Magic in Cornwall, St Nectan's Glen
Nestled in the mystical forest of North Cornwall is a natural paradise waiting to be discovered. The only way to describe St Nectan's Glen is in one word: magic.
It was by complete coincidence that I managed to find this tucked-away treasure. After learning that the original place I wanted to visit wasn't accessible, I began a lengthy search into 'local beauty spots', which is where I came across an article about this wonderful place. Despite being named the third "happiest view" in Britain, it is surprisingly secret.
From the moment we parked up and began to stroll past rolling fields and quintessential cottages, the entire day felt like something from a film written by Richard Curtis.
The walk from the free car park to the waterfall is only 30 minutes and is surrounded by endless beauty. As soon as we entered the forest, the roaring symphony of the multiple waterfalls waited to greet us. Although the pathways are a little bit slippy, especially after the dreary English weather we've been having, it is completely manageable and, what's more, there is a perfectly placed cafe, toilets and shop just before you reach the waterfall.
We decided to stop into the cafe for some lunch and a hot drink, never expecting that the cafe itself would be nearly as beautiful as the magical forest it is burrowed within. The Tree of Life Cafe was built only two years ago and is a little sanctuary just beside the waterfall. In the corner, there is a stunning electric wood burner which, combined with the wooden beams wrapped in ivy, adds to the cosey cottage environment. Cradling our steaming cups of coffee, we nestled into our seats while the babble of the waterfall was drowned out by the heavy patter of rainfall on the windows.
After the rain finally subsided and we had warmed our tummies with some delicious food, we donned our raincoats and headed for the gateway to the waterfall. Entrance to the waterfall is £4.95 each, which we were pleased to find out we could pay by card (we never remember to bring cash). We paid in the adorable shop which was adorned with trinkets, gemstones and faeries. The staff at both the cafe and the shop were incredibly friendly and chatty, answering the abundance of questions that came bubbling out me from the excitement. The lady in the shop informed us that there was a little shack just outside where you can trade your shoes for a pair of wellies to head down to the waterfall... slightly confused, we took her advice - I'm bloomin' glad we did!
Similar to the other pathways, the walk was easy, albeit a bit slippery! We couldn't have imagined what was waiting for us at the bottom, just around the rockface. The wellies enabled us to walk through the stream right to the bottom of the absolutely incredible (and huge!) waterfall. There are no words that can do justice to that overwhelming feeling of standing at the end of the waterfall, where the water crashes into the stream. We were lucky enough to be alone, so we took full advantage. Laughing, dancing... taking a lot of photos! It was an invigorating and amazing experience and I'm already planning all the friends and family I want to take with me next time.
Absolutely drenched but grinning from ear to ear, we climbed back up through the forest to collect our boots and head back to the car. I cannot say it enough, St Nectan's Glen is pure magic. The people, the wildlife, the waterfalls... it is as though this spot is untouched by anything else happening in the world, secluded in its own little realm of beauty, waiting to be discovered by those fortunate enough to stumble across it.