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The Helford River enters the sea on England's south-west coast about 10 miles north-east of Lizard Point and 4 miles south-west of the entrance to the River Fal. The pretty, sheltered river is a much-treasured boating location that offers a choice of anchoring locations, visitor moorings and the opportunity to dry in its creeks.

The Helford River enters the sea on England's south-west coast about 10 miles north-east of Lizard Point and 4 miles south-west of the entrance to the River Fal. The pretty, sheltered river is a much-treasured boating location that offers a choice of anchoring locations, visitor moorings and the opportunity to dry in its creeks.

The river provides good shelter in anything but strong east winds, when it becomes uncomfortable. Vessels that can penetrate deep inland on the tide and dry, however, will always find perfect shelter. The river’s wide entrance and gradually descending depths ensure the approach is straightforward during daylight and at any stage of the tide.

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Keyfacts for Helford River
Shop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Note: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.

Last modified
July 13th 2019


A good location with straightforward access.

Shop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Note: harbour fees may be charged

Moorings  +44 1326 250749      +44 7808 071485      moorings@helford-river.com     helfordrivermoorings.co.uk      Ch.37A (M1) [Moorings Officer]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 5.831' N, 005° 7.705' W

This is in The Pool where visitor moorings will be found.

What is the initial fix?

The following Helford River Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
50° 5.753' N, 005° 4.018' W
This is on the 15 metre contour, just outside the entrance, between Rosemullion Head and Nare Point, setting up a central approach to the river.

What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in south-west England’s coastal overview from Start Point to Lizard Point Route location.

  • Avoid the Gedges Rock group ¼ mile out from the northern shore of the entrance. It is marked by a seasonal lit starboard buoy, Fl.G.5s.

  • Keep midriver to avoid Voose Rock, the river's second danger, which lies off the southern shore about ⅓ mile east of Bosahan Point. It is marked by a lit north cardinal, Fl1s.

  • Keep to the south side of the river after Bosahan Point as the river's third and final danger, The Bar, extends up to 200 metres, to about halfway from the north shore immediately west of the village of Helford Passage. It is marked by a green seasonal unlit 'Bar' buoy.

Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Helford River for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Gillan Creek - 1.6 nautical miles ESE
  2. Falmouth - 4.2 nautical miles NE
  3. Coverack - 4.6 nautical miles SSE
  4. Saint Mawes - 5.7 nautical miles NE
  5. Cadgwith - 7 nautical miles SSW
  6. Mullion Cove & Porth Mellin - 7.1 nautical miles SW
  7. Porthleven Harbour - 7.3 nautical miles W
  8. Portscatho - 7.9 nautical miles NE
  9. Kynance Cove - 8.5 nautical miles SSW
  10. The River Fal - 10.4 nautical miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Gillan Creek - 1.6 miles ESE
  2. Falmouth - 4.2 miles NE
  3. Coverack - 4.6 miles SSE
  4. Saint Mawes - 5.7 miles NE
  5. Cadgwith - 7 miles SSW
  6. Mullion Cove & Porth Mellin - 7.1 miles SW
  7. Porthleven Harbour - 7.3 miles W
  8. Portscatho - 7.9 miles NE
  9. Kynance Cove - 8.5 miles SSW
  10. The River Fal - 10.4 miles NNE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
The Pool in Helford River
Image: Michael Harpur

The Helford River is a ria (drowned river valley), fed by small streams into its network of seven small creeks. The system extends for several miles inland. At high tide, the water reaches up to the very edges of the oak woodland, causing tree branches to trail in the water. At low tide, the exposed greyish mud completely transforms the scene, providing a haven for wading birds and wildlife.

Settlements are scarce and small. On the north side they tend to be concentrated around Helford Passage, with a scattering of derelict granite trading quays on the north shores, such as at Gweek, Porth Novas and Bishop’s Quay, which bear marks of an industrial past. The southern shore, called The Meneage (Cornish for 'Land of the Saints'), tends to be more remote, largely due to the natural barrier the river creates. It consists mainly of agricultural land and the small village of Helford.

A small foot passenger ferry crosses The Pool between Helford Point and Helford Passage. It is a daily seasonal service running from Good Friday until the end of October. Helford Passage is also a small fishing port, with 14 boats landing fish into the village. Native oysters and mussels are cultivated in the Helford Estuary, which is a designated bass nursery area.

