About Becky Falls
Becky Falls was really our waterfalling excuse to talk about the myriad of attractions that we managed to experience in both Devon and Cornwall counties. As you can see from the photo at the top of this page, the waterfall itself wasn’t particularly impressive though the woodland park it was in did have some animals, which seemed to delight our three-year-old daughter, and it was a relatively tranquil and Naturesque experience. Plus, this was a somewhat short detour from our long drive between Cardiff or Bath to the far southwestern end of England at Cornwall so we tend to think of this falls as our lone waterfalling excursion to this part of the country even though we would wind up far more impressed with attractions like Land’s End, Minack Theatre, Saint Michael’s Mount, Durdle Door, and even Stonehenge.
There were actually two waterfalls in the park, which consisted of the main falls as well as an even smaller lower falls further down the Becka Brook. Unfortunately, the falls was bouldery and the stream flow during our visit was low enough that most of the water was hidden beneath or in the cracks of these boulders. I’m sure when it’s raining heavily or the stream has had a chance to accumulate a lot of water from continued rains would the falls be more impressive than what we were able to show you.
We actually had to decide between visiting Becky Falls or the nearby Canonteign Falls. But when we did a little more research on Canonteign Falls from the cafe’s signal during our visit of Becky Falls (since the signs for that falls we had noticed while driving for the motorways was the first time I had ever heard of the falls), we then learned that Canonteign Falls turned out to be man-made by hard-luck coal miners in much the same way (by water diversion) that Cascata delle Marmore was man-made by Romans. So we ultimately wound up doing the natural waterfall even though Canonteign promised to be far taller and more impressive visually.
Anyways, our visit began from a spacious car park after driving some very narrow single-track roads that I guess were quite typical of the rural roads in Devon (see directions below). There was an attendant at the car park during our visit, and we had to pay him a very hefty fee of 7.75 pounds per adult (15.5 pounds total) covering all of us. Then, we walked across the narrow woodland road to get into the complex where we were then greeted by a picnic area, a cafe, toilets, and some caged exotic birds. There were also trails leading to a reptile museum as well as a petting zoo of farm animals further down the slope, which Tahia loved.
At this point, we had a choice of continuing on towards the main falls via the red trails (on both sides of the Becka Brook), which was less than five minutes walk from the picnic area, or walking in a different direction on the blue trail towards an ancient oak woodland. The most straightforward way to do this would be to just stay on the red trail (don’t cross the bridge over Becka Brook) and take it downhill right to the base of the main waterfall, which you see at the top of this page. The other side of the stream didn’t really yield any views of the falls, which was why I didn’t advocate crossing over the brook. Anyways, this was more of the kind of waterfall you could just chill and relax by, but it certainly wasn’t photogenic when we saw it.
I then explored further downstream along the red trail until I reached a shortcut that then led me towards the log bridge where the purple trail continued going further downstream along the Becka Brook. The trail here was much rougher than the red trail, but it wasn’t bad. Eventually, I ended up by the shadowy Lower Becky Falls, which probably wasn’t more than 5-10ft. Then, against the direction of the signs as they wanted me to do all the loop trails in a clockwise manner, I went back the way I came in the interest of time. Had I done the full loops, the red trail would have taken about 45 minutes while the purple trail would have added another 30 minutes. I ended up spending roughly 30-45 minutes to check out both of the Becky Falls.
We visited Becky Falls as part of a long drive from Cardiff (in Wales) to Penzance. We also could have done this when we made the long drive back from Penzance to Bath via the Jurassic Coast and Stonehenge. In any case, we’ll just describe the detour we took on the way to Penzance since that was how we actually did it.
So from Cardiff, we’d ultimately drive onto the M4 motorway due east to cross from Wales into England as we would eventually join up with the M49 then the M5 motorway some 25 miles east of Cardiff. Next, we then drove M5 for about 75 miles southwest to Exeter, where we then left this motorway to go onto the A38. After another 10.5 miles on the A38 (this stretch was where we started seeing brown Canonteign Falls signs), we then left this motorway to go onto the A382 road (Newton Road) due north from Heathfield. After another 2 miles on the A382 road, we then turned left to go onto the B3387 road, then in about 0.3 miles, we followed the Becky Falls sign to go right onto an even narrower rural road through some hilly pastures before passing into the woodlands of Dartmoor National Park. After about 3.7 miles of driving these narrow roads (there were signs at the key junctions to keep us on track), we finally would arrive at the well-signed car park for the falls.
Overall, this drive took us about 2 hours and 20 minutes. And when we continued to Penzance from Becky Falls, it was another 2.5 hours though some of that time was spent sitting in traffic jams due to a combination of road construction and the reduction of lanes in some spots along the A30 motorway and road as well as an unnecessary drive through the even narrower roads (think hedges scraping the sides of the car on both sides) from Becky Falls to the A382 road via Manaton (again, no thanks to the GPS).
For a bit of context, the Cornish town of Penzance was in England’s far southwest corner. It was about 214 miles (4 hours drive) southwest of Bath, 222 miles (4 hours drive) southwest of Cardiff, and 307 miles (over 5 hours drive) southwest of London.
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