cornwall, and its distinctive octagonal shape.

Inside, visitors are greeted by a stunning interior that includes beautiful stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and an array of historical artifacts. The church also houses a unique brass eagle lectern, believed to date back to the 15th century. St. Bartholomew's serves not only as a place of worship but also as a hub for community events and activities, reflecting its central role in the life of Lostwithiel over the centuries. Its serene churchyard, dotted with ancient tombstones, adds to the sense of historical continuity and offers a peaceful spot for reflection amidst the town's bustling activity.


The Guildhall and Lostwithiel Museum

For history enthusiasts, the Lostwithiel Museum, located in the historic Guildhall, is a must-visit. The museum offers fascinating insights into the town’s rich past, from its medieval roots to its role in the English Civil War.

The Lostwithiel Museum, housed in a 19th-century building that once served as the town's Corn Exchange, showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents detailing the town's medieval history, its importance as a stannary town, and its role in the English Civil War.

Visitors can explore exhibits on local industries, including the china clay and tin mining sectors, which have shaped the region's economy and culture. Another notable museum is the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, which, though primarily a nursery, features exhibits on the agricultural history of the Duchy of Cornwall and the role of the nursery in preserving rare and heritage plant species. These museums collectively offer a captivating glimpse into the past, providing both locals and tourists with a deeper understanding of Lostwithiel's unique historical and cultural landscape.


Lostwithiel Bridge

At the heart of the town lies the Lostwithiel Bridge, a medieval stone structure that spans the River Fowey. Built in the 14th century, this seven-arched bridge is not only a testament to the engineering prowess of the period but also a vital link that has connected the town’s two halves for centuries.

Its design features pointed arches and robust piers, indicative of the period's architectural style and the necessity for durability against the river's flow. The bridge has undergone various restorations, ensuring its structural integrity while maintaining its historical character. Today, it remains a pedestrian and vehicular crossing, seamlessly blending functionality with heritage. Lostwithiel Bridge not only facilitates daily commutes but also stands as a picturesque reminder of the town's rich past, attracting historians, tourists, and photographers alike who are drawn to its enduring charm and scenic setting.


Quaint Cafes and Shops

Wandering through the narrow streets of Lostwithiel, you’ll discover a plethora of charming cafes and unique shops. Whether you’re looking for a cosy spot to enjoy a Cornish cream tea or hoping to find a special antique, Lostwithiel has something to offer.

Quaint, independently owned cafes like the Duchy Coffee House and Asquiths provide cosy spots for a relaxing coffee break or a delicious homemade pastry, often featuring locally sourced ingredients.

For those seeking a more robust dining experience, The Globe Inn and The Royal Oak are popular choices, each offering a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a menu brimming with traditional Cornish fare and contemporary dishes. These establishments often feature local ales and ciders, giving patrons a true taste of the region. Additionally, Lostwithiel's bars frequently host live music and community events, making them lively centers of social activity. Whether you’re looking for a quiet corner to enjoy a latte or a bustling pub to share a pint with friends, Lostwithiel’s cafes and bars cater to all tastes and occasions.


Practical Tips


  • Footwear: Wear comfortable walking shoes, as the path can be uneven in places.

  • Weather: Check the weather forecast before setting out, and bring a waterproof jacket if rain is expected.

  • Map: Although the route is well-marked, carrying a map or a GPS device is always a good idea. If you download the iWalk Cornwall app, this route is already mapped out for you. Scroll to the end of a link to it.

  • Snacks and Water: Bring some snacks and water, especially if you plan to take your time exploring along the way.


The walk from Restormel Castle to Lostwithiel is more than just a journey between two points; it’s an immersion into the natural beauty and rich history of Cornwall.

Each step reveals a new facet of this enchanting region, making it a perfect outing for anyone looking to experience the timeless charm of the English countryside. So lace up your walking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and set off on this delightful Cornish walk.



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3 days ago
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Looks amazing!

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Unknown member
5 days ago

It was a great walk.... Really enjoyed it!

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