The entrance to the River is deep and straightforward, providing deepwater moorings of 5 metres and above, along with anchoring opportunities in perfect shelter from the prevailing winds. Once inside, the unspoilt beauty, hidden creeks and ancient oak woodlands make the Helford River one of Cornwall’s premier boating destinations and this is its primary attraction.  

Helford River Moorings

The Helford River has no statutory harbour authority. Kerrier District Council and the Duchy of Cornwall own and/or have an interest in the Helford River. Many of its moorings are managed by independent company Helford River Moorings, which has maintained them for decades.

During the season, Helford River Moorings monitors VHF Ch. 37A (M1) [Moorings Officer],
Landline+44 1326 250749, Mobile+44 7808 071485, E-mailmoorings@helford-river.com,

The company’s seasonal swing moorings are situated on the south of the river and in a rectangular block to the west of the narrows. All visitor moorings have a green pick-up or green main buoy. If all the visitor moorings are occupied, it is permissible to raft to another vessel occupying a visitor buoy.

Visitor mooring fees are collected by the duty mooring officer between 08:00 and 09:00, and again between 16:30 and 21:00, or can be paid at the beach kiosk in Helford Passage. Vessels are charged overnight (between 16:30 and 08:00) on an LOA basis as follows [2017]: <9.14m  £18 | 9.15m - 10.66m £21 | 10.67m - 12.04m £23 | 12.05m - 14m £25 | >14m £30. The fee for daytime use (between 08:00 and 16:30) for a visitor mooring is £6.

How to get in?
The view from Dennis Head to over Rosemullion Point to Zone Point
Image: Michael Harpur

Convergance Point Use south-west England’s coastal overview from Start Point to Lizard Point Route location for seaward approaches. There are no offshore dangers on approaches from the east, north-east or north from Falmouth. Vessels approaching from the south and west need to stand clear of the dangerous Manacle Rock group (more often called 'The Manacles') located about 2½ miles south of the river. From The Manacles to Helford River the passage is straightforward, but watch out for Nare Point.  

Nare Point
Image: Michael Harpur

The low-lying Nare Point, readily identified by its Coastwatch station, should be given a wide berth at all states of the tide as it has rocky ledges extending 200 metres seaward. Gillan Creek Click to view haven is situated close to Nare Point and entered between there and Dennis Head.

Yachts rounding the The Gedges (August Rock) starboard buoy
Image: Michael Harpur

The river is entered between Rosemullion Head and Nare Point. Although the entrance is hidden away, it may be confirmed by the square tower of Mawnan Church, surrounded by trees on a hill and overlooking the entrance from the north side. Boats coming and going as you approach also tend to make its position known. Once identified it is very straightforward, with depths decreasing gradually as the river is ascended, with no less than 3 metres for the 2 miles up to where visitors generally lie off of Helford. Two potting boats catch mainly brown crabs, spider crabs and some lobsters in and around the river, so keep a sharp eye out for their pots and net buoys throughout. The speed limit is 6 knots with minimal wash in moorings.

The entrance to the Helford River
Image: Michael Harpur

The primary rock to avoid is The Gedges, also known as August Rock, which lies ¼ mile out from the northern shore of the entrance. It dries to 1.5 metres, covers at one third flood and is situated ½ mile south of Rosemullion Head. The rock group is marked by a seasonal lit starboard buoy, Fl.G.5s, moored about 100 metres south-east. This is a privately supported buoy and the light can be defective so it should not be entirely relied upon. The line of bearing of the wooded Bosahan Point, upriver, kept open of Mawnan Shear Point, west by north-west (or bearing more than 260° T), also leads south of the rock.

Mawnan Church overlooking the entrance on the left
Image: Michael Harpur

After The Gedges, the entrance has no further hazards and depths of 3 to 4 metres will be found. A funnelling wind effect can occur at the mouth forcing a beat, but this eases off upriver. Whilst continuing west, give the shoreline on either side of the river a berth of 100 metres and keep to the middle of the river.

