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St. Nectan's Glen, Tintagel

4.3
#2 of 23 in Nature in Cornwall
Valley Nature / Park
Saint Nectan's Glen is an area of woodland in Trethevy near Tintagel, north Cornwall stretching for around one mile along both banks of the Trevillet River. The glen's most prominent feature is St Nectan's Kieve, a spectacular sixty foot waterfall through a hole in the rocks. The site attracts tourists who believe it to be "one of the UK's most spiritual sites," and tie or place ribbons, crystals, photographs, small piles of flat stones and other materials near the waterfall.History and buildingsIt is believed locally that, in the sixth century, Saint Nectan had a hermitage above the waterfall, and rang a silver bell to warn ships of the dangers of offshore rocks at the mouth of the Rocky Valley during storms. However, one source suggests that in 1799 the site was known as Nathan's Cave, named after a local character, either Nathan Williams or Nathan Cock. There is a late nineteenth or early twentieth century half-timbered private residence known as The Hermitage, supposedly constructed on the remains of a Celtic chapel. Further downstream are the brick remains of St Gerwyn, a house which was destroyed in a fire in the mid-twentieth century.Flora and faunaAs a result of the glen's flora and fauna it was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1985. The damp shade provided by the glen supports a rich bryophyte flora, including two rare liverworts Jubula hutchinsiae and Trichocolea tomentella, and the mosses Fissidens curnovii and Fissidens osmundoides. Dippers also nest in the rocks near Saint Nectan's Kieve.
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652 reviews
Google
4.5
  • A truly magical experience made all the better by the amazing staff, in particular Sarah with her wonderful knowledge of the falls and the surrounding area. We have been to St Nectan's Glen several ti...  more »
  • I think we first came here back in 1996 and have returned nearly every year since. The place has only changed in the route down to the waterfall, the original walk down is still there with it's deep f...  more »
  • Beautiful woodland walk and waterfalls, lovely tearooms and friendly staff, our dogs loved it such a quiet and tranquil place x  more »
Google
  • Really nice and quiet little spot with some great scenery. The walk to the waterfalls is very relaxing but can be muddy if it has rained recently. Once you reach St. Nectan's Glen, there is a nice little coffee shop. The route itself is not very long but well worth the time and price. You will see a beautiful natural waterfall along a well planned route. Very quiet and secluded location.
  • Absolutely stunning! The waterfalls are gorgeous, it's a really lovely peaceful walk around. I would say it's a little pricey at about 7 quid, I don't really believe in people making such a large profit on what is a piece of natural beauty. I don't mind paying a little to help with the upkeep of the area, but that seems a little steep.
  • It's a bit of a hike that is often muddy. It's worth it. Very helpful and friendly staff. There's tea service and a gift shop. Don't forget to see the waterfall.
  • St Nectan's Glen has been on my road trip bucket list for a few years and finally visited this year. It was a beautiful experience and just the relaxing break I needed. Had a bit of a spiritual feel to it. Cafe staff are lovely and friendly and the walk from the car park (about a mile) is made to feel shorter by being very picturesque too. The prices are reasonable. They had opened a new viewing platform to see the falls from above, but I wanted to go to the bottom and see it in all its splendor. Well worth a visit and would definitely return.
  • It's a long and relatively easy hike to get there from the car park. The path is half road and half forest trail which can get muddy and slipery in places. Theres a nice cafe at the top where you pay admission to the trail that takes you down to the falls. The falls are well worth the hike and admission fee in my opinion. Also they have free wellingtons if you want to keep your feet dry as you walk across the creek below the falls. You need to get your feet wet to see the falls well.