Oliver's Cornwall
Bodmin Moor
Walks in Cornwall's Wild Country
Roughtor
Bowithick ford
The Cheesewring
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This page contains 27 round walks on and around the Moor, all researched between 2010 and 2012.   Mostly  between 5 and 10 miles in length, they contain Description, Diary, Interest, Statistics, Useful Info and a PDF file of Route Directions, with a few grid references to help locate significant features.  Walks are grouped under area.  In some cases, two walks can be joined to make one long one. 

INTRODUCTORY FEATURES
Bodmin Moor
Industry
Moorland Walking
Guided Walks
Online Mapping
Ordnance Survey Maps
INFORMATION Route Directions Glossary of Terminology and Abbreviations Cornish Stiles

THE WALKS  *****  Many other walks are described briefly on my main Bodmin Moor page
FROM Minions A30 at Temple and Bolventor Colliford Lake  St. Breward Camelford & Roughtor
And one of the great Bodmin Moor hill walks, a Five Hills Walk from Bowithick

CORNWALL REVIEWS INDEX and SITE CONTENTS

Introductory Guide
What's New?
Oliver's Cornwall Walking Pages
Homes
Gardens
Museums & Galleries
Countryside
Holy Sites & Churches
Antiquities
Castles
Towns & Villages
Miscellanea
Home Page
Contact Me
© Copyright Oliver Howes 2016
Page updated 01 October 2016



An Introduction to Bodmin Moor
Most visitors to Cornwall drive straight across Bodmin Moor on their way to their beach and surf resorts and give it scarcely a second thought.  Even the fitter visitors, planning to walk, are probably thinking only of the Coast Path.  They don't know what they are missing and I'm glad of that as it leaves the delights of the moor to the few who know it and love its wildness, its scattered settlements, its pleasing villages, its clapper bridges, its ancient rugged beauty and, most of all, its great range of antiquities.  Here are a few of our moorland highlights.
Hills: Brown Willy (1375') and Rough Tor (1325') are the highest and are musts, even though relatively popular.  Stowe's Hill is also popular but is definitely a must particularly for its renowned Cheesewring rock column.  My favourite hills include rocky Kilmar Tor and Hawke's Tor and remote feeling Buttern Hill and High Moor.  Anywhere above about 1000' you get long views and that 'top of the world' feeling. 
Rivers:  Between them the Fowey, Camel and De Lank rivers drain much of the moor;  all rise in the north.  The Fowey is the most scenic;  you should not miss Golitha Falls, hidden in beech woods. 
Antiquities:  Easily accessible are the Hurlers and Pipers standing stones, Trethevy Quoit and King Doniert's Stones.  Less accessible are the Stripple Stones and Nine Stones circles and King Arthur's Hall.  All over the hills are remains of prehistoric settlements and abandoned medieval villages and even abandoned Victorian farmsteads.
Industry:  Superb copper mine relics and mineral tramways near Minions village; china clay pits at Stannon, Glynn Valley and Whitebarrow; and a working granite quarry at De Lank between Blisland and St. Breward. 
Walking:  It's wonderful.  See Walking Bodmin Moor for a few words of advice.
Trails:  Mark Camp's enjoyable Copper Trail circumnavigates the moor but is not yet waymarked.  The Land's End Trail crosses the moor from St. Breward to Caradon Hill. 
Villages: Our favourites are St. Neot, Altarnun and Blisland
Pubs:  We particularly like the Old Inn in St. Breward, the London Inn in St. Neot and the Crow's Nest
Showery Tor on Bodmin Moor
I recommend looking at Best of Bodmin Moor and, for guided walks, Mark Camp's Walkaboutwest
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Bodmin Moor's Historic Industries
Most walkers on Bodmin Moor are there for the solitude and the wonderful scenery.  It would probably never occur to the casual walker on the moor that it was formerly, since prehistoric times, a positive hive of industry.  Yet you do not have to look far for the evidence of three major industries, two defunct, one still in existence in a minor way.  Major industry was mining for tin and copper, an activity that lasted on the moor from the bronze age through to the early 20th century.  You can see evidence of early tin streaming on such hills as Buttern Hill and Leskernick Hill, both accessible from Bowithick.  Modern era mining is best evidenced around Minions and the slopes of Caradon Hill.  In the 19th and 20th centuries the china clay industry flourished on the moor, more than 20 pits having once operated.  All pits are now closed but the best sites to see are Stannon Pit, best viewed from the heights of Roughtor, and Glynn Valley which you can access from the car park by the A30 near Temple.  Granite is the one major industry that is still active on the moor.  At different times there have been around 25 quarries on the moor, now only De Lank Quarry remains of the major quarries;  you can walk right through it on a path between Pendrift and St. Breward.  Also worth seeing is the defunct Cheesewring quarry below Stowe's Hill near Minions, nowadays the preserve of rock climbers.
It's all on Ordnance Survey Explorer 109
Water-filled pit and 3 'alps' at Glynn Valley Works
Other evidence of these industries can be found.  Most obvious is the Camel Trail, an 18 mile multi-use trail, once a railway carrying granite and china clay from the moor to the ports of Wadebridge and Padstow.  High on the moor you can find former railways and tramways that carried tin, copper and granite.  Best of these can be found around Minions and Caradon Hill, obvious from their relative straightness and the granite setts which remain in place.  Best examples run from Minions, one to Cheesewring quarry at Stowe's Hill, one from Minions to Kilmar Tor by Wardbrook Farm, one from Minions to Crow's Nest (good pub), and one running round the north and east side of Caradon Hill.
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Walking Bodmin Moor - a few words of advice
This is a very different sort of countryside to walk in.  The Cornish Coast Path is totally straightforward, well waymarked and impossible to miss.  Bodmin Moor is a very different matter.  Away from the Open Access land, OS map 109 shows many footpaths.  On the ground these are less easy to find, very few signed from roads as they are supposed to be.  Some are overgrown, others may have been blocked by landowners, intentionally or otherwise.  In places the only way you are sure you are on a path is if you can find the stile into the next field!  The OS is supposed to show marsh as blue tufts;  it doesn't always.  And a lot of archaeological information is missing.  The only route you can be sure of is Mark Camp's well described - but un-waymarked - Copper Trail around the moor's periphery.  So, plan your walk carefully using OS Explorer 109. Take a compass, count field boundaries, be patient and, unless you want to trespass, be prepared to retrace your steps and try once more.  If in doubt, ask a farmer, if you can find one.  Most importantly, use Cornwall Council's Mapping web site to find Open Access land.  But beware, on the Moor a lot of open access land fails to link with other such areas.  If, like me, you enjoy antiquities, there are many more than shown on the map.  If you enjoy high moorland, remote farms, cattle, native ponies and sheep, you will love Bodmin Moor.
The whole Moor is on Ordnance Survey Explorer sheet 109
Fox Tor on East Moor near Trewint
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Guided Walks on Bodmin Moor
WALKABOUT WEST   Mark Camp offers guided walks generally in Cornwall and especially on Bodmin Moor.  Mark is one of the experts on Bodmin Moor:  its history, its antiquities and its industries - tin and copper mining, granite quarrying and china clay production.  Mark has also published a number of books about Bodmin Moor - three books of Short Walks, a new Introductory Guide and a guide to the trail that he devised, the 60 mile Copper Trail around the moor.  I walked the Copper Trail in winter 2006.  It was a very wet winter so I met up with an awful lot of mud along the way.  Even so, it made for a very enjoyable few days, thanks to Mark's careful route directions and detailed maps and informative descriptions of all the interest to be found along the way.   One way or another I have done most of Mark's Short Walks, sometimes with walks of my own devising that coincide roughly with Mark's.  The odd one, such as the one from North Hill, is tougher than you might expect but all are enjoyable.  And I have particularly enjoyed  Mark's March 2009 Introduction to Bodmin Moor. 
Links:  Mark's WalkaboutWest
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Online Mapping - Cornwall Council's Mapping Website
The recently introduced 'Right to Roam' legislation - long agitated for by the Ramblers Association, and initially opposed by many landowners - has resulted in vast areas of land all over England, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall being opened up to the general public.  Essentially these rights are for walkers only - suits me.  I used to find the Countryside Agency's Open Access website an immense help in my Cornwall moorland walking, not just on Bodmin Moor but also in West Penwith.  Unfortunately the site, now Natural England, has been messed around with and although the maximum scale is acceptable, maps are too small and navigation is quite awkward.   As a result, it is no longer worth, as a walker, using it in its current CRoW Access form.  Fortunately, Cornwall Council has an excellent mapping web site, which I find better than the Open Access site ever was.  It is easy to use, shows Open Access land, rights of way, path numbers should you wish to report problems, and is zoomable up to large scale.  A word of warning on Open Access land.  I soon discovered that this may not be quite as straightforward as that.  I have encountered barbed wire fences, locked gates and even one gate on Bodmin Moor, leading to access land, that has a 'no walkers' sign on it.  And, in West Penwith, where moorland is lower, I have often found impenetrable furze and bramble.  So don't expect it to be easy.
