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Helford River

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Overview





The Helford River enters the sea on England's southwest coast about ten miles northeast of Lizard Point and four miles south-westward 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 a good shelter in anything but strong east winds where it becomes uncomfortable. Vessels that can penetrate deep inland on the tide and dry however will always find perfect shelter. The rivers wide entrance and gradually descending depths make the approach is straightforward during daylight and at any stage of the tide.



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Keyfacts for Helford River
Facilities
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


Nature
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

Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

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

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



Last modified
March 29th 2019

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
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


Nature
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

Considerations
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 metres 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 southwestern England’s coastal overview from Start Point to Lizard Point Route location.

  • Avoid The Gedges rock group a 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, that lies off the southern shore about a ⅓ of a mile east of Bosahan Point. It is marked by a lit north cardinal, Fl 1s.

  • 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 miles ESE
  2. Falmouth - 2.6 miles NE
  3. Coverack - 2.9 miles SSE
  4. Saint Mawes - 3.5 miles NE
  5. Cadgwith - 4.3 miles SSW
  6. Mullion Cove & Porth Mellin - 4.4 miles SW
  7. Porthleven Harbour - 4.5 miles W
  8. Portscatho - 4.9 miles NE
  9. Kynance Cove - 5.2 miles SSW
  10. The River Fal - 6.4 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 miles ESE
  2. Falmouth - 2.6 miles NE
  3. Coverack - 2.9 miles SSE
  4. Saint Mawes - 3.5 miles NE
  5. Cadgwith - 4.3 miles SSW
  6. Mullion Cove & Porth Mellin - 4.4 miles SW
  7. Porthleven Harbour - 4.5 miles W
  8. Portscatho - 4.9 miles NE
  9. Kynance Cove - 5.2 miles SSW
  10. The River Fal - 6.4 miles NNE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
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 and 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 and on the north side tend to be concentrated around Helford Passage and a scattering of derelict granite trading quays of 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 which is 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 boat foot passenger ferry, seasonal, crosses The Pool between Helford Point and Helford Passage. It is a daily summer service between Good Friday and the end of October. It is also a small fishing port with fourteen 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 and it provides deep water 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. The river moorings are managed by an independent company Helford River Moorings that have maintained them for decades.

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

Helford River Moorings seasonal swing moorings are 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 from between 08.00 and 09.00, and again between 16.30 and 21.00 or at the beach kiosk in Helford Passage. Vessels are charged on overnight, between 16:30 and 08:00, on an LOA basis as follows [2017]: <9.14m £18 | 9.15m - 10.66m £21 | 10.67 - 12.04m £23 | 12.05 - 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 southwestern 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 northeast 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 southward of the river. From 'The Manacles' to Helford River the passage is straightforward but give 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 to seaward. Gillan Creek Click to view haven is situated close within Nare Point and entered between it and Dennis Head.


Yachts rounding the The Gedges or 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 seeing coming and going during approaches 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 river. The river 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 the August Rock, which lies a 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 south of Rosemullion Head. The rock group is marked by a seasonal lit starboard buoy, Fl.G.5s, moored about 100 metres southeast. This is a privately supported buoy and the light can be defective so it cannot be relied entirely upon. The line of bearing of the wooded Bosahan Point, upriver, kept Open of Mawnan Shear Point, west by northwest 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 between 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 a 100 metres and keep in 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 after the entrance narrows between Mawnan Shear and The Gew, and about ¾ of a mile within the outer entrance. Be aware that there is a 200-metre voluntary restriction on anchoring on the northeast side of the bay.


Eel-grass 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. So vessels should anchor either outside 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 is the river's second primary dangers and it lies off the southern shore about a ⅓ of a mile east of Bosahan Point. 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, Fl 1s, 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 Y5s.


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 Oool. These are all deepwater mooring 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 here as immediately west of Helford Passage, past the small-boat moorings and extending up to 200 metres, about halfway from the north shore, is The Bar which is the third and final river danger. 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 for deep water that remains deep for a further ¾ of a 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 Creeks branches south. Oyster beds occupy the north side of the river here, marked by lit yellow buoys, but 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 mud banks. 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, Ponsontuel Creek, Mawgan Creek, Polpenwith Creek, Polwheveral Creek, Frenchman's Creek, Porthnavas Creek, and Gillan Creek. Sadly they are so choked with local boat moorings or oyster beds that they offer no berthing opportunities. There are two notable exceptions Porthnavas Creek and Gweek Creek.


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 the junction Porthnavas Creek and a smaller creek on the port hand side. Or 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 take vessels that can take to the bottom. Located 4½ miles within the entrance it is addressable by shoal draft craft on the tide and at HW± 0200 during springs, vessels of up to 2.9 metres draught. 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. However, the river is subject to silting 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 dinghies 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 Helford village, which is itself derived from the river being made up of the old English words heyl meaning estuary and ford meaning crossing point, therfore ‘estuary crossing place’.