Durgan on the north shore
Image: Tim Green

Anchorage Durgan Bay, on the northern side of the river, provides a good anchorage during north to west winds. This is located after the entrance narrows between Mawnan Shear and The Gew, about ¾ mile within the outer entrance. Be aware that there is a 200 metre voluntary restriction on anchoring on the north-east side of the bay.

Eelgrass bed marker buoy with Durgan local moorings in the backdrop
Image: Tim Green

The area is marked by yellow buoys to protect sensitive eelgrass beds. Vessels should anchor either outside of the marked area or further to the west, off the hamlet of Durgan and clear of the local moorings towards Polgwidden Cove.

Polgwidden Cove, also known as Trebah Beach
Image: Dave Croker via ASA 3.0

It is also possible to anchor off the southern shore in southerly conditions off Ponsence Cove or Bosahan Cove, or indeed anywhere between the two. However, this shore is much rockier and unforgiving, and beware of Voose Rock.

Ponsence Cove
Image: Michael Harpur

All of these anchoring areas are free of charge. However, east winds cause a heavy sea in this part of the river mouth between Mawnan Shear and Bosahan Point about a mile west, especially on the ebb.

Bosahan Cove
Image: Nilfanion via CC ASA 4.0

Voose Rock, which lies off the southern shore about ⅓ mile east of Bosahan Point, is the river's second primary danger. This is a rocky ledge that extends out 200 metres from the shore, dries to 2.6 metres and should be left to south/port.

Passing Voose Rock cardinal
Image: Michael Harpur

It is marked by a lit north cardinal, Fl1s, and keeping Helford Point open of Bosahan Point also clears it. Beware of oyster cages west of Voose Rocks, which are marked by three yellow hazard buoys topped with crosses, all lit, Fl.Y.5s.

Yacht passing upriver through the Bosahan Narrows
Image: Michael Harpur

Moorings Proceeding upriver through the Bosahan Narrows leads to a large concentration of moorings located off Helford Passage and in The Pool. These are all deepwater moorings, carrying depths of in excess of 5 metres.

Deepwater moorings in The Pool
Image: Michael Harpur

The area is almost entirely taken up by moorings so anchoring in The Pool or in the fairway close by is not permitted. At Helford Passage, the foot passenger ferry leaves from a movable pontoon on the beach directly in front of the pub.

Helford Passage
Image: Michael Harpur

On the south side of the river, at Helford Village, the ferry leaves from a jetty at the end of Helford Point. The entrance to Helford Creek dries on LWS on a line from Bosahan Point to a rocky outcrop extending north-eastward from Helford Point. Helford River Sailing Club Landline+44 1326 231460 overlooks The Pool from the south side of the river and the club monitors VHF Ch. 37 and 80. The club pontoon dries at MLWS.

The view over The Pool from Helford River Sailing Club
Image: Michael Harpur

Stay close to the south side of the river as here you will find the third and final river danger, The Bar. This is immediately west of Helford Passage, past the small-boat moorings and extending up to 200 metres, about halfway from the north shore. Its extremity is marked by a green seasonal unlit 'Bar' buoy. However, this lateral mark can be difficult to spot among the local boats moored there. Above this, keep to the centre, where the water remains deep for a further ¾ mile.

The Bar at low water
Image: Tim Green

Anchorage A deep water anchorage lies off the south bank in the stretch between where Porthnavas Creek branches north and Frenchman's Creek branches south. Oyster beds occupy the north side of the river here, marked by lit yellow buoys. With good ground tackle it is possible to anchor here in deep waters without charge.

Thereafter it rapidly shallows. The shallows stretch upriver as far as Tremayne Quay, where, shortly afterwards, the river and its creeks dry at LWS into sand and mudbanks. Tremayne Quay is managed by the National Trust and it is not possible to dry alongside it, but it is permissible to land here and access the pathways to the protected woodlands above.

The creeks are, from west to east: Gweek Creek, Ponsontuel Creek, Mawgan Creek, Polpenwith Creek, Polwheveral Creek, Frenchman's Creek, Porthnavas Creek and Gillan Creek. Sadly, many are so choked with local boat moorings or oyster beds that only Porthnavas Creek and Gweek Creek offer berthing opportunities.