Ramblers heading down from Carn Galver
Ordnance Survey Explorer maps now show Open Access land as yellow
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Ordnance Survey Maps - The 1:25000 Landranger Series
My earliest walking was done with Jane with the Independent Ramblers, based in Ealing.  With them we learned to love the Chilterns and the Cotswolds.  But we soon graduated to our own independent walks, first from walk books, later of our own devising.  The Ordnance Survey 1:25000 series became our bible.  The current 2005 Explorer series still is my bible (to a degree) particularly as it now shows Open Access land.  But, as with the Bible, you learn not to believe every word.  I use OS maps, GPS and compass on most walks, especially on Bodmin Moor and on the moors of West Penwith.  But I have lost some trust in OS.  Since completing Mark Camp's Copper Trail during winter 2006, I have walked many routes of my own devising on and around Bodmin Moor and have been horrified to discover just how unreliable the Ordnance Survey can be.  In my 2011 research walks I have found many paths completely blocked off, others with no FP sign where they leave the road.  Below Garrow Tor the OS fails to show a total of five footbridges over the De Lank River;  in fairness, even Cornwall Council's Mapping Web Site only shows threee of them.  At Smith's Moor, continuous Open Access land turns out to be divided by impenetrable barbed wire.  Elsewhere I have found marsh that isn't shown, probably because it is not low-lying.  So be advised, take map, GPS and compass and expect the unexpected. 
The area covered by OS Landranger 109 
Don't expect all antiquities to be marked either
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Route Directions
I hope my Route Directions, contained in separate easily printable PDF files, will be clear.  I have divided them first into short sections with a distance for each section.  Each section is then divided into short paragraphs with the cumulative distance at the end of each.  Some text is in italics, this is usually just a comment or description, often of views.  Occasionally I offer detours or alternative routes:  these, too, are often in italics.  While it is very tempting to include all the GPS data that I record when researching walks, I have restricted myself to using grid references to identify the location of particular points of interest, particularly antiquities which can be obscured by rampant furze and bracken.  I have also included the occasional spot height where it may be of significance.  I try to include all footpath signs and waymarks and to note where these should be but are missing or damaged.  All gates and stiles are included, both usually indicating the nature of the gate or stile.  You will find information on stiles under Terminology below and a separate Feature on Cornish Stiles.  Abbreviations are explained in a box below as are things special to Cornwall.  If you are checking distances as you go along, don't expect mine to be precise;  I have a tendency to wander off course to take photographs or to improve a view.  There are no maps at present but, in due course, I hope to include sketch maps in the PDF files;  in the meantime, the route should be clearly identifiable on Ordnance Survey Explorer sheet 109.
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Terminology and Abbreviations
Terminology
Those who are strangers to walking in Cornwall may be surprised by how the terminology for features in the walker's landscape can differ from normal English usage.  Here I list some of the features that may be described differently in Cornwall.   Hedge:  In Cornwall this is a battered earth bank, revetted with stone, and with vegetation, or even with shrubs and trees growing on it.  A young Cornish Hedge may look much like a drystone wall.  There are some English type hedges;  when I remember, I describe these as hedgerows.   Cairn:  Used in Cornwall to describe a Neolithic or Bronze Age burial mound, usually of rocks but often now grass covered.  Maps may describe them as barrow or tumulus. Cist:  Small coffin-shaped prehistoric burial chamber of stone, often found in cairns but sometimes alone.   Clapper Bridge:  Rough stone piers, large flat stones laid across.  Best known example is at Postbridge on Dartmoor but there are probably more in Cornwall than anywhere else.  Most impressive Cornish examples are Bradford Bridge and Delford Bridge on Bodmin Moor, both now used by road traffic.   Furze:  The customary Cornish term for gorse.  In places this can be more than head height and quite impenetrable.  Quoit:  Also known as a Portal Dolmen.  Exposed prehistoric burial chamber, with upright stones and a capstone.  Not to be confused with Quite (Cornish Cuyt) which is a wood.   Stiles:  Proper Cornish stiles are of stone, usually granite or slate.  See feature on Cornish Stiles for more information.   Round:  Circular embanked enclosure.  The term seems to be applied rather indiscriminately to both iron age farmstead sites, where there will be a ditch outside, and Plen-a-Gwarys, 'Playing Places' where the Cornish Ordinalia was performed.
Abbreviations
I am sure these will be either familiar or obvious.  Just in case, I list them anyway. CP:  Car parking.   L:  Left. R:  Right. T:  T junction.  FB:  Footbridge.   FP:  Footpath (sign).   LH:  Left-hand. RH:  Right-hand.   WM:  Way-mark.   X:  Cross (roads).   NT:  National Trust.
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Cornish Stiles
Disappointingly, many visitors to Cornwall never get to see a proper Cornish stile.  They walk the coast path, much owned by the National Trust which believes in wooden stiles or kissing gates, both very English devices for providing pedestrian access while keeping animals in their field.  Or they cycle the official trails and never see a stile.  I suppose it is a matter of cost;  it must be cheaper to make a wooden gate or stile than laboriously and skilfully set stone cross-pieces into a Cornish hedge.  A shame, because the granite or slate stile, in all its forms, expresses the character and landscape of Cornwall where a few bits of wood never can.  There are three basic Cornish stile types:  the open-stepped cattle stile, the sheep stile with its projecting stones in a widely spaced ladder, and the coffen stile, its stones laid across a pit in the ground.  You will also find many variations, including combined coffen/cattle stiles and simple step stiles.  Around Bodmin Moor there are few stiles on the Open Access land.  However, many of these walks include farmland where you will find a considerable mix of wooden and granite stiles.  Thanks to small fields some walks include a lot of stiles, many in a poor state.  To learn more about stiles (and hedges) go to Robin Meneer’s excellent Cornish Hedges web site
Cattle stile and cross near St. Buryan in West Penwith
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Walks from Minions, highest village on the moor
In several cases two of these walks can be linked to make one longer walk
1. Stowe's Hill Over Stowe's Hill to Wardbrook, returning on the former Kilmar Tramway 3.78 miles
2. Caradon Hill By Tramway to Crow's Nest, back by South Caradon Mine and Caradon Hill Tramway 5.13 miles
3. St. Cleer Crow's Nest, Trethevy Quoit, St. Cleer, King Doniert's Stones, Common Moor 6.63 miles
4. Bearah Tor Newlands, Henwood, Bearah Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill 5.88 miles
5. Craddock Moor Goldiggings, Craddock Moor, Tregarrick Tor, Siblyback Lake (and extensions up to 10 miles) 5.00 miles
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Minions 01 - Over Stowe’s Hill to Wardbrook, returning on the Kilmar Tramway – 3.78 miles
Standing Stones, Stone Circles, Mine Remains, Quarries, Rock Formations and a Tramway
Easily combined with Minions Walk 2, Caradon Hill, for an easy figure-of-eight walk of 8 miles.  I suggest doing Walk 01 first, then Walk 02 so as to arrive at the excellent Crow's Nest at lunchtime.
This may be the easiest of all walks from Minions.  Not only is it less than four miles, it only has one climb of note, the final rocky 150 feet to the summit of Stowe’s Hill.  However, because the walk is designed to include many of the antiquities and points of interest just to the north of Minions village, it is not completely straightforward.   In the first mile or so it does a couple of zig-zags to include these.  Starting from the western of two car parks in Minions, you first head NNW to find the Pipers standing stones, then back across to the Hurler’s stone circles and on east to Houseman’s Engine House for a good introductory exhibition to the area and its history.  Now the walk proper starts and you may find a compass useful here as you cannot see your next objective.  About 5 degrees west of north will take you to the famous Rillaton Barrow, where your next objectives become clear.  These are Stowe’s Hill, with the famous Cheesewring visible on top, and first Daniel Gumb’s Cave below it.  On the way you encounter a large disturbed cairn and a massive un-mapped ditch.  The climb up Stowe’s Hill is steep and rocky but worth it for the panoramic views.  The rest of the walk is completely straightforward:  west down into the valley, north towards Sharp Tor and south along the Kilmar tramway back to Minions. 
The Cheesewring on Stowe's Hill
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions and Useful Information
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Minions 01 - Stowe's Hill - Oliver'sDiary
I have done this, and related walks, so many times that I feel I could almost do it blindfold.  As with Walk 2, Caradon Hill, I first did it with Jane.  It was then that we learned about the Mineral Tramways, a knowledge that invited many further walks on the tramways radiating from the Camborne/Redruth area.  Researching this walk in April 2011, I found I had chosen a lovely sunny day, though the distant haze made photographs disappointing and Dartmoor invisible.  And, although the air in the valleys was almost still, a howling easterly gale removed my hat on Stowe’s Hill.  Even so, I could hear a hunt in progress off to the west.  Because of the wide fame of the Cheesewring, I usually encounter people on Stowe’s Hill, but imagine my surprise when two cyclists arrived and perched on the highest rock formation to photograph one another.  Back down in the valley, and approaching the lane to Wardbrook Farm, I encountered a group of fit looking young men, setting up route markers for the next day’s Five Tors race, hence a ‘drinks here’ sign I later encountered.  This is one of those walks that I love to do time-and-again, sometimes linked with the Minions 02 Caradon Hill Walk that loops to the south of the village.  This time I had sandwiches with me.  On sandwich-free occasions, of the three watering holes in Minions I prefer Hurler’s Halt tea rooms with its jokey proprietor. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions and Useful Information
Part of the main Hurlers Stone Circle
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Minions 01 - Stowe's Hill - Interest
Minions: See feature below.   Hurlers and Pipers:  Legend has it that the three stone circles, two standing, one now recumbent, that make up the Hurlers, were villagers turned to stone for playing hurling on a Sunday.  To their west are two tall standing stones, the Pipers who were also turned to stone for playing the music that accompanied the game.   Houseman’s Engine House:  Opened in 1881 to house a pumping engine for South Phoenix Mine.  Looks not unlike an Irish tower house complete with bawn wall.   Exhibition includes Copper Rush of 1836, the Lost Railway (LCR opened 1846, steam from 1860s, closed 1917), Cornish Engine Houses, Cornish World Mining Heritage Site, other mining matters and Bodmin Moor, including the Hurlers and Pipers and a sort of toposcope.   Daniel Gumb’s Cave:  Down the slope south of the Cheesewring is what purports to be Daniel Gumb’s Cave.  Gumb was a stonemason and self-taught mathematician who lived with his family in a cave by the Cheesewring Quarry.  His cave was destroyed by an extension of the quarry but some of the stones from it were re-erected here, including one inscribed with a Euclid theorem.  Rillaton Barrow:  South of Stowe’s Hill, beyond a massive deep ditch, is first a degraded cairn and then the famous Rillaton bronze age barrow.  The cist, where the gold Rillaton Cup (original in the British Museum, copy in Royal Cornwall Museum) was discovered, is visible on the barrow's east side.   Stowe’s Hill and the Cheesewring:  Climb the hill, around 1250 feet above sea level, one of the moor's highest points, and you will find the quite amazing Cheesewring, a natural granite outcrop, precariously poised above a quarry.  Stones on its south side were inserted by Victorians to keep it upright.  Were they necessary?  Beyond is a massive stone-walled pound, possibly bronze age, and beyond that a larger walled enclosure.  Views over the moor are glorious;  to the north you are looking to the high tors of Brown Willy and Rough Tor, to the south you can see the sea as far as Dodman Point, to the east you see Dartmoor.   Kilmar Tramway:  Part of the LCR, Liskeard and Caradon Railway, the extension allowed the transport of granite from Kilmar Tor and Bearah Tor quarries.  You walk on this on the return leg.   Mineral Tramways:  You will encounter them everywhere on this part of the moor.  See feature below.
