With its craggy coastline and dramatic moors, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of waterfalls in Cornwall.
The nature in this region is amongst the most dramatic in the country, so you can certainly expect these natural water formations, along with plenty of other incredible features!
While the region isn’t renowned for waterfalls, there are plenty to chase while you’re here, both along the coastline and inland in Bodmin Moor and other beauty spots.
This blog post will detail all of the best waterfalls to see in the South West duchy – add these to your Cornish bucket list!
Best waterfalls in Cornwall and how to visit them
My favourite waterfalls in Cornwall are:
- Golitha Falls
- St Nectan’s Kieve
- Rocky Valley
- Lansallos Waterfall
- Eden Project Waterfall
- Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall
- Kennall Vale
- Pentargon Waterfall
- Tintagel Castle Waterfall
- Tregardock Beach
Take a look at the following list to see how to visit each!
1. Golitha Falls
Situated in Draynes Wood in the heart of Bodmin Moor, Golitha Falls is a spectacle.
Not just one waterfall, Golitha actually consists of multiple cascades along the River Fowey as the water drops 90 metres.
The perfect place to practice your shutter speed photography, Golitha Falls wooshes and splashes, with multiple spots to stop, admire the water, and take in beautiful nature.
Drayne’s Wood is a temperate rainforest, with mossy ferns and ancient oak trees.
This is a spectacular section of the River Fowey, and it’s actually an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and it’s the perfect place for a beautiful woodland walk away from the beaches in Cornwall.
You can park at Draynes Bridge and walk up and down the river – there’s usually a trailer serving food and drink too.
The nearest major town is Liskeard.
2. St Nectan’s Kieve
St Nectan’s Kieve, which is the main St Nectan’s Glen waterfall, is one of the most gorgeous in North Cornwall.
While it’s fairly popular with locals and in-the-know tourists, it’s also quite the hidden gem, as not all that many people know about it!
It sits around 2 miles/ 3 kilometre from the village of Tintagel and is a sacred site, loved by locals.
Part of the River Trevillet, St Nectan’s Glen is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beaty (AONB) and has been attached to Cornish folklore for centuries.
It’s alleged to be a site where piskies play and other legendary figures gather!
Since the 5th century, it’s been a place of pilgrimage and is still thought to be a very spiritual and magical place to many residents of Tintagel.
St Nectan’s Glen is home to St Nectan’s Kieve, a spectacular 18-metre drop that crashes through a hole in the rocks.
Stand on the banks of the River Trevillet and take it all in, or spend some time admiring the waterside fauna.
There’s a pay and display car park on-site – it costs £3 for the day and takes coins only. From here, you can take the woodland walk (around a mile long) to reach the waterfall.
If you’re hungry after visiting, there’s a cafe on site, plus a shop and gallery where you can pick up a souvenir or admire local art.
3. Rocky Valley
Also part of the Trevillet River, Rocky Valley is an abrupt descent where the force of the water meets the sea.
Taking its name from the craggy cliffs that the river winds through, Rocky Valley is a popular spot for photography – it’s the ideal place to practice your long exposure – and the fall ultimately descends into a plunge pool by the wild Atlantic Ocean.
Sitting on the South West Coast Path as it meanders from Boscastle to Tintagel (Rocky Valley is about a 2 mile/ 3 kilometre or 45-minute walk to Tintagel Castle), this is the ideal place to pause for a moment and enjoy the force of nature.
It might not be as epic as Milford Sound or Niagara Falls, but it certainly packs a punch as a free, unassuming attraction.
If you don’t want to walk from Boscastle to Tintagel, you could also take in the incredible English nature by walking from a layby on the B3263.
4. Lansallos Waterfall
Situated near Lantic Bay which is one of Cornwall’s wildest beaches, Lansallos Waterfall is otherwise known as Reed Water.
It’s located on Lansallos Beach, which is a beautiful south-facing beach right by Polperro.
Dramatic cliffs lead the way to the gorgeous golden sands, and Reed Water sits at the west part of the beach.
It’s only a small waterfall, but it has enormous significance – the force of the water was once used to power a nearby water mill.
Both of these beaches are wild and dramatic and are amongst the least touristy in the region.