Port Navas
Image: Tim Green

Drying Porth Navas Yacht Club, located in Porthnavas Creek, welcomes visitors and, via prior arrangement and subject to availability, may be able to rent temporary moorings. The club is located at the junction of Porthnavas Creek and a smaller creek on the port hand side. Otherwise, it may be possible to lie alongside the club wall or jetty on the tide and dry out. In all cases make contact with the club in advance
Mobile+44 7798 824435, E-mailadmin@pnyc.co.uk, Websitehttp://pnyc.co.uk. Their daily rates are as follows:
<10ft £10 | >10ft £15 | >20ft £20

Gweek Classic Boatyard
Image: velodenz via ASA 4.0

Drying Gweek Classic Boatyard at Gweek Quay may also accommodate vessels that can take to the bottom. Located 4½ miles from the river entrance, it is accessible by shoal draught craft on the tide and by vessels of up to 2.9 metres draught at HW± 0200 during springs. The quay has a hard level bottom where it may be possible, space permitting, to dry out alongside by advance arrangement Landline+44 1326 221657,
E-mailinfo@gweekquay.co.uk, Websitewww.gweekquay.co.uk. The river is subject to silting, however, and vessels proceeding into the creeks should give charted depths a conservative margin of error.

Helford River dinghy pontoon at dusk
Image: Wapster

Haven location Vessels taking up moorings in The Pool may land by dinghy and tie up just upstream of the ferry pontoon at Helford Point. Alternatively, there is a pontoon conveniently attached to the thatched Shipwright’s Arms on the west side of the point, where there is also a slip – both have honesty boxes. The ferry slipway may be used as a setdown but do not leave tenders here. The Helford River Sailing Club jetty may also be used an hour or so after LW.

Why visit here?
The river takes its name from the village of Helford, which combines the old English words heyl, meaning estuary, and ford, meaning crossing point, therefore ‘estuary crossing place’.

Dennis Head promontory
Image: Tim Green

The Helford, like the Fal, is a ria – an ancient river valley that was drowned when melting ice caused sea levels to rise at the end of the last ice age. At very low tides, the fossilised remains of some tree stumps can be seen from this time. Neolithic farmers came to this area of Cornwall as early as 4000 BC and the river’s abundant resources would have made it one of the most attractive places for dwellings. Evidence of early human habitation is abundant, not least at Dennis Head, the coastal limit of the Helford Estuary. The headland takes its name from the Cornish word 'dinas', meaning castle, and it was the site of an Iron Age promontory fort about 2,000 years ago. The earthwork part of the ancient fort went on to become a Civil War fieldworks, known as Little Dennis, reflecting the strategic importance of this headland throughout its complex history.

Image: Judy Green

It is believed that tin was traded with the Phoenicians from a port at the mouth of the Helford River as early as 450 BC. The tin came from Gweek, at the head of the Helford Estuary. The name Gweek, first recorded in 1358, comes from a Cornish word for a ‘forest village’, indicative of the lush woodland that once covered this area of the coast. Gweek was established as a tin exporting port during the early part of the Iron Age and its mines were subsequently exploited by the Romans, who used it as a harbour.

The village of Helford started to develop soon after. The ferry connecting the north and south banks of the river has run continually since the Middle Ages. Carts and their drivers travelled on the ferry whilst horses swam along behind. The vital link to Lizard Peninsula provided transportation for communities and a means to bring their local produce to the markets to the north. Around this bridge, a thriving port with a fleet of small fishing boats developed in Helford Creek and soon became a magnet for trading ships. The formation of Loe Bar during the 14th century ensured Gweek’s dominance as a port and the vast majority of Helford’s activity died away. During the Elizabethan period, Gweek was so busy that it needed a customs house.

Fourteen boats land fish into Helford village today
Image: Michael Harpur

But trade remained busy enough in lace, rum and tobacco that a customs house was soon set up to collect duties in Helford as well. These establishments and their excisemen would be duly tested during the 18th and 19th centuries, when Cornwall became a centre for the smuggling of illegal contraband such as brandy and gin. Then the remote creeks around Gweek and Helford proved particularly useful to smugglers seeking privacy and a hiding place for their activities.