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Feature - Minions
This is a village, well not much more than a hamlet, which owes its original existence to the many mines that surround it, and owes its continuing existence to the tourist trade, thanks to those now defunct mines, to the several important antiquities within easy walking distance, and to the easy and highly scenic moorland walking on this part of Bodmin Moor.  The major mine was Phoenix, later South Phoenix.  Photogenic Prince of Wales shaft is within a short walk and Houseman’s Shaft engine house, with a simple informative exhibition about the moor and local mining, is right on the northern edge of the village.  Antiquities include the Hurlers, a unique triple stone circle, and its nearby Pipers standing stones;  the Rillaton Barrow, where a gold cup was found, now in the British Museum;  Stowe’s Hill Pound, close to the famous Cheesewring, a precarious looking rock stack;  the Longstone Cross, half-a-mile away;  and King Doniert’s Stones, recording the death of a 9th century King of Cornwall.  Walking on the moor from here is easy for the first mile or so, more strenuous from there.  Happily, the village still has a shop and post office, with a tearoom behind.  There is also another tearoom, Hurlers Halt (both seasonal) and Cornwall’s highest pub, the Cheesewring Hotel, which does bar food and B&B. There is ample parking in two fair sized car parks, one at each end of the village. 
Houseman's Shaft Engine House at Minions
Description- Interest - Statistics - Directions and Useful Information
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Feature - Mineral Tramways
Cornwall, with its long history of mining for tin, copper and other ores, of quarrying granite, and of extracting china clay, developed many horse-drawn tramways to transport materials both locally and to ports.  On these walks from Minions you encounter the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, horse-drawn at first, steam hauled later, and tramways from Minions south to Crow’s Nest and north to granite quarries at Stowe’s Hill and Bearah and Kilmar Tors.  There are many in other parts of the county, too, particularly in the Redruth and Camborne area, where many have been opened  as multi-use trails, under the generic title of Mining Trails, primarily intended for cyclists but ideal for walkers, horse riders and, in many cases, wheelchair users.  Around 40 miles of trails include the Coast-to-Coast from Porthreath to Devoran;  the Redruth and Chacewater, linking with the Coast-to-Coast at Twelveheads and the Great Flat Lode circling Carn Brea;  the Portreath Branchline which also links with the Great Flat Lode at Wheal Buller;  and the Pentewan Trail in China Clay country.  Together with the Minions and Caradon area, all are part of Cornwall’s World Mining Heritage area and offer the chance to visit such outstanding sites as Wheal Peevor, the superb museum at King Edward Mine, Tolgus Tin, South Wheal Frances on the Great Flat Lode and, with a small detour, the National Trust’s superb Cornish Mines and Engines site at Pool. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions and Useful Information
Granite setts carried the rails on the Minions tramway
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Minions 01 - Stowe's Hill - Statistics
Distance:  3.78 miles.   Ascent:  350 feet.   Highest Point:  1260 feet at summit of Stowe’s Hill.   Biggest climb:  Easy 145 feet to Rillaton Barrow.  Fairly stiff 155 feet to summit of Stowe’s Hill.    Steps:  None.  Stiles:  None.    Gates:  None.   Open Access:  All the land that you are on is Open Access.  Road:  None.   Footing:  Generally good, though some may find tramway granite setts awkward.  Some care needed ascending and descending Stowe’s Hill which is very rocky.  Difficulty:  Overall easy, except for the climb up Stowe’s Hill.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Minions 01 - Stowe's Hill - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.  Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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Minions 02 - Along a tramway to Crow's Nest, returning over Caradon Hill - 5.13 miles
A tramway, a good pub for lunch, major mine remains, another tramway and Dartmoor views
Easily combined with Minions Walk 01, Stowe's Hill, for an easy figure-of-eight walk of 8 miles.  I suggest doing Walk 01 first, then Walk 02 so as to arrive at the excellent Crow's Nest at lunchtime.
This is very much a walk for those interested in Cornwall’s industrial history.  That industry, the mining of tin and copper, may be long gone but its relics, though much degraded by the passage of time, are both picturesque and fascinating.  It’s a walk, too, for those who enjoy long views and, if you get your timing right, for lovers of good pubs.  The 5 miles or so are generally easy going so you could manage it easily in a couple of hours.  Leaving Minions, heading south, you are immediately on a tramway that ran between here and Crow’s Nest.  You follow this route for a little under a mile.  At this point a footpath continues forward, initially on the line of the tramway, but the walk descends on a rocky track to the South Caradon Mine dressing floor then continues south into Crow’s Nest, a hamlet largely built for miners.  Don’t miss the excellent Crow’s Nest Inn though beware, lunchtime opening is fairly short.  Now you return to the valley to climb through an area rich in mine remains, the most impressive Kittow's Shaft which featured in the TV series Restoration.  Picturesque spoil tips then lead you to Tokenbury Corner.  From here most walk routes take you over the top of Caradon Hill.  However, this walk takes the more scenic route around the hill on the Liskeard and Caradon Railway back to Minions, with a glorious panorama east to Dartmoor.
Going down the Gonamena Incline
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions and Useful Information
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Minions 02 - Crow's Nest and Caradon Hill - Oliver's Diary
This was one of the first Bodmin Moor walks that Jane and I ever did.  Soon after learning about Mineral Tramways, when we did my Minions Walk 01, we looked for others and found the tramway from Minions to Crow’s Nest.  This was shown on OS 109 as a Right of Way.  At Crow’s Nest, after lunch at the excellent pub, we hesitantly found our way to South Caradon Mine.  I say hesitantly because this was before the days of Open Access land and no rights of way were shown here.  However, we found our way to Tokenbury Corner and then up over the summit of Caradon Hill back to Minions.  Since then I have done the walk many times, with both sisters, with Craig from New York and with Jane’s sister Mary and her husband John.  Researching this walk, done with Jane in April 2011, I decided to incorporate a couple of variations on the original route.  Instead of following the marked Right of Way into Crow’s Nest, after a little under a mile we descended into the valley for greater interest.  And, at Tokenbury Corner, we opted to follow the course of the old Liskeard and Caradon Railway that runs round the east and north sides of Caradon Hill, primarily for the superb unfolding panorama, first west to Dartmoor, then north to Sharp Tor and Stowe’s Hill.  I never tire either of this walk or of the superb baguettes at the Crow’s Nest Inn. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions and Useful Information
Kittow's Shaft, South Caradon Mine
JULY 2014: When we first did this walk in 2004 it seemed pretty easy.  10 years later - and 10 years older - we found the going fairly difficult because of the footing as far as Crow's Nest and on to Kittow's Shaft.  Quite a lot of soil has been washed away in the storms of tha last two winters, exposing more tramway setts and a lot of jagged rock.  It was still a lovely walk with panoramic views:  west to clay country, south to the coast, east to Dartmoor, and north to Sharptor and the Cheesewring.  The Crow's Nest Inn has new tenants, Martin and Jenny.  The lunchtime menu had changed, with a few more exotic items and a smaller choice of baguette, but we greatly enjoyed our superb ploughmans baguettes - generous filling, a nice salad and excellent chips.  So the Crow's Nest still remains a recommendation. 
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Minions 02 - Crow's Nest and Caradon Hill - Interest
Liskeard and Caradon Railway:   See feature below.   Gonamena:  Tin streaming took place at Gonamena from the 17th century.  A horse-drawn tramway, linking Minions with the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, was constructed in 1846.  The steep section at Gonamena required an incline plane to be constructed, its course still obvious.  The handsome house that you see to the left, at the foot of the Incline Plane was perhaps the former mine captain’s home.   Crow’s Nest Inn:  Excellent, but fairly expensive, food.  Hours 12.00-2.30 and 6.30-11.00, closed Monday.   Caradon Hill:  For 50 years from 1835 this was one of the world's most prosperous copper mines.  Financed by the miners themselves, led by the Kittow and Clymo families, it paid dividends (in today's terms) of around £50 million from an investment of only £64,000!  Other mines, too, were sunk all around Caradon Hill – Gonamena and East and West Caradon.  South Caradon Mine came to the notice of the general public when it became a candidate for millions of pounds in a 2004 TV show called Restoration.  Happily, the bid failed and, while total dereliction is the order of the day now, this is one of those magic places which needs to be enjoyed for itself, not prettified to meet the needs of the tourist industry and the demands of  'Health and Safety' regulations.  (Sep 2013: some consolidation work is under way)   Should you take the short route back from Tokenbury Corner, over the top of the hill, you will pass telecommunications masts, the tallest, sited at around 1200 feet and itself almost 800 feet high.  It is visible for many miles around.
