Hiking with Children in Cornwall, England

Talk to children about the famous Bolster giant before embarking on an easy hike to St Agnes Beacon to enjoy a spectacular view of Cornwall’s Atlantic coast.

Cornwall is a “fabled land of giants” and St Agnes Beacon has long been associated with one of those creatures of legend: the Bolster giant. The steady inland climb and return takes about an hour and there is spectacular flora to be enjoyed all the way up. From the top one can take in the magnificent view of Cornwall’s Atlantic coast and its famous landmark, the mining remains of Wheal Coates.

Where to Stay

We stayed here: http://www.racehorseinn.co.uk

We received a very friendly welcome from the staff who turned out to be amazing. The room was quite a luxury room considering the price, and was spotlessly clean and the bed was very comfortable. There were lots of little extra touches that helped make our stay more special. The decor is tasteful and the food out of this world, with a great breakfast choice which was cooked and presented expertly.

St Agnes and the Bolster Giant

Children of all ages will be delighted to hear the legend of Bolster, one of Cornwall’s famous giants, while hiking to the place where he took his giant strides. Bolster was of such stature that he could take a 6-mile-long stride from St Agnes Beacon to Carn Brea. Married though he was, Bolster fell in love with the virtuous Saint Agnes and though she spurned him he wouldn’t stop pursuing her.

Legend has it that the Chapel Forth cliffs are still stained with Bolster’s blood. The beautiful St Agnes tired of the giant’s relentless pursuit resolved to get rid of him. She pretended that his love for her would be answered should he fill a hole in the cliff of Chapel Forth with his blood. Bolster thought it an easy feat but the hole was bottomless and the giant bled out and died.

Hiking to St Agnes Beacon

St Agnes is on the northern coast of mid-Cornwall, at England’s south west. The path to St Agnes Beacon can be found in many Cornwall Walking Guides. Hikers usually start from St Agnes village car park and walk through Higher Bal to the Beacon or park in the lay-by just before turning to St Agnes Head and start the steady climb to the top. It is an easy hiking experience for children and adults alike.

This National Trust area is ablaze in summer with the vibrant purple, lilac and bright yellow flowers of heather and gorse. Peregrine falcons may be seen surveying the cliffs. Adders may lurk in the low shrubs but are easily disturbed.

St Agnes Beacon in History

Fires were lit in the Beacon in earlier times to warn villagers of danger; it was part of a network of beacons that were lit across England to warn of the threat of invasion. One such incident was the coming of the Spanish Armada. Beaconmania gripped England in the 19th century and beacons were lit with the slightest excuse!

St Agnes Beacon offers not only a spectacular Atlantic coast panorama but also a view of one of Cornwall’s most famous landmarks, the remains of Wheal Coates, the tin mine beside the sea with its iconic pumping engine house.