A traditional boat in the Helford River today
Image: Tim Green

The Helford River smugglers were remarkably daring and continued their activities even in the face of stiff opposition. A notable event that illustrates this occurred in September 1840, when brandy-running ship 'The San Euphemia' was captured off Coverack by the revenue cutter 'Fox'. The vessel and its cargo of 126 kegs were brought into Helford, where the contraband was stored in the customs house. A few days later, in the dead of night, the building was besieged by a 30-strong gang of smugglers. The customs man on station was alerted by the doors being forced in at around 1am. With the nearest back-up ¾ mile away, he was powerless to do anything against such numbers and could only watch proceedings. In the following 30 minutes the smugglers recovered the kegs of brandy, loaded them on waiting carts and were away into the night, generously leaving three kegs for the excisemen to drown their sorrows.

Boathouse and slipway by an old quay on the Helford River
Image: Tim Green

It is against this backdrop that Daphne du Maurier's 1941 novel ‘Frenchman's Creek’ is set. It is the story of a woman jaded by a life of privilege in London, who leaves her husband’s side and flees with her children to Cornwall. Here she encounters French pirate Jean-Benoit Aubéry, a man who daily embraces danger, daring and romantic adventure on the high seas and could not be more different from her husband. The book is De Maurier's most romantic work and is based on the actual... still and soundless, shrouded by the trees, hidden from the eyes of men 'Frenchman's Creek', where her pirate hid his vessel La Mouette. The origin of the creek’s name has been lost in time, but there may be some connection to a historic incident involving a French boat, which De Maurier could have picked up from local folklore.

A wood fringed riverside beach near the river mouth
Image: Michael Harpur

The river was at its heyday during the great era of industrial expansion in the 1800s, when Cornwall's mines came into their own. The huge demand for minerals, particularly tin, iron and copper, but also tungsten and arsenic, heralded the great age of mining in this region. Ships from Gweek exported tin, copper, granite, fish, shellfish and agricultural products. They returned to disembark charcoal for smelting, coal for the mine beam engines, baulks of timber from Norway, limestone for improving the land, and salt. In 1796 a canal was proposed from Hayle via Helston to improve transport connections with Gweek, and later the Junction Railway was planned. Neither was built because, by the middle of the 19th century, the mineral lodes in many mines were already beginning to fail, turning them into knackt bals or 'exhausted mines'. When the tin mining industry finally collapsed, soon after, many of the area's miners emigrated from Helford to areas where vast new mineral deposits were being discovered, such as Australia.

Sailing on the Helford River
Image: Michael Harpur

Today, the upper parts of the river and its creeks have gradually silted, to the largest part from the waste product of centuries upon centuries of tin mining. This silting, the remote location and yacht anchorage restrictions set in place to protect the Duchy of Cornwall's historic oyster beds have left the river a timeless beauty. Helford is a delightful village with picturesque cottages of granite, slate and thatch clustered around its own tiny inlet. Originally built as a farm and then transformed into an inn with rooms, village pub the Shipwrights Arms is the perfect place to slow life down and take it all in. Set in one of the most unspoilt corners of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is a place where life is conducted at a quieter pace.

Shipwrights Arms nested amongst thatched cottages in Helford
Image: Michael Harpur

The Helford area is now a summer retreat for the well-to-do as it has been in the past. Several great estates were established here and Victorian plant hunters returned to the area with exotic specimens. As well as offering a haven for boats, the sheltered landscape provides the perfect growing conditions and climate for the exotic collections of trees and plants. In the large gardens of Trebah, Glendurgan and Bosloe you will find rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias, tree ferns and palms, which further contribute to the special sense of place experienced among the Helford landscape. All of these can be visited today and the coastal walks are truly splendid. If you are looking for a family beach there is a choice of wood-fringed riverside locations in the river mouth. The further east you go, the more secluded the beaches become, with the north shore’s Porth Saxon and Porthallack perfectly placed for soaking up the late afternoon sunshine.