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Feature - The Liskeard and Caradon Railway
The Liskeard and Looe Canal opened in 1828 to transport copper, tin and granite from the Caradon Hill area.  At that time the materials had to be transported to Liskeard by packhorse.  In 1844 the Liskeard and Caradon Railway opened to link with the canal.  In 1860 a rail line was completed from Liskeard to Looe, providing continuous rail transport from Caradon Hill to Looe.  At that time tin, copper and granite from the Minions area was transported to the rail line by a tramway to Crow’s Nest;  constructed in 1846 it was an awkward proposition as the slope required an inclined plane at Gonamena.  The railway was gradually extended northwards round the east side of Caradon Hill to Minions.  In 1876 the LCR purchased the existing Kilmar Tramway that served the Cheesewring granite quarry and continued up onto the open moor to serve quarries at Bearah and Kilmar Tors.  Steam locomotives were introduced to the line in 1860 and passengers, though not authorised, were carried free but were charged for hats, coats and parcels.  The LCR closed in 1917.  All the lines and tramways as far south as Crow’s Nest can be traced and walked but little exists south of there though the line from Liskeard to Looe still operates as the Looe Valley Line. 
 Liskeard & Caradon Railway bridge at Crow's Nest
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Minions 02 - Crow's Nest and Caradon Hill - Statistics
Distance:  5.13 miles.   Ascent:  480 feet.   Highest Point:  1000 feet at Minions.   Biggest climb:  Moderate to steepish 300 feet up from Crow’s Nest to Kittow’s Shaft.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  1 only.   Gates:  5 only.   Open Access:  All Caradon Hill land that you are on is Open Access.   Footing:  Mostly good, though some may find tramway granite setts awkward.  Can be wet and slippery on Gonamena Incline.  Rocky down to, and up from, South Caradon Mine dressing floor.   Road:  Almost none.   Difficulty:  Overall moderate but with some muddy, some rocky bits.    Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Minions 02 - Crow's Nest and Caradon Hill - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.  Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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Minions 03 - Crow's Nest, Trethevy Quoit, St. Cleer, Doniert's Stones, Common Moor - 6.63 miles
A Tramway, Mine Remains, a Portal Dolmen, a Holy Well, Historic Stones and a Holy Menhir
A walk of moderate length designed to visit four important antiquities on the Moor's southern fringes, but also to include interesting remains of the mining era, and some farmland.  Of necessity it has to include 2 miles of road walking – but this is on quiet lanes with few vehicles to be seen.  It starts in Minions and initially follows the same route as Minions Walk 02 for just under a mile but then breaks fresh ground on its way to Crow’s Nest.  From here quiet lanes take you to the prehistoric burial chamber of Trethevy Quoit, then an ancient track runs down to Tremarcombe.  It’s road again through St. Cleer, with its famous Holy Well and Cornish Cross, then fields to King Doniert’s Stones, standing in an enclosure by the roadside.  So far so good but you need to take care to follow the correct route from here.  Shortly before South Trekieve, a fallen waymark post suggests that the route crosses a ford;  but the right of way actually passes to the left of a sewage works.  Then, after Common Moor, misleading waymarking could easily direct you through private land to Great Gimble.  The final part includes impressive Longstone Cross.  A pleasant and interesting walk, graded as moderate only because of the care needed to keep to the route.  Mine remains early on are fascinating and the antiquities as good and varied a selection as you could ask for. 
Trethevy Quoit portal dolmen
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Minions 03 - Crow's Nest, Trethevy Quoit, St. Cleer, King Doniert's Stones - Oliver's Diary
My first encounter with this route was back in January 2006, when I walked Mark Camp’s well researched route around the fringes of Bodmin Moor, the Copper Trail.  Mark’s route was what I initially followed from Minions as far as Trethevy Quoit and Tremarcombe.  I think the first part, on the original Liskeard and Caradon Railway, was my very first encounter with Cornwall’s many Mineral Tramways, all of which I have since walked.  While Minions Walks 01 and 02 combine nicely to make a longer historic industrial walk, this and Walk 01 combine to make a fascinating antiquities walk, with a total of eight well worthwhile sites.  This, apart from the landscape and views, is what I enjoy most about Cornwall’s moorland:  the abundance of contrasting interest.  I have to confess that, when researching this route in April 2011, I twice had problems with the way and had to retrace my steps both before South Trekeive and after Common Moor.  The exit from Common Moor can be especially confusing and I urge you to pay close attention, as I failed to do first time when, merrily following waymarks, I found myself at Great Gimble and was put straight by the owner.  Even starting again from Common Moor, I had to find a resident to tell me where the path really went.  I guess that’s what research is about, and it was a most enjoyable walk. 
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King Doniert's Stones
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Minions 03 - Crow's Nest, Trethevy Quoit, St. Cleer, King Doniert's Stones - Interest
Crow’s Nest:   An attractive village to the south-west of Caradon Hill, Crow’s Nest owes its existence to the former South Caradon mines and the tramway that ran from Minions.   The Crow’s Nest Inn does excellent, but fairly expensive, food from 12.00-2.30 and evenings (not Mon).   Liskeard and Caradon Railway:  See Feature in Minions Walk 02.    Caradon Hill:  For 50 years from 1835 this was one of the world's most prosperous copper mines.  Financed by the miners themselves, led by the Kittow and Clymo families, it paid dividends (in today's terms) of around £50 million from an investment of only £64,000!  Other mines, too, were sunk all around Caradon Hill – Gonamena and East and West Caradon.  South Caradon Mine came to the notice of the general public when it became a candidate for millions of pounds in a 2004 TV show called Restoration.  Happily, the bid failed and, while total dereliction is the order of the day now, this is one of those magic places which needs to be enjoyed for itself, not prettified to meet the needs of the tourist industry and the demands of 'Health and Safety' regulations.   (Sep 2013: some consolidation work is under way).    Trethevy Quoit:  The best accessible example in Cornwall - and one of the best that you will find anywhere - of what archaeologists describe as a neolithic portal dolmen, a massive 5000 year old burial chamber of stone construction that would once have been covered in earth.  Seven vast slabs survive of which one has fallen into the tomb, causing the great capstone (it weighs around ten tons) to slope at an angle that adds character, as does the neat hole drilled through one corner - one suspects that this may have been done in Victorian times in order to put the slab back on top after it had fallen. Another oddity is that the upright 'closure' stone has a bottom corner cut away, apparently in order to allow the chamber to be entered.   Roman Lane:  This narrow track runs from Trethevy Quoit down to Tremarcombe.  It was once quite well paved and probably a packhorse route.  There is no reason to believe there is any Roman connection.   St. Cleer:  A little to the south of Bodmin Moor, St Cleer parish extends to include land as far as Siblyback Lake and Golitha Falls on the River Fowey.  The church, believed to have originated in around 800AD, was rebuilt in the late 13th century.  It looks good in the sun but its dark granite can otherwise look dull.  Not far from the church is the Holy Well of St. Clarus;  its water is said to cure madness.  A tall Cornish Cross stands next to it.  The Market Inn, near the church, does bar food lunchtime and evening but not on Monday.   King Doniert’s Stones:  In a nicely maintained granite-walled enclosure, on the minor road between Doublebois and Minions, are a couple of granite standing stones.  It is unclear whether they were always two or whether they were once one.  A plaque nearby carries the information: 'King Doniert's Stone. Men Myghtern Doniert. These two granite cross bases (if they are indeed separate) are decorated in the late Ninth Century style and probably date from that time.  The shorter stone carries a Latin inscription "Doniert Progant Pro Anima", saying "Doniert ordered [this cross] for [the good of] his soul".  Doniert was probably Durngarth, King of Cornwall who was drowned in AD875.  The two stones have rectangular sockets on their top and probably carried wooden crosses'.  Durngarth apparently drowned in the River Fowey near Draynes Bridge, possibly at Golitha Falls.   Longstone Cross:  Also known as Long Tom.  it stands by the roadside half-a-mile west of Minions village, this is an oddity.  It would seem that the 10 foot high menhir (long stone) was carved with a cross head in the Christian era.  The oddity is that a War Department broad arrow is carved on the back of the stone;  presumably it was once used as a marker by the Ordnance Survey Military Transport section.
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Minions 03 - Crow's Nest, Trethevy Quoit, St. Cleer, King Doniert's Stones - Statistics
Distance:  6.63 miles.   Ascent:  1050 feet but no steep ascents.   Highest Point:  1025 feet at the Longstone Cross, approaching Minions.   Biggest climb:  Long easy 355 feet from South Trekeive to Longstone Cross.  Moderate 180 feet up to Trethevy Quoit.  Moderate 225 feet, in two climbs, up through St. Cleer.   Steps:  Up none.  Down just 8.   Stiles:  7 of mixed type, includes 2 high sheep stiles.   Gates:  18, includes just 1 kissing gate.   Open Access:  Little bits around Common Moor.  Otherwise just last just last mile back to Minions.   Footing:  Generally good, though some may find tramway granite setts awkward.  Some muddy patches after King Doniert’s Stones.   Road:  1.80 miles on quiet lanes between Crow’s Nest and Trethevy Quoit, and up through St. Cleer.   Difficulty:  Moderate.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Minions 03 - Crow's Nest, Trethevy, St. Cleer, KingDoniert's - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.  Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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Minions 04 - Newlands, Henwood, Bearah Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill – 5.88 miles
Mine remains, farms, a remote village, the high moor, with a tramway alternative
This is the most strenuous of five walks from Minions, involving three fairly serious climbs.  It is also the most scenic thanks to the high moorland, where you are three times around the 1200 foot mark.  Finest of the views are those eastwards to Dartmoor, enjoyed for much of the walk.  Most of the way you are on Open Access land, so you don’t have to worry about straying off paths there.  Inevitably there is more mining interest, first at South Phoenix Mine, finally back in Minions itself.  The walk sets off from the eastern of the two car parks in Minions and soon comes to South Phoenix Mine.  From there to Newlands Farm, you are on delightful gentle pastoral land.  Then, after a well made track to Knowle Farm, more farmland to the outskirts of Henwood.  There is then a steep climb on half-a-mile of quiet road up through Henwood, a most attractive village, and another on a long stony track to the summit of Bearah Tor, above a stone quarry.  Another easier climb follows to the summit of harsh-looking Sharp Tor.  A field and a permissive track take you to the lane to Wardbrook Farm.  Now it's easy going skirting Stowe’s Hill before a rocky climb to the much photographed Cheesewring.  After scrambling down from the Cheesewring it’s easy and grassy going back to Minions, pausing to visit Daniel Gumb’s Cave, Rillaton Barrow and Houseman’s engine house. 
