First of all, do not follow your SatNav to find Frenchman’s Creek, they are notoriously unreliable in this area of twisting creeks and windy lanes. From Newtown St Martin TR12 6DP follow signs to Manaccan and Kestle Barton. Turn left at the crossroads to Manaccan and Kestle towards Kestle Barton and don’t miss the right hand turn signposted to Kestle Barton a short distance down the road. Follow this road to Kestle Barton and park in the lay-by opposite. (Unless you want to visit this wonderful gallery and gardens of course, which is thoroughly recommended).
Walk back a short distance the way you came to a large gate and public footpath which runs away from Kestle Barton and slopes down to some woods. Follow this footpath and you will eventually come to the upper reaches of Frenchman’s Creek. Turn right and follow the creek side path along the river. It’s a beautiful walk and you can spot curlews and herons among other birds in the creek which inspired the famous novel by Daphne Du Maurier. Continue on and the path eventually bends to the right and joins a small road going right, up hill away from the river. Continue up this path and it takes you around back down the lane eventually back to Kestle Barton. From Tue to Sun in the summer the gallery and gardens are open and there is a tea hut with coffee and cake which runs on an honesty box.
There are longer variations of this walk, for example at the top of the hill when you have walked up from Frenchman’s Creek, you can take the path down to Penarvon Cove around the coast to Helford village, and then back up the path through the village and the woods back to Kestle Barton where you started. Visit the Kestle Barton website for information about Frenchman’s Creek and directions for arriving by car and the walks.
You can see the South West Coast Path map and guide to Frenchman’s Creek and walks in the area here