About Becky Falls
Becky Falls (also Becka Falls) was really our waterfalling excuse to talk about the myriad of attractions that we managed to experience in both Devon and Cornwall counties.
We made a bit of a short detour from our long drive between Cardiff or Bath to the far southwestern end of England at Cornwall to visit this waterfall, which was the very last one we visited on our epic UK trip in 2014.
As you can see from the photo above, the waterfall itself wasn’t particularly impressive.
That said, the woodland park it was in did have some animals, which seemed to delight our three-year-old daughter.
It was also a relatively tranquil and Naturesque experience given that it was a pocket of relatively undisturbed bushlands surrounded by farmlands.
While the southwest of England featured attractions like Land’s End, Minack Theatre, Saint Michael’s Mount, Durdle Door, and even Stonehenge, Becky Falls did offer a much more subtle alternative in the region.
The Natural Becky Falls versus the Unnatural Canonteign Falls
There were actually two waterfalls in the park containing Becky Falls.
The first waterfall was the main falls that you see in the photo at the top of this page.
The second waterfall was an even smaller lower falls further down the Becka Brook.
Unfortunately, the both of the waterfalls were 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 Becky Falls cafe’s signal in real-time, we then learned that Canonteign Falls turned out to be man-made.
That waterfall was diverted by hard-luck coal miners, and I kind of think of this “historical” waterfall in much the same way that the Romans created the Cascata delle Marmore.
So we ultimately wound up doing the natural waterfall even though Canonteign promised to be far taller and more impressive visually.
Experiencing Becky Falls
Our visit to Becky Falls 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 our daughter loved.
At this point, we had a choice of continuing on towards the main Becky Falls via the red trails (on both sides of the Becka Brook), which was less than five minutes walk from the picnic area.
Or, we could have chosen to walk in a different direction on the blue trail towards an ancient oak woodland.
The most straightforward way to do this excursion 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.
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 path 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 loop, 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 only as an out-and-back hike.
Becky Falls resides in the Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park in the Dartmoor region near Manaton in Devon County, England. It is administered by the Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
In any case, we’ll just describe the detour we took on the way to Penzance from Cardiff 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.
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.
This road eventually passed 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.
That said, 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.
We also happened to make 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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