Prince of Wales Shaft Engine House
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Minions 04 - Newlands, Henwood, Bearah Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill – Oliver's Diary
Having been busily involved with the Cornish Coast Path, with a series of Coastal Round Walks, and then with the Zennor Churchway and Tinners Way, it seems like a very long time since I was up on the heights of Bodmin Moor.  Even the first three of these walks from Minions involved only a little of the high moor.  So it was a great pleasure to be back again on Bearah Tor and Sharp Tor as well as up on Stowe’s Hill again.  Some of this walk was new to me;  once I left South Phoenix Mine it was almost entirely virgin territory all the way to the track up to the summit of Bearah Tor.  I always enjoy Prince of Wales engine house – a plaque records the 1992 visit by Charles as Prince of Wales – highly photogenic.  After that  I found the farmland on my way to Newlands a delight, gently pastoral with long views east to Kit Hill and on to Dartmoor.  I was amused to pass the Cornish Cheese farm.  We had had a bit of a set to with them about a most unusually poor example we bought from our local Co-op.  I found the climb up through Henwood to Bearah Tor fairly heavy going, relieved by the charm of Henwood, but was delighted to be back up on the high moor at well over 1000 feet.  I now look forward to Minions Walk 05 when I shall be up on Craddock Moor for the first time in years. 
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Riders pass through Henwood
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Minions 04 - Newlands, Henwood, Bearah Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill – Interest
Minions:  See feature in Minions Walk 01.   South Phoenix Mine:  The mine opened in 1847.  It had a chequered history but re-opened in 1882 with a new Pumping engine at Houseman’s Shaft (now a small visitor centre) in Minions.  It produced vast amounts of both tin and copper and by 1885 was the third most successful Cornish mine, after Dolcoath and East Pool.  The mine was finally abandoned in 1911.  Prince of Wales Shaft was named for the owner of the mineral rights, as Duke of Cornwall.  A plaque commemorates a visit by the present Duke in 1992.    Farmland:  Lovely gentle pastoral country around Newlands on the first part of the walk, with long views across the valley to Kit Hill and Dartmoor.   Knowle Farm:  The home of the famous Cornish Blue cheese.   Henwood:  Until the end of the 18th century, Henwood had been little affected by the local industrial activity and was just a small collection of farms.  With the 19th century boom in tin and copper mining and the expansion of granite quarrying the hamlet became a dormitory village for many of the 800 or so workers at Phoenix Mine and Cheesewring Quarry, with chapel, Sunday school and shop.  That boom is long gone and those buildings are now homes.  All that remains of those days is a solitary post box up the hill.   Bearah Tor:  The little quarry, at the top of the hill, still operates in a small way.  About 300 yards before you get to it, there is a ruinous chambered long cairn off to the right, identifiable by the tall leaning stone with an entangled thorn bush.   Kilmar Tramway:   Part of the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, the extension allowed the transport of granite from Kilmar Tor and Bearah Tor quarries.   Liskeard and Caradon Railway:  see feature in Minions Walk 02.  And see Tramways feature in Minions Walk 01.   Sharp Tor:  This seems to be visible from much of the moor.  From a distance its conical peak looks bare and threatening.  Close up it is relatively tame.  You may get the impression that there is no right of way south from here but a gate leads to an open access field.  At the foot of this, the track is a Duchy of Cornwall permissive path.   Stowe’s Hill and the Cheesewring:  Climb the hill, around 1250 feet above sea level, one of the moor's highest points, and you will find the quite amazing Cheesewring, a natural granite outcrop, precariously poised above a quarry.  Stones on its south side were inserted by Victorians to keep it upright.  Were they necessary?  Beyond is a massive stone-walled pound, possibly bronze age, and beyond that a larger walled enclosure.  Views over the moor are glorious; to the north you are looking to the high tors of Brown Willy and Rough Tor, to the south you can see the sea as far as Dodman Point, to the east you see Dartmoor.   Daniel Gumb’s Cave:  Down the slope south from the Cheesewring is what purports to be Daniel Gumb’s Cave.  Gumb was a stonemason and self-taught mathematician who lived with his family in a cave by the Cheesewring Quarry.  His cave was destroyed by an extension of the quarry but some of the stones from it were re-erected here, including one inscribed with a Euclid theorem.   Rillaton Barrow:  South of Stowe’s Hill, beyond a massive deep ditch, is first a degraded cairn and then the famous Rillaton bronze age barrow.  The cist, where the gold Rillaton Cup (original in the British Museum, copy in Royal Cornwall Museum) was discovered, is visible on the barrow's east side.   Houseman’s Engine House:  Built in 1881 as part of South Phoenix Mine (Phoenix United).  Oddly, it looks not unlike an Irish tower house complete with bawn wall.  A good exhibition includes the Copper Rush of 1836, the Lost Railway (LCR opened 1846, steam from 1860s, closed 1917), Cornish Engine Houses, Cornish World Mining Heritage Site, other mining matters and Bodmin Moor, including the Hurlers and Pipers and a panorama map of the area. 
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Minions 04 - Newlands, Henwood, Bearah Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill – Statistics
Distance:  5.88 miles.   Ascent:  1270 feet.   Highest Point:  1175 feet at summit of Bearah Tor.  1210 feet at summit of Sharp Tor.  1215 feet at Cheesewring.   Biggest climb:  Long steep 735 feet through Henwood to summit of Bearah Tor in 2 climbs of 255 and 480 feet.  Steepish 170 feet up Sharp Tor.  Steepish final 145 feet up to Cheesewring on Stowe’s Hill.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  7, mostly wooden.   Gates:  7.    Open Access:  Minions to just after South Phoenix mine.  Gate at foot of Bearah Tor to bottom of field S of Sharp Tor.  Lane to Wardbrook Farm back to Minions.   Road:  0.62 miles on quiet lane both sides of Henwood.   Footing:  Generally good on field paths and well made tracks.  Easy on grass from Bearah Tor to Minions.  But a bit rocky down from Sharp Tor, and very rocky up to and down from Cheesewring.   Difficulty: Overall relatively strenuous.    Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Minions 04 - Newlands, Henwood, Bearah Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.  Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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Minions 05 - Goldiggings, Craddock Moor, Tregarrick Tor, Siblyback Lake – 5.00 miles
Options can add first about 1½ to 2 miles, later about 3 miles, so a maximum of 10 miles
An abandoned quarry, prehistoric sites, a leisure lake, pastoral farmland
In essence this is a straightforward walk, out over easy high moorland, back mostly over pastoral farmland.  There are, however, also two very different options for extending the route.  From Minions, a well made stony track (but you don’t have to walk on it) leads you to defunct but attractive Goldiggings granite quarry, passing the Pipers standing stones on the way.  There is then a straightforward section across Craddock Moor to Tregarrick Tor, visible all the way, and on to Siblyback Lake, a watersports centre.  The route back to Minions, which starts with a short sharp climb, is at first across grazing land, then along farm lanes, and finally across easy moorland.  The first option you come to is at Goldiggings Quarry and will appeal to those with an interest in antiquities.  This option may need a GPS, as the bronze age settlements, the stone row and the stone circle and cairns are almost impossible to identify from any distance.  It will add up to 2 miles.  The second option is for those who would like some extra simple exercise.  This option involves a circuit of Siblyback Lake with, in season, the bonus of watching waterborne activities, and will add about 3 miles.  You will also have the chance of  refreshments at the café which does decent hot food at lunchtime.  The basic walk is essentially easy with just one steep climb and a moderate amount of rough moorland.
Goldiggings Quarry
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Minions 05 - Goldiggings, Craddock Moor, Tregarrick Tor, Siblyback Lake – Oliver's Diary
The last time I was up on Craddock Moor was back in September 2006.  That time, on an extended walk from Siblyback Lake, I explored the bronze age settlement and its adjacent stone row in the north-western part of the moor.  On this next occasion, in April 2011, I contented myself with finding the elusive stone circle for the first time and spotting a number of cairns.  I returned twice in May 2011 to check the direct distance from Goldiggings Quarry to Siblyback Lake and to wander the moor taking the full grid references for Craddock Moor’s various antiquities that get a mention in the Route Directions.  I was surprised to find a cyclist on top of  Tregarrick Tor;  you don’t see many of them up on the moor.  I was puzzled by the route from Tregarrick Tor down to Sibleyback Lake.  OS109 shows no path but I found a yellow waymark directing me down to a latched, and therefore usable, gate and then a clear track.  Because of the waymark, I am quite satisfied that it is an acceptable route to use.  I found the hill up to Crylla Farm pretty steep but, after that, it was plain sailing and I found this to be a relatively easy and nicely varied walk on a warm sunny day.  On 7th May I saw a large herd of ponies being rounded up by their stallion.  On each walk I saw hundreds of rabbits. 
