The Golitha Falls are a series of spectacular cascades and waterfalls along a section of the River Fowey as it makes its way through the ancient oak woodland of Draynes Wood. The Falls are situated approximately 8 miles to the north East of Lostwithiel on the edge of Bodmin Moor the perfect spot for a lovely walk in picturesque surroundings being one of the best known beauty spots on Bodmin Moor.
As the river Fowey winds it way from its source high on the Moor near Brown Willy, to its entrance to the sea at the picturesque fishing harbour of Fowey it passes through the beautiful wooded gorge below Draynes Bridge.
Golitha Falls is a National Nature Reserve managed by English Nature, the reserve is a long gorge, lined with ancient oak woodland that gives way to the River Fowey at the bottom.and has also a Site of Special Scientific Interest on account of its ancient woodland, usual woodland flowers, rare mosses and lichens.The river itself is home to Brown trout and receives seasonal visits from migratory fish such as the Atlantic salmon and sea trout. The River Fowey is also part of the Cornwall designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Access to the walk is very straightforward with a carpark at the edge of the walk just passed Draynes Bridge on the river Fowey, the car park also provides toilets as well as the Inkie’s Smokehouse BBQ trailer, where you can get ice creams, drinks and, great charcoal grilled food.
The falls themselves lie around 500m down stream from the car park. The setting is extremely attractive with the river passing over a series huge granite boulders and cascading down through the deep ancient tree lined gorge for a further 600m, over the course of the falls dropping over 90m in altitude
The river therefore is always racing gurgling and churning over the vast granite boulders and gliding through deep cauldron like pools. To capture Golitha Falls at their most spectacular you need to visit during the winter or after heavy rain on the moors. The Golitha reserve consists of mainly oak, ash and beech, which occupies the sides of a steep-sided valley gorge.
The trail takes the walker through a beautiful woodland and along the banks of the upper River Fowey, many trees along the route are hung with festoons of lichen in their upper branches of the ancient woodland that once covered huge swathes of the local area. If you come here in the spring you will be welcomed by a vast carpet of bluebells, well worth a visit.
Within the trees alongside the river of the upper falls you can also find what remains of a nineteenth century mine – the old Wheal Victoria Copper Mine began mining here in 1844, quite an amazing feat considering its remote and steep location.
The reserve is a long gorge, lined with ancient oak woodland that gives way to the River Fowey at the bottom.Much of the reserve is known to be ancient woodland, with Draynes Wood apparently being recorded in the Domesday Book (1086).
The Golitha Falls are a series of spectacular cascades and waterfalls along a section of the River Fowey as it makes its way through the ancient oak woodland of Draynes Wood.