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St. Nectan’s Glen Waterfalls, Cornwall, UK | A magical, mystical and sacred place (1 of 10)

St Nectan’s Glen Waterfalls, Cornwall, UK


Although my main interest is in gardens, the waterfalls in this set of photos represent nature’s garden at its best. Mosses, ferns and lichens grow in profusion in the ideal micro-climate of the permanently damp surroundings near the waterfalls.


Details: Many regard the dramatic waterfalls at Saint Nectan’s Glen (Saint Nectan’s Kieve) as a special, sacred place. This mystical waterfall is said to be one of the top spiritual sites in the UK. A place where the presence of the earth Goddess (Gaia, divine mother, or female aspect of nature), is greatly enlivened.


St Nectan’s falls have been a place of interest to both Pagans and Christians for hundreds of years and many people still place votive offerings around the waterfalls. There is a hermit’s cell at the top of the waterfall associated with the 6th century saint and hermit, St. Nectan. On account of their proximity to Tintagel, the falls are also linked to the legend of King Arthur. The falls are also quite near to an ancient labyrinth rock carving – located further down the valley and supposedly dating back to 1600 B.C.


It is difficult to believe that this waterfall is in a corner of England – it somehow seems too exotic and more ‘at home’ in a tropical rainforest. These falls are a sparkling natural gem in a hidden and secret valley – a quiet and secluded place in which to meditate and be in the presence of natural beauty.


The waterfalls are in a steep wooded valley and the sun reaches the bottom of the falls for a very limited time each day.


Location: The Hermitage, Trethevy, Cornwall, PL34 0BE, UK. The waterfalls, on the Trevillet River, at St Nectan’s Glen are not really on the main ‘tourist trail’ in Cornwall – they are usually reached via a walk through a beautiful, steep sided and wooded green valley (off the B3263 - the Boscastle to Tintagel road). Visitors are advised to consult an OS map before visiting. The nearest village is Trethevy.


UK OSGB Map Reference: SX080885


Latitude: 50.664435N: Longitude: 4.718162W


Visitors should note that St Nectan’s falls are located on private land and there was a small entrance charge. As the land owners moved in the summer of 2011, future visitors are advised to check the web for latest information regarding access to the falls.


© 2011 ukgardenphotos

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Taken in August 2003