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The northern end of Sibleyback Lake
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Minions 05 - Goldiggings, Craddock Moor, Tregarrick Tor, Siblyback Lake – Interest
Goldiggings Quarry:  Disused now.  Once operated by the Sweet family who also operated Caradon Hill quarry.  Now it is water filled and surprisingly scenic.  A popular spot with picnickers.   Craddock Moor:  Clearly a major settlement and farming site in the Bronze Age.  Now just grazed by a few sheep and ponies.  Worth exploring though most sites can be quite difficult to find as, from a distance, they tend to be hidden by vegetation.   Tregarrick Tor:  Just to the south of the rocky outcrop is an arangement of upright and leaning stones.  Could this be part of a cairn;  there are several to the north of the outcrop.  Although only 1045 feet there are extensive views over the whole of Siblyback Lake and to Brown Gelly, Brown Willy, Clay Country, and Black Head on St. Austell Bay.   Siblyback Lake:  One of many Cornish reservoirs where the South West Lakes Trust operate country parks and water sports centres.  They also operate at Tamar Lakes, Colliford Lake, Wheal Martyn, Stithians Lake and Crowdy, Porth and Argal Reservoirs.  Café does soup, hot panini etc.  Ample inexpensive parking.  Circuit of lake says 3.5km, 2 miles, but actually 2.89 miles, could add to walk.  Click here for SWLT web site.   Gimble Mill:  This was once the site of two early water-powered stamping mills processing ore from close by.  Little remains to be seen except overgrown mill ponds.   Longstone Cross:  Also known as Long Tom and standing by the roadside about half-a-mile west of Minions village, this is an oddity.  It would seem that the 10 foot high menhir (long stone) was carved with a cross head in the Christian era.  The oddity is that a War Department broad arrow is carved on the back of the stone;  presumably it was once used as a marker by the Ordnance Survey Military Transport section.
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Minions 05 - Goldiggings, Craddock Moor, Tregarrick Tor, Siblyback Lake – Statistics
Distance:  4.90 miles for the basic walk but up to 10 miles with possible detours.   Ascent:  620 feet.   Highest Point:  1105 feet at Goldiggings Quarry.  1045 feet on Tregarick Tor.  1035 feet at Longstone Cross.   Biggest climb:  Long easy 300 feet back up to Minions.  Stee p 110 feet up to Crylla Farm.  Easy 120 feet, in two stages, up to above Goldiggings Quarry.  Steps:  Up None.  Down 10.    Stiles:  9, of which 8 wooden and one sheep stile.    Gates:  6.   Open Access:  Minions to just short of Sibleyback Lake.  Last mile back to Minions.   Road:  Only about ½ mile of quiet dead-end tarmac lane after Great Gimble.   Footing:  Generally good, but occasionally rough on Craddock Moor.  Good firm footing on farmland.    Difficulty:  Overall easy but with just one steep 110 foot climb.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Minions 05 - Goldiggings, Craddock Moor, Tregarrick Tor, Siblyback Lake – Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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Walks from the A30 and nearby - at Temple, Bolventor, Webb's Down, Five Lanes and Altarnun
01. Temple Trippet Stones, Carbilly Tor, Bradford and Delford bridges, Kerrow, Trehudreth & Greenbarrow Downs 7.82 mls
02. Temple Colvannick and St. Bellarmin’s Tors, Bury Castle, Great Care Hill, Glynn Valley China Clay Works 6.76 mls
03. Bolventor Tolborough Tor, Brown Willy, Codda Downs, Codda 6.27 mls
04. Webb's Down Webb’s Down, Dryworks, Trezibbet, Goodaver Circle, Smith’s Moor, Carneglos 5.48 mls
05. Five Lanes Fox Tor, East Moor, Ridge, Nine Stones of Altarnun, Clitters, returning on the Copper Trail  7.04 mls
06. Altarnun Inny Valleys Walk - Laneast, Trethinna, Polyphant, Trerithick, Trenarret, Oldhay, Tresmaine 6.58 mls
07. Temple Glynn Valley China Clay Works, Hardhead Downs, Carburrow Tor, Hardhead Downs, Temple Church 6.31 mls
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A30 Walk 01 - From the car park at Temple Fishery, south of the A30 - 7.82 miles
Route - Trippet Stones, Carbilly Tor, Bradford and Delford Bridges, Kerrow, Trehudreth/Greenbarrow Downs
Interest - Open Moorland, a Stone Circle, Boundary Stones, Listed Clapper Bridges over the De Lank River at Bradford and Delford, a Tudor Manor, antiquities on Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs
This is another of those easier than you might expect walks, but then that’s true of so many on Bodmin Moor.  It does not take quite the route originally planned as two paths, shown on OS 109, have been effectively closed off by landowners.  The walk starts and finishes with half-a-mile of quiet lane and a crossing of the busy A30.  It crosses Manor Common, with an option of following a line of boundary stones, to the Trippet Stones and Carbilly Tor and Cheesewring, then uses a short stretch of lane to the ford and clapper bridge at Bradford.  It then crosses fields to Delford clapper bridge.  Then it's over Kerrow and Metherin Downs and another stretch of quiet lane to get to Tudor Durfold and across fields to the high open land of Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs.  The climb up to these downs may sound like a big one but it’s gentle and easy going.  And the going over the downs is easy, thanks to regular grazing by ponies and cattle.  If you are interested in antiquities, in addition to the Trippet Stones you should particularly enjoy finding those on Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs:  detailed locations are in the Route Directions.  Views are less than on many Bodmin Moor walks but you often see Brown Willy and Roughtor and, from the high downs, look across to part of A30 Walk 02.  You also get superb views south-west to Clay Country. 
Carbilly Tor - Quarry Chimney and Cheesewring
DiaryInterest - Statistics - Directions & Information
I walked this again in July 2013, two years after doing the original research.  This time, beause of heavy holiday traffic on the dreaded A30, I parked near Delford Bridge and was able to stay north of the A30 all the way.  This may well be a better way of doing this walk - it's about 1.20 miles shorter -  but careful where you park near Delford Bridge.  On this occasion I made another variation.  From Kerrow Downs I continued roughly south-west down the eastern side of Pendrift Downs and approached Durfold by way of the interesting hamlet of Carwen. 
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A30 Walk 01 - From the car park at Temple Fishery - Oliver's Diary
This walk took more research than usual and I had to return three times to make revisions.  When I did a similar walk back in 2006 I was able to use a path between Carbilly Tor and Bradford and another between Carbaglet and Wallhouse.  Now both seem to be closed off, despite being on current maps.  I also made an error looking for the best route onto Trehudreth Downs and had to check that out again.  You could be tempted to circle Carbaglet, Deacons and Newton, avoiding a closed path, and then cross Newton Downs to Trehudreth Downs.  I tried it and it’s really usable only in dry periods.  Anyway, I prefer my new route by Durfold as you see a charming converted chapel and attractive Durfold itself before making the best approach to the many antiquities on Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs.  I am fascinated by the ancient sites of Bodmin Moor and spent a long time finding everything I could.  I have been to both Bradford and Delford clapper bridges several times before and can recommend lingering at either for a break.  Both bridges are listed Grade II.  Delford bridge, Cornwall’s longest clapper, is most impressive;  try to catch it in the sun as it’s very photogenic.  Altogether, a fairly easy and enjoyable walk with plenty of interest along the way.   One word of warning, do take great care crossing the busy A30, especially in the holiday season.
DescriptionInterest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Impressive Delford Clapper Bridge, De Lank River
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A30 Walk 01 - From the car park at Temple Fishery - Interest
Manor Common Boundary Stones:   See feature on Boundary Stones.   Trippet Stones:  Standing on Manor Common, close to Hawk’s Tor Farm, this is one of the most easily accessed stone circles in Cornwall, along with the Hurlers and Boscawen-ûn.  There are 8 upright stones, 5 recumbent and several others missing.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the biggest about 5 feet tall.  The stone in the centre is not an old standing stone but only a boundary stone (C, L, M).    Carbilly Tor:  This small tor rises only to about 850 feet.  Much of it has been quarried for granite and, as well as large spoil heaps, there are three water-filled pits and the remains of several buildings.  Most are accessible.  On the south-west side of the quarry is a rock stack known, like its more impressive counterpart on Stowe’s Hill (Minions Walk 01) as the Cheesewring.  Some think this one man-made but this is unlikely.  If you follow the track NW of the Cheesewring, and go right through a gate, you can then go through another gate to see the water-filled quarry pits.   Clapper Bridges: Bradford is an attractive hamlet at the end of a dead-end lane.  The broad ford from which it takes its name has been superseded by a massive clapper bridge which carries the lane over the De Lank River and probably dates from the 17th century though later adapted to carry motor vehicles.  It has five piers, including the two abutments, and is listed as an Historic Building Grade II.  Close by is a smaller clapper crossing a tiny stream.  Half-a-mile further on is an even more impressive clapper bridge, Delford or Delphi Bridge, also listed and also carrying a lane over the De Lank River.  It has six piers, including the two abutments.  Here note two boundary stones, one standing on the S side and one fallen on the N side.   Durfold: Oddly for Cornwall, the name is Old English for Deer Fold.  The very handsome house is probably of the Tudor period.  There is an attractive massive stone barn and two stone outbuildings with a high bank around them.  Antiquities:  The walk is littered with antiquities.  Apart from the Trippet Stones, there are vast signs of ancient settlement on Kerrow Downs and particularly on Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs.  Here are bronze age burial cairns, stone rows, standing stones and medieval boundary stones.  Post-medieval boundary stones can be found here and on Manor Common.  See features below for boundary stones on Manor Common and antiquities on Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs. 