There aren’t any facilities, but you can park in the Lantivet Bay parking lot, where there are facilities, and then walk around 1.6 miles/ 2.5 kilometres to Lansallos Beach.
5. Eden Project Waterfall
Are you looking for things to do in Cornwall in the rain? You’ll be surprised to know that there’s a wet-weather waterfall you can visit!
Consisting of two biomes in a giant quarry, the Eden Project is an incredible initiative that mimics two climates; the Mediterranean and tropical rainforest.
It’s a wonderful way to teach kids and adults alike about different climates, showing fauna that they may not otherwise see and demonstrating how we can protect other climates while living in the UK.
In the rainforest section, there’s an impressive indoor waterfall.
In December 2019, the Eden Project was forced to close after a large landslide. This is a risk due to the fact that it is located in a quarry.
Thanks to lockdowns in 2020 shutting down most tourist attractions, it was actually closed for five months!
However, they made the best of a bad situation by creating this gorgeous waterfall. Of course, it’s artificial, but it’s still a great place to admire, especially if the weather isn’t too kind!
The Eden Project is situated near Par and St Austell in South Cornwall, close to attractions like the subtropical Lost Gardens of Heligan and the beautiful port of Charlestown.
6. Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall
This fall is technically in Devon, but it’s so spectacular and dramatic that it’s worth including on this list!
A thin strip of water crashing from the clifftops to the sea down below, Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall dramatically drops 50 metres and is viewable from the South West Coast Path.
There’s also a waterfall by St Catherine’s Tor, which is closer to Hartland Quay.
This is probably the best coastline in Cornwall and Devon if you’re a fan of dramatic cliffs and epic viewpoints!
You can see this waterfall on the Hartland Quay to Bude walk, although be mindful that this is one of the most challenging sections of the South West Coast Path.
7. Kennall Vale
The ancient woodland of Kennall Vale is situated between Penryn (near Falmouth) and Redruth.
A wooded valley lined by moss-strewn boulders and gorgeous wildflowers, this is the ideal place for an afternoon stroll.
The River Kennall runs straight through the stunning woodland, and there are some rapids and fast-flowing sections that make some of the most underrated waterfalls in Cornwall.
With birds in the trees and a soft breeze blowing through, the woodland is the epitome of relaxation.
Interestingly, Kennall Vale used to be home to a gunpowder factory. This was partially due to the fast-flowing Kennall River, which generated enough power for the factory!
You can still see some of the remnants of the gunpowder factory, although nature has gradually started to reclaim it, with moss growing over the mill and trellises creeping down the abandoned walls.
8. Pentargon Waterfall
It’s not the most visited of all the Cornish falls, but the spectacular Pentargon Waterfall, located at Pentargon Cove is actually the highest in the region, at a height of 36 metres.
The beautiful waterfall soars down from the end of Beeny Cliffs, which is situated close to the Cornish village of Boscastle.
Visit after heavy rainfall, when the waterfalls are particularly impressive!
9. Tintagel Castle Waterfall
While some of these Cornish waterfalls are in the beautiful area around Tintagel, there’s actually a waterfall right by the castle itself.
This waterfall, sometimes known as Tintagel Haven, drops into the beach from the cliffs above.
The beach also boasts features like Merlin’s Cave and rocky outcrops with the castle on top.
You can read my full guide to visiting Tintagel Castle here, or check out all of the best things to do in Tintagel with my full guide.
10. Tregardock Beach
Situated between Tintagel and Port Isaac, Tregardock Beach is one of the most stunning stretches of sand in the area.
The beach is located on the South West Coast Path public footpath, but it’s a challenging descent to reach the sands.
Plus, make sure that you only visit during low tide, because the sands are pretty much hidden when it’s high!
Once you’ve descended, head to the northern end of the beach to see the gentle water trickling down the side of the cliff, running over the mouth of a cave.
There are very limited parking spaces by Tregardock Beach, but most people visit while hiking from Tintagel to Port Isaac.
Don’t miss these Cornish waterfalls!
This list of the best waterfalls in Cornwall has something for everybody!
Whether you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track option (like Kennall Vale), a sacred place (such as St Nectan’s Glen), or somewhere all-weather and family-friendly (check out the Eden Project!), there are plenty of places for all tourists to and locals in Cornwall.