Dennis Head promontory
Image: Tim Green


The Helford, like the Fal, is a ria which is 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 humanity. Evidence of early inhabitation 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 2000 years ago. The earthwork part of the ancient fort went on to be a Civil War fieldworks, known as Little Dennis reflected the strategic importance of this headland throughout its complex history.

Gweek
Image: Judy Green
As early as 450 BC it is believed that tin was traded with the Phoenicians from a port at the mouth of the Helford River. The source of the tin was from Gweek at the head of the Helford Estuary. The name Gweek, first record in 1358, comes from a Cornish word for a 'forest village' which indicates the lush woodland that once covered this area of the coast. Gweek had established itself as tin exporting port since the early part of the Iron Age and the Romans went on to exploit the mines and use it as a harbour during their time.

The village of Helford started to develop soon after. The ferry connecting the north and south banks of the river has run continuously 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 developed in Helford Creek that had a fleet of small fishing boats and soon became a magnet for trading ships. The formation of Loe Bar during the 14th century meant that Gweek became a better port and the vast majority of Helford’s activity died away. During the Elizabethan period, Gweek was so busy that it also 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 aswell. These establishments and their excisemen would be duly tested during the 18th and 19th-centuries when Cornwall became a centre for 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 the brandy running 'The San Euphemia' was captured off Coverack by the revenue cutter 'Fox'. The ship and its cargo of 126 kegs were brought into Helford and the contraband stored in the Helford customs house. A few days late, and in the early hours, the building was besieged by a 30-strong gang of smugglers. The customs-man on station suddenly heard the doors being forced in. With the nearest back-up being three-quarters of a mile away he was powerless to do anything against such numbers and could only watch proceedings. In the following 30 minutes, from about 1.00 to 1.30 am, the smugglers recovered the kegs of brandy, loaded them on waiting carts and were away into the night, after generously leaving 3 kegs for the excisemen to drown their sorrows.


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


It was against this backdrop that Daphne De 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 finds a place of piracy and she soon encounters the French pirate 'Jean-Benoit Aubéry’. A man that could not be more different from her husband, who daily embraces danger, daring and romantic adventure on the high seas. The book is De Maurier's most romantic work and is truly based on the... 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 creeks name has been lost in time. But it is possible that there could be some connection with a historic incident involving a French boat that De Maurier may have picked up in 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 disembarked charcoal for smelting, coal for the mine beam engines, baulks of timber from Norway, limestone for improving the land and salt on the quay. 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 'exhausted mines'. When the tin mining industry finally collapsed soon after, many of the area's miners emigrated from Helford to the 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 has gradually silted, to the largest part, from the waste product of centuries upon centuries of tin mining. The 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 of picturesque cottages of granite, slate and thatch clustered around its own tiny inlet. Originally built as a farm and was then transformed into an inn with rooms, the village pub of the Shipwrights Arms is the perfect place to slow life down and take it all in. For set in one of the most unspoilt corners of an Area Of Outstanding Beauty, AOB, it is in 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 and has been in the past. Several great estates were established in the area and Victorian plant hunters returned with exotic specimens. Boats are not the only ones to make the best of it as a result of the sheltered landscape, it provides the perfect growing conditions and climate for the exotic collections of trees and plants. The large gardens of Trebah, Glendurgan and Bosloe including, rhododendron, camellias, magnolias, tree ferns and palms further contributing to the special sense of place experienced when visiting the Helford landscape. Al of these can be visited today and the coastal walks here are truly splendid. Should a family beach be required there is a choice of wood-fringed riverside beaches in the river mouth. The further east you proceed, the more secluded the beaches become with the north shore’s Porth Saxon and Porthallack being perfectly placed for to soak 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 place 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 reaches up to the very edges of the leads of the oaks and it is one of the few places in England were the ancient woods meets the sea. Then it is a place where down reflections of the tide upside-down reflections of boats, woods and cottages. It is unsurprising that the pristine natural environment of the Helford River retains an almost religious status among yachtsmen and a sailing must.


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


It is also a place that Daphne du Maurier describes best and 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 to 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.

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?
No fuel in the river but water can be obtained at Durgan and from the Helford River Sailing Club. Slip and jetty at Helford River Sailing Club, who welcomes visitors and has excellent facilities, good food with river views, showers and laundry. Helford village has a post office, a small general store and the Shipwrights Arms serves food. Porth Navas Yacht Club welcomes visitors and it has a bar, restaurant and dinghy landing as well as water.

Gweek Classic Boatyard at Gweek Quay is a traditional Cornish boatyard that has 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 petrol can be obtained in jerrys. The Gweek Inn serves pub meals, there are a couple of cafes, restaurants, and occasional buses to Falmouth and Helston.

Buses to Falmouth 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 that runs from Helston to Goonhilly, Coverack and St Keverne, 15 daily Monday to Saturday (two on Sundays only). The T3, twice daily Monday to Saturday, travels from Helston around to Mawgan, Helford, Manaccan, Porthallow, St Keverne and Roskilly’s Farm and Coverack.


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Helford River Moorings Pilotage




Helford River Quick Overview



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