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Feature - Boundary Stones
There must be thousands of these boundary stones on Cornwall’s moorland.  Perhaps their heaviest concentration is on those parts of Bodmin Moor covered by Altarnun and Blisland parishes.  This walk is within Blisland Parish and you will encounter many boundary stones.  The medieval ones, usually of moorstone and often triangular in section, may be difficult to identify as parish letters have deteriorated and they could appear to be smaller prehistoric standing stones.  Post-medieval ones are generally easy to identify, square in section and clearly quarried.  Some of the best of these can be found on this walk on Manor Common to the west of the lane to Bradford.  They carry a wide variety of identification letters, probably of holders of Common Rights.  Others well worth seeing are on East Moor, on A30 Walk 05.  Here an early stone row has later been carved with the identification letters of Altarnun and North Hill parishes.  You will have no trouble locating the Manor Common boundary stones which are at the start of the walk.  Some of those on Trehudreth Downs and Greenbarrow Downs are listed in a separate feature below.  In 2005 a project was launched to identify and restore upright all the boundary stones on the Blisland Commons, covering the parish of Blisland as well as parts of St Breward, Temple and St Neot.  Its first report can be found here
Boundary stone, one of many on Manor Common
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Feature - The Antiquities of Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs
These are listed roughly west to east as you progress across Trehudreth Downs and Greenbarrow Downs.  All are relatively easy to find because the Downs are fairly well grazed by ponies and cattle.  Once up on Trehudreth Downs, the site is fairly level.  The top is at about 880 feet.
Stone row at 12463/72953, at least 5 stones WSW to ENE. 
Massive 5 foot Standing Stone at 12438/72817. 
Tall 6 foot Standing Stone, with two more recumbent, at 12517/72748. 
Stone in line to W of the above standing stone. To NNE, probably part of a ring cairn, at 12492/72751. 
Curving Stone Row at 12832/73067 with an outlier off to N, 9 stones W-E, at the E end there are 2 large fallen stones at 12892/73085. 
Boundary Stones at 12869/73097 and at 12951/72914. 
Cairns at 12978/72947 and 13033/73022.
3 large stones by a little pool at 13034/73054, include possible standing stone. 
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The curving stone row - and two sheep
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A30 Walk 01 - From the car park at Temple Fishery - Statistics
Distance:  7.82 miles.   Ascent:  760 feet.   Highest Point:  880 feet on Trehudreth Downs.  Walk is all between 500 and 880 feet, so easy.   Biggest climb:  380 feet from stream before Durfold up onto top of Trehudreth Downs but a fairly gentle climb.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  9.   Gates:  6.    Open Access:  Manor Common and Carbilly Tor.  Kerrow and Metherin Downs.  Trehudreth and Greenbarrow Downs.   Road:  About 1½ miles on quiet lanes, most to and from Manor Common.    Footing:  Generally very good grassy on well grazed moorland and pasture land.   Difficulty:  Easy with just one long but easy climb.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 Walk 01 - From the car park at Temple Fishery - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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A30 Walk 02 - From the Car Park on the A30 west of Temple - 6.76 miles
Route - Colvannick and St. Bellarmin’s Tors, Bury Castle, Glynn Valley China Clay
Interest - Standing Stones, Stone Rows, an Iron Age Hill Fort, former China Clay Works
This is a very accessible and genuinely easy Bodmin Moor walk.  Accessible because parking is in an official car park, just off the A30, that gives direct access to Cardinham Moor, on which most of the walk takes place.  Easy because the route is almost entirely between 700 and 900 feet and on short springy turf, thanks to the large number of ponies that graze here.  Although the highest point on the route is only just 900 feet, views are lovely, taking in Roughtor and Brown Willy, massive cairns on Carburrow Hill, Caradon Hill, and pastoral valleys and Clay Country to the west.  Unusually for Bodmin Moor, the major interest is industrial:  the small Burnt Heath China Clay Works near the start of the walk, the larger Glynn Valley China Clay Works and even a tiny unnamed pit on the Rifle Range alternative return.  The walk starts by heading for Colvannick Tor where there are settlement boundaries, standing stones and stone rows.  It continues to St. Bellarmin’s Tor, where a chapel and holy well may or may not have existed, and on to Fore Downs for impressive Bury Castle.  It then returns along Great Care Hill to Glynn Valley China Clay Works before crossing Millpool Rifle Range (information below) and turning north back to the car park.  At weekends particularly the Rifle Range land may be closed.  A simple alternative, avoiding the Range, is slightly shorter. 
Part of a stone row on Colvannick Tor
Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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A30 Walk 02 - From the Car Park on the A30 west of Temple - Oliver'sDiary
I was first here in October 2006, primarily for the purpose of seeking out the stone row on Colvannick Tor and the former Glynn Valley China Clay Works.  On that occasion I found the stone row with no trouble.  This time, on a lovely sunny but surprisingly cold day in May 2011, I was surprised by how difficult it was to orient myself on Colvannick Tor.  It was a while before I realised that this was because some of the furze, which had obscured many of the stones in 2006, had been cleared.  I should add that the most commonly reported location of the row is, I think, wrong.  My preferred location is that recorded in the Interest section below. I found what is referred to as St. Bellarmin’s Chapel but I agree with Mark Camp that it was probably a quarry building.  I spent quite a long time at Glynn Valley China Clay Works, my third visit to the site.  I find it a fascinating place.  I returned the following week to add an extension to take in Bury Castle and to check out the possible routes for the return leg when the Rifle Range land is closed.  I have to say that, after the 46 stiles and 31 gates of my recent Inny Valleys Walk expedition, the total lack of stiles and just five gates here made the walk a real pleasure and one to which I look forward to introducing my sisters. 
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looking east from Bury Castle inner rampart
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A30 Walk 02 - From the Car Park on the A30 west of Temple - Interest
Burnt Heath China Clay Works:  Nineteenth century china clay workings at the northern extremity of Cardinham Moor.  The abandoned pit is now water filled and looks like a small lake with a sandy shore.  Circular and rectangular settling tanks also survive as do remains of several buildings and a spoil heap of ramp-like form.   Colvannick Tor Stone Row:  There seems to be a lot of confusion about this Stone Row.  The most commonly reported location seems only to have a couple of erect stones.  The more likely location is 12953/71647, where a row of stones heads SE.  It comprises at least 4 standing or leaning stones and several recumbents.  Elsewhere there are many single or double standing stones, relating to the large prehistoric settlement of which massive boundary banks also remain.   St. Bellarmin:  Very confusing.  There is no official record of a St. Bellarmin.  St. Robert Bellarmine (Roberto Bellarmino, 1542-1621) was an Italian Jesuit Cardinal, canonised in 1930, so it can’t be him as the Tor, its associated Chapel and Holy Well (if they existed) all had their names long before 1930.  Mark Camp reckons that the supposed Chapel was probably an animal enclosure or quarry building and is unsure whether he has found a well or spring.  Very confusing.   Millpool Rifle Range:  Managed by Landmarc but not referred to on their web site.  Usually in use most weekends by rifle clubs and the Muzzle Loaders Association, and occasionally during the week by the military.  If you do find it in use (red flags) you can avoid it by taking the easy detour described in the route directions.   Bury Castle:  A surprisingly well preserved iron age hill fort to the south-east of the Open Access land of Fore Downs.  Happily, a footpath goes right past it so access is easy but, to get it right, note the comment in the Bury Hill Route Directions about the start of the detour.  The inner rampart, 15 feet high in places, has a circuit of about a third-of-a-mile and, though now grass covered, was built partly of stone with, it seems, an additional stone wall surrounding it, the southern part of which largely survives.  You can also see part of the earthen outer rampart in both northern and southern sectors though much in the north has been ploughed away.  There seem to have been two entrances, east and west, though these are much degraded.   All in all, this is a surprisingly well preserved site and definitely merits a visit and some exploration.  To get a real impression of what the site may have been like in its prime, go to Cornwall Council’s mapping web site and zoom right in on it.   Glynn Valley China Clay Works:  See China Clay Feature below.
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Feature - China Clay and the Glynn Valley Works
Until 1746 fine porcelain was a Chinese monopoly.  But then apothecary William Cookworthy found china clay (kaolin, a degraded form of granite) near Helston.  Now the main area quarried is above St. Austell, a strangely ravaged and alien landscape of vast pits, gigantic modern spoil hills and older smaller conical spoil heaps, some white and once known as the Cornish Alps.  To learn how the industry worked, and to get a view of a working pit, visit Wheal Martyn Museum, just north of St. Austell and in the heart of the modern clay fields.   Bodmin Moor had its own china clay industry, too, which flourished in the 19th and early 20th century with more than 20 pits operating at one time or another.  All these are now closed but the largest sites are Stannon Pit near Camelford, best viewed from the heights of Roughtor, and Whitebarrow Downs, where the pit is now known as Park Lake, at the south-eastern end of Colliford Lake.  On this walk you encounter a small pit at Burnt Heath, at the beginning of the walk, a larger site at Glynn Valley Works and a tiny one on the Rifle Range detour.  Glynn Valley was productive from 1875 until 1942;  some of the spoil heaps still gleam white.  The site is well worth exploring – a wheelpit, settling pits, pan-kiln, mica drags, tramways, leats, spoil heaps, lake, ruined buildings, a fallen chimney and the former works office building. 
