58.52 ha (144.60 acres)

Grid reference:


Map reference:

Explorer 107
OS Landranger 204

Kings Wood sits on the Cornish Coast and boasts wonderful views in a spectacularly varied woodland.

Look out for the rich ground flora, including splashes of vibrant bluebell in spring. Sections of woodland lie along the valley bottom, next to the St. Austell River, and the wet, marshy conditions provide a haven for species that love wetter areas, such as willow, alder and yellow flag iris.


  • Parking at site
  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Waymarked walk
  • Marshland
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Kings Wood

Kings Wood is a 58.5-hectare (144.6-acre) site situated on the eastern side of the scenic Pentewan Valley Road (B3273).

It runs south from St Austell to Pentewan and the popular fishing village of Mevagissey, and just south of the village of London Apprentice.

From the A30, turn off at the Innis Downs junction on to the A391 towards St Austell. Follow the A391 until it joins the A390 on Holmbush Road.

Follow the A390 Holmbush Road which continues to the left at the Mount Charles Roundabout, past Asda to a double roundabout where you turn onto the B3273, towards Pentewan and Mevagissey .

Just after the village of London Apprentice and 70 metres after the Kingswood Bar and Restaurant, turn left onto an unmarked road with business signage. Follow this road, round to the right past the businesses, and through a narrow, wooded strip until it rises sharply for a short distance and then opens into the car park.

Or, continue along the B3273 towards Pentewan for another 2 miles. With Kings Wood on your left and after a series of sharp bends, the road straightens and there is a small lay-by and, over the bridge, a car park used for the wood and the adjacent Pentewan Leisure trail.

The nearest train station is in St Austell.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stops are in London Apprentice and at Sun Valley Holiday Park.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

Kings Wood has two access points. One is along an unclassified track, just past the Kingswood Bar and Restaurant, which opens into a turning area with two management and public access gates. The second access point is reached by continuing for just over 3km (2 miles) along the B3273, until the road widens and a bridge turns off the road, heading across the river and through the small parking area on the Pentewan Leisure Trail and a 1.2-metre gate.

There are two surfaced paths in the wood which are linked into a woodland path network. Other, more challenging, steeper and naturally-surfaced tracks lead to panoramic views. There are seats along these higher tracks.

The paths that run through the lower sections of the woodland tend to be wetter and can become quite muddy in wet weather.

The car parks at both entrances have space for around eight cars each but are often full at busy times of the day/year. Additional parking is also available at other locations along the access tracks and roads used to reach the entrances.

There are no public toilets available in London Apprentice, but the village of Pentewan, just over 3km (2 miles) away has public toilets in the village square that offer general and disabled facilities at the weekends.

Wildlife and habitats


Kings Wood provides the ideal habitat for a range of bird and insect species, including a good variety of butterflies, such as the holly blue, which is quite common in the wood.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

The woodland at Kings Wood is varied: the upper, drier slopes are mainly populated with mature oak, ash, sweet chestnut, birch, beech and turkey oak with occasional large holly. The ages vary between species and locations but range from 75 to 165 years old.

The sections of wet, marshy woodland along the bottom of the valley provide the perfect conditions for alder and willow.

Look out for:


The woodland at Kings Wood is designated as Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) and Planted Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS), and these habitats greatly enhance the area’s landscape and conservation value.


History of Kings Wood

Kings Wood dates back more than 400 years, though some areas were replanted in the 1970s with a variety of commercial conifer species. The wood has historical links with Cornwall’s industrial past as the valley bottom and river corridor areas were once used for tin streaming and associated activities.

There are two silted ponds at the southern end of the wood, which at one time were used to hold water that was then released to flush silt from Pentewan harbour.

The wood is thought to have been part of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster’s property and reverted to the king after the earl’s execution in 1322 for rebelling against the king, his cousin, Edward II.

Things to do at Kings Wood


The Pentewan Leisure trail follows the western boundary between the wood edge and the St Austell River, forming part of the Cornish Way and linking the wood to local towns, villages and other amenities. There are also tracks that are narrower, steeper and more challenging, which lead into the wilder and less accessible parts of the wood.


Kings Wood Management Plan

PDF  (146 KB)