Once a busy port, with a thriving trade in French rum, tobacco and lace, Helford is now a tranquil village on the banks of the Helford River. Home to the Helford River Sailing Club, the village has a post office and a popular waterside pub, The Shipwright’s Arms.
During the Napoleonic Wars, pirates and free traders lurked in the upper reaches of the river, inspiring Daphne du Maurier’s romantic novel, Frenchman’s Creek. The creek — surely little changed since du Maurier’s swashbuckling Frenchman hid in its still, silent waters — can be reached by walking along a wooded track from the top of the village. A pedestrian ferry linking Helford Village to Helford Passage on the north side of the river has been in operation since the Middle Ages.
East of the village towards the estuary there are several sandy coves, backed by mature woodland and accessible either by boat or the coast path from Helford Village. Locals claim that Bosahan, the large house hidden in the trees above the river, was the Manderley of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Certainly, Ponsence Cove and its tiny boathouse would seem to fit the bill.