Shipwrights Arms pontoon overlooking Helford Creek
Image: Michael Harpur

From a sailing point of view, the Helford River has a charm all of its own. To the southwest is the Lizard, a low plateau and rocky coastline formed mostly of ancient serpentine rock, almost cut off by the river. The Helford, in complete contrast, is set in a sheltered area, where rounded landforms slope to deep narrow valleys with dense woodland of predominately sessile oak. It is a place to glide and bring up in a verdant world, where kingfishers flash through green leafy shadows. At low tide, the inlet becomes a muddy strand where wading birds and herons feed, waiting for the next tide to bring in further riches, and swans patrol the margins of their watery world. At high tide the water licks at the leaves of the oaks – one of the few places in England where ancient woodland meets the sea. Then it is a place where the placid surface perfectly reflects the boats, wood and cottages. Its pristine natural environment gives the Helford River an almost religious status among yachtsmen and is a sailing must.

The ford at the head of Helford Creek
Image: Michael Harpur

It is a place best described by Daphne du Maurier. The mysterious Frenchman's Creek she immortalised can be enjoyed today just as she saw it, but do pull the kill cord and set to the oars. It is only fitting to close on the opening lines of du Maurier's best-selling novel as no other has captured the Helford River better...

Frenchman's Creek
Image: Tim Green

When the east wind blows up Helford river the shining waters become troubled and disturbed, and the little waves beat angrily upon the sandy shores. The short seas break above the bar at ebb-tide, and the waders fly inland to the mud-flats, their wings skimming the surface, and calling to one another as they go. Only the gulls remain, wheeling and crying above the foam, diving now and again in search of food, their grey feathers glistening with the salt spray.

Daphne du Maurier
The long rollers of the channel, travelling from beyond Lizard point, follow hard upon the steep seas at the river mouth, and mingling with the surge and wash of deep sea water comes the brown tide, swollen with the last rains and brackish from the mud, bearing upon its face dead twigs and straws, and strange forgotten things, leaves too early fallen, young birds, and the buds of flowers.

The open roadstead is deserted, for an east wind makes uneasy anchorage, and but for the few houses scattered here and there above Helford passage, and the group of bungalows about Port Navas, the river would be the same as it was in a century now forgotten, in a time that has left few memories.

In those days the hills and the valleys were alone in splendour, there were no buildings to desecrate the rough fields and cliffs, no chimney pots to peer out of the tall woods. There were a few cottages in Helford hamlet, but they made no impression upon the river life itself, which belonged to the birds - curlew and redshank, guillemot and puffin. No yachts rode to the tide then, as they do today, and that stretch of placid water where the river divides to Constantine and Gweek was calm and undisturbed.

The river was little known, save to a few mariners who had found shelter there when the south-west gales drove them inshore from their course up-channel, and they found the place lonely and austere, a little frightening because of the silence, and when the wind was fair again were glad to weigh anchor and set sail. Helford hamlet was no inducement to a sailor ashore, the few cottage folk dull-witted and uncommunicative, and the fellow who has been away from warmth and women overlong has little desire to wander in the woods or dabble with the waders in the mud at ebb-tide. So the winding river remained unvisited, the woods and the hills untrodden, and all the drowsy beauty of midsummer that gives Helford river a strange enchantment, was never seen and never known...

What facilities are available?
Fuel is not available on the river but water can be obtained at Durgan and from the Helford River Sailing Club. There is a slip and jetty at Helford River Sailing Club, which welcomes visitors and has excellent facilities, good food with river views, showers and laundry. Helford village has a post office and a small general store, while the Shipwrights Arms serves food. Porth Navas Yacht Club welcomes visitors and has a bar, restaurant and dinghy landing, as well as water.

Gweek Classic Boatyard at Gweek Quay is a traditional Cornish boatyard with all the services you would expect. It has cranage for boats up to 25 tonnes, a slipway, large chandlery, showers etc. The small village close by has a small grocery store, a post office, and a garage where fuel can be obtained in jerrycans. The Gweek Inn serves pub meals, and you will also find a couple of cafés, restaurants, and occasional buses to Falmouth and Helston.

Buses to Falmouth are from the top of the hill above Helford Passage and from Helford car park. The most useful bus for getting around the Lizard is the T2, which runs from Helston to Goonhilly, Coverack and St Keverne 15 times daily from Monday to Saturday (twice only on Sundays). The T3, twice daily Monday to Saturday, travels from Helston around to Mawgan, Helford, Manaccan, Porthallow, St Keverne and Roskilly’s Farm and Coverack.

With thanks to:

Helford River Moorings Pilotage

Helford River Quick Overview

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