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Exploring Kennall Vale

August 22, 2017

This summer it seems like I keep finding new places to go, and normally they are really close to my house. Kennall Vale, for instance, is tucked away just up the road in Ponsanooth. A couple of weeks ago I finally got to explore it for the first time with mum, Chris and the kids. We had some lovely Cornish weather to go with our trip too and it rained the whole time we were out, but we went prepared with our wellies. 

There’s no proper car park for Kennall Vale but we found somewhere in the village to park and walked up the road to the entrance, which is just up from Kennall Vale house. A little path takes you down towards the gate and then you’re there; shielded from the sky by the trees and surrounded by greenery and the sound of running water.

Kennall Vale used to a gunpowder works, making explosive for mining until the 1900s when the newly invented dynamite became popular and the site was sold. The workings and buildings were left abandoned and have slowly been reclaimed by nature with plant life growing over the stone, and in some case trees growing through and around them. There was one tree in particular that had gnarled and twisted branches which made it look really angry. It did start to spook me out a bit, but overall I didn’t feel like it was a spooky place even though I’ve heard it’s haunted. I half expected Lara Croft to be hanging around because it reminded me a bit of a Tomb Raider level.

Angry Tree

The River Kennall runs through the middle of the woods and the closer we got to it the louder the water thundered past us. It got to the point that as we crossed the bridge we had to shout at one another. Once on the other side we walked past the remains of seven incorporating mills.

One bonus of it being so wet was that it made everything look really lush and green. There was chance for a photo opportunity where me and the boys took it in turns to stand under a leat whilst a water cascaded just in front of us. We were all trying to work out how things must of looked back when the site was active as we walked around. It was strange to think this peaceful, quiet spot was once so important and busy. Now all we could hear were the birds, the water, and the breeze through the trees.

It wasn’t a long or difficult walk, but it was a good place to go on a rainy afternoon. I think the canopy of trees stopped us from getting too wet, plus we got to explore somewhere new. After getting back to the car we drove into Falmouth for a fish and chip dinner at The Gem to warm up. You just can’t let a bit of rain spoil a summer afternoon adventure.

Chris got some great photos during this afternoon out and he’s decided to use them in his first blog post, including those ones I mentioned of us under the water cascading from the leat. Take a look here

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From → Cornwall

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