St Nectan’s Glen

St Nectan’s Glen

Tucked away in the hamlet of Trethevy you’ll find one of Cornwall’s best kept secrets - St Nectan’s Glen.

Step back in time as you make your way along the ancient wooded valley, passing tree trunks embedded with coins, branches adorned with ribbons and mini waterfalls flowing over large slabs of slate. The walk to the kieve is worth a visit in itself with the eerie, tranquil beauty this special place exudes.

Privately owned there is a charge to descend to the kieve itself (payable in the café) and the steps down are steep and slippery in places so care must be taken – however, the effort is well worth it.

Watch as the water thunders down from sixty feet above you, cascading into the rock basin below, before pouring through the natural ‘window’ in the stone.

Named after Saint Nectan who is believed to have had his hermitage here just above the waterfall, the legend goes that Nectan had a silver bell that he rang during storms in order to warn ships of the dangerous rocks nearby.

You’ll find many tributes left by pilgrims over the years, from colourful ribbons to crystals and prayers, to piles of flat stones carefully balanced on top of one another creating a real sense of magic. It’s said that ghosts, piskies and fairies roam the pathways of the woods and it’s certainly not hard to imagine

Parking can be found at Trethevy on the B3263. Walk past the Holy Well and church of St Piran and onto the ancient woodland to begin your adventure.

Photo above by Jason Rogers (license)

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Enjoying a coffee at the café before or after visiting the kieve.

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The opportunity to also see the two further waterfalls found here.