Golant is a small Cornish waterside village bounded on the west by the Lostwithiel to Fowey road, the B3269, and on the east by its focal point, the River Fowey. It is easily accessed being just 20 minutes drive from the A30 Bodmin junction, is 35 /40 minutes from Newquay Airport and 10 minutes from the main line railway station in Par with trains going to Penzance, London and up country all the way to Scotland.
Located in the parish of St Sampson – the life of St Sampson is one of the earliest recorded and relates how the saint travelled to Cornwall after studying in Dublin and established himself in Golant where the church now stands having erected a temporary shelter by the holy well, which can be seen from the south door. The church follows a traditional Celtic design, with some parts said to date from 1200, although the present building was consecrated in 1509 and restored in 1842.
Golant has around 110 homes with a population of around 220 people. It has the Fishermans Arms pub, Encounter Cornwall kayak centre and cafe and an art gallery. The village also has a bed and breakfast and a number of holiday cottages.
Located on the Saints Way, Golant is a popular stop-off for walkers. There is no public transport, school or shop in the village but there is a very active and friendly community who keep the Fishermans busy all year round supporting its quiz nights, card evenings and other events. There are also regular events organised by the Village Hall and Carnival committees and the village even has its own am-dram group, GRADS.
An area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Golant boasts scenic views all year round. The river’s east bank is owned by the National Trust. In the summer the river is a hive of boating activity and in the winter left mostly to cormorants, egrets, mallards, swans, herons and kingfishers that make the river their home.
Not surprisingly, Golant is very popular with those who enjoy water-based activities whether it be kayaking, sailing, fishing or just pottering around on the boat and enjoying trips to nearby Lostwithiel, Lerryn, Penmarlam and Fowey. The Fowey River Canoe Club can be found on the riverside – it produces paddlers who compete at a national level. Next to it is the Castledore Rowing Club.
And opposite you will find the award-winning Encounter Cornwall
where you can have guided tours along the river to take in the array of birds and you may even spot the local seal.
A quirky feature of the village is a single track railway line alongside the river which transports cargoes of china clay to the waiting ships on the quays at Fowey.
Golant is the nearest village to the iconic Sawmills Studio, established in 1974. This residential recording studio was the first of its kind and bands who have recorded there include the Stone Roses, Oasis, the Verve, Razorlight and Muse. The studio is unique as it can only be accessed by boat or via a railway line that runs past it. It is now a popular holiday let.
Daphne du Maurier’s family has a home a mile down river from the village at Bodinnick. The area is also associated with novelist Kenneth Graham. In 1907, he wrote ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ inspired by a boating trip from Fowey to Golant. ‘The Wind in the Willows’ was published the following year and it is believed this stretch of the river inspired him to write this extraordinary tale.