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Historic Walks

You are in: Cornwall > History > Historic Walks > In Daphne's Footsteps

Polridmouth Beach, near Fowey

In Daphne's Footsteps

Now Spring is hopefully finally here, many people in Cornwall love taking a stroll along the Cornish footpath. BBC Cornwall takes a walk around St Austell Bay, an important part of Daphne du Maurier's life and work. See photos and hear a report.

Daphne du Maurier's love of Cornwall can be found in many of her world famous novels.

The author is remembered each year during the Du Maurier Festival which is being held between Thursday 8 and Saturday 17 May 2008.

Fowey

Daphne's beloved Fowey

One of the many highlights of the event is the festival of walks that are available for people wanting to learn more about what inspired the famous author.

Dawn Vivian is one of the guides during the festival. She took our reporter Matt Shepherd on the 'My Cousin Rachel' walk, reading excerpts from the book, and re-tracing du Maurier's footsteps. Click on the links below to hear all the audio:

The many walks available take in some of the most beautiful coastal scenery that Cornwall has to offer. Click on the link below to see our photo gallery from the walk:

The 'My Cousin Rachel' walk gives you the chance to tour the Barton land near Fowey, that Daphne describes so graphically in the novel, and explore the countryside just as Rachel did while out walking with Philip.

Walk information

The walk begins and ends at Readymoney Car Park in Fowey.

Tregaminion Chapel

Tregaminion Chapel

Approximately five miles in length, it can be strenuous at times, with some stiles and kissing gates.

Walking through Prickly Post Lane and Lankelly Lane, across to Tregaminion Farm and chapel, you take in some amazing coastal views.

In the distance, as you walk towards the farm, you can catch a glimpse of Kimarth, where Daphne du Maurier spent her final years, after leaving her beloved Menabilly.

Walking through the farmyard, you head up the hill to Tregaminion Chapel. It was here that du Maurier's memorial service was held. 

Menabilly

A rare glimpse of Menabilly.

Depending on the time of year, if you walk away from the chapel, you may be treated to a rare glimpse of Menabilly, Daphne's beloved home for many years. The house is often hidden from the outside world by trees.

The next highlight in the walk is Menabilly Barton, which leads to Polridmouth Beach, a popular haunt in yesteryear for Daphne du Maurier, and today for local sun seekers.

Polridmouth is believed to be one of the inspirations for the beach that features in du Maurier's world famous novel, 'Rebecca'.

Just around the corner from the beach is a cottage, by a pond, where swans are often seen. Today it is a holiday let. But the cottage was thought to have been the inspiration for the boathouse in the novel 'Rebecca'.

Menabilly Barton

Climbing up the steep hill away from the beach they is a welcome break during the summer season, the option for a cream tea. But there are also benches along the way where you can dream away the day - maybe even be inspired to write your own novel...

The walk takes you back towards Fowey - with views of Polruan in the distance. Following the signs to St Catherine's Castle, you can see the remains of Henry VIII's castle. It was built around the same time as Pendennis and St Mawes castles, to protect the Cornish coastline during Tudor times.

The walk takes you down to Readymoney's beach, where you can follow signs back to the car park.  

Walking during the Festival

If you would like to go on either this walk, or any of the others offered during the du Maurier Festival you do need to book in advance. To find out more information, including times and prices, click on the link below:

last updated: 02/05/2008 at 13:50
created: 03/04/2008

You are in: Cornwall > History > Historic Walks > In Daphne's Footsteps

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