Pit and Spoil Heaps at Glynn Valley
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A30 Walk 02 - From the Car Park on the A30 west of Temple - Statistics
Distance:  7.76 miles.  Rifle Range variation distance is  7.67 miles.   Ascent:  600 feet.   Highest Point:  900 feet on St. Bellarmin’s Tor.  Walk is all between 700 and 900 feet, so is easy going.   Biggest climb:  Steep 125 feet up from Glynn Valley China Clay Works (not on Rifle Range variation route).    Steps:  Up 20.   Down none.   Stiles:  2.   Gates:  5.   Open Access:  Mostly Open Access land except crossing Rifle Range and around Bury Castle.   Road:  None.   Footing:  Generally very good on well grazed moorland and on track after Bury Castle.  Difficulty:  Easy with just one steep climb after Glynn Valley China Clay Works.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 Walk 02 - From the car park on the A30 west of Temple - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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A30 Walk 03 - From the lane on the north side of the A30 at Bolventor - 6.27 miles
Route - Tolborough Tor, Brown Willy, Codda Downs, Codda
Interest - High Moors, Cornwall's Highest Peak, Cairns, Standing Stones, and a Remote Hamlet
This is one of those walks which can be far more difficult in wet wintry weather, when much of the ground can be saturated, than in a dry summer when the moors can be fairly firm.  To all except the younger and fitter it will prove moderate to fairly strenuous, depending on conditions.  A sunny day is definitely preferred because both Tolborough Tor and Brown Willy offer 360° panoramas.  That from Brown Willy includes views of both coasts.  The walk starts from the dead-end lane to Bolventor church, initially downhill over pasture to Dairywell Hill.  A stony track than climbs to Tolborough Downs, on the Tor a massive cairn.  It’s then downhill again to the foot of Catshole Downs to follow a sometimes muddy track between Catshole and Codda Downs to reach the steep climb to the ridge of Brown Willy.  Once on the ridge you should first head south to the southern cairn before returning to the summit cairn and trig point, the highest point in Cornwall.  It feels like a mountain but, at only 1378 feet, completely fails to qualify.  Now comes the easiest part of the walk, first across Codda Downs to Codda and then on a track and a quiet lane back to the start point.  Heading up Codda Downs look out for massive recumbent menhir-like rocks and what looks like a logan stone at the top;  heading down towards Codda, look out for sheep gates in the hedge banks to your right. 
Trig point on the summit cairn of Brown Willy
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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A30 Walk 03 - Bolventor, Tolborough Tor, Brown Willy, Codda Downs, Codda - Oliver's Diary
I must have done part of this walk, and been up on Brown Willy, dozens of times.  I was first this way in 2004 when Jane and I climbed Roughtor and Brown Willy for the first time.  It was that walk that first gave me my love, some would say obsession, for the wild moorland of Bodmin Moor.  Later I walked to Brown Willy from Bolventor several times in all sorts of weather.  Then I did Bolventor to St. Breward, in both directions, at least four times when helping re-research the Land’s End Trail.  This time, in July 2011, it must have been a fairly dry summer because this was the first time I had no trouble with saturated ground on Tolborough Downs or on the way to Brown Willy.  This research walk was the first time I had been up on Codda Downs or down through Codda.  I was glad I did because I found a lot of interest there:  some remarkable and potentially interesting recumbent stones, an outcrop looking like a logan stone, and Codda itself where buildings were being renovated and the small fields had old sheep gates.  On the way to Tolborough Downs I discovered that waymarks had been obscured and a footpath sign removed, perhaps by incomer owners of Dairywell Hill, whose three noisy Alsatians look aggressive though, one hopes, adequately fenced in.  I would rather have seen them in a secure compound.
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Is this a logan stone n Codda Downs?
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A30 Walk 03 - Bolventor, Tolborough Tor, Brown Willy, Codda Downs, Codda - Interest
Tolborough Downs:  It can be hard going climbing up to the Tor and Cairn as the rough ground can get thoroughly saturated.  It is worth the climb for the Cairn, built onto a natural rocky outcrop.  It seems likely that, at some point, the usual covering of stones may have been removed by a farmer to build a hedge because all that remains on the flat top is a couple of massive stones, perhaps once part of a cist.  There appears to be a tiny stone row to the SE of the cairn but it is very insignificant.  On the way back from Codda you should spot a standing stone in the second field on your right after North Tolborough.   Tolborough Downs Track:  I am intrigued by the coincidence of the clearly once well-made track that runs NNE from Dairywell Hill up onto Tolborough Downs, then curves left and peters out, and the grassy track that follows an almost straight line from the south-eastern foot of Catshole Downs, passing the path to Brown Willy’s summit and petering out some way beyond Fowey Well.  Could the two once have joined and have been part of a route crossing the moor from Bolventor to perhaps Davidstow, and could this have linked with what is now a road from Bolventor south-south-east to Draynes Bridge on the southern fringe of the moor?    Brown Willy:  At 1378 feet, Cornwall’s highest hill.  Major cairns and magnificent views. See feature below.   Codda Downs:  As you climb the hill you encounter some intriguing massive stones.  Half-a-dozen or more describe something of an arc, starting at 17143/78728.  Nearby, a giant stone, some 15 feet in length, lies recumbent at 17176/78695.  It appears to have been worked at one end and you have to wonder whether there was once some sort of standing stone feature here.   Codda:  The farm appears remote until you realise that is it only a couple of minutes by car to the A30 at Bolventor.  It was bought, presumably by incomers, for almost £400,000 in 2007.  Restoration is under way, including barns which may in future turn out to be holiday lets.  There are some tiny fields on Codda Downs just to the west.  Some have sheep gates in their hedge banks and there is a possible cairn at 17896/78439 in one field to the right, close to a sheep gate.  On the track away from Codda is an almost waterless ford over a tiny tributary of the infant River Fowey.  Just up the hill a bridleway track goes off left towards Leskernick Hill and Hendra Downs;  these appear in the course of a 5 hills walk from Bowithick.
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Feature - Brown Willy
The ridge of Brown Willy runs north-south for almost a mile.  From a distance it looks quite formidably rocky but proves to be quite easy to negotiate.  Towards the southern end of the ridge is a massive cairn, well worth seeing before you head for the even more massive northern cairn on the summit.  The southern cairn lines up neatly with Fernacre and Stannon stone circles. Maps record the height of Brown Willy as 420 metres or 1378 feet.  If you add the height of the recent man-made cairn on top of the original cairn it proves to be more like 1385 feet.  Close to the summit is a ‘letterbox’ said to be under a rock at 16679/80713.  Views from the trig point on the summit are superb, a 360 degree panorama that includes both coasts. Those buried beneath the cairns must have been of great importance to be afforded the highest burials in Cornwall – and to have such superb views, perhaps encompassing their territories.   As this is Open Access land, you may be a little confused to encounter some ‘Permissive Path’ signs.  Before CROW this was the private land of Brown Willy Farms, based at Fernacre below the hill.  I wish they could be a little more generous with access to their land.  It is a great shame that there is no access on the track that runs from the farm to Butterstor because it passes major remains of an abandoned medieval village.
Cairn at the southern end of the Brown Willy ridge
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A30 Walk 03 - Bolventor, Tolborough Tor, Brown Willy, Codda Downs, Codda - Statistics
Distance:  6.27 miles.  Starting from Jamaica Inn adds about 1 mile.   Ascent:  1100 feet.   Highest Point:   Brown Willy Summit at 1378 feet.  Tolborough Tor at 1160 feet.  Codda Downs at 1145 feet.   Biggest climb:  355 feet up to Brown Willy Summit.  Last 200 feet in 200 yards.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  5 only.   Gates:  7, if you include the pallet that you have to move aside twice.   Open Access:  Continuous from gate to Tolborough Tor to Codda, about 4½ miles.  Footing:  Initially good over pasture.  Rocky track up to Tolborough Tor.  Rough ground, may be wet and muddy up to Cairn and down to beginning of track to Brown Willy.  Track to Brown Willy stile may be very muddy in places, as may swathe to foot of Brown Willy.  Rocky on Brown Willy.  Rough ground on Codda Downs, may be wet at times.  Well-made track then quiet tarmac lane back from Codda.  Road:  Quiet lane back from Codda, 1.04 miles.   Difficulty:  Moderate in dry weather but could be quite strenuous in wet winter weather.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 Walk 03 - Bolventor, Tolborough Tor, Brown Willy, Codda Downs, Codda - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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A30 Walk 04 - From Webb's Down on the south side of the A30 near Bolventor - 5.48 miles
Route - Webb’s Down, Dryworks, Trezibbet, Goodaver Circle, Smith’s Moor, Carneglos
Interest - Fowey River, tin works, a restored stone circle and some difficult Open Access land
This is the only practicable way I have been able to devise of visiting Goodaver Stone Circle in the course of a round walk.  It is straightforward enough but does include a small stretch of private land which one should really not be on.  Nonetheless, I believe that this small trespass may be justified, as explained in my diary below.  The walk starts just to the south of the A30, a mile or so east of Bolventor.  Initially it heads SSW down to a bridge over the Fowey River (the map just shows ‘Ford’) then climbs up to Dryworks Farm.  You then have to use a stretch of the road from Bolventor to Draynes Bridge, happily usually quiet, in order to get to the only usable legal access to Goodaver Stone Circle, through Trezibbet Farm’s land.  Leaving the circle, you have to use a stretch of private land and cross a barbed wire fence to get onto the second part of Smith’s Downs, which leads to Carneglos Downs and back to the start by way of the western fringe of Halvana Plantation.  With its relatively short distance and minimal ascent, you might expect this walk to be graded easy but the difficult going on Smith’s Downs makes it a moderate.  Goodaver Circle is rarely visited but well worth seeing;  the disappointment there is that the views you should be able to enjoy are restricted by alien conifer plantations.  Only try this walk if you are quite happy about a making a small trespass.
Part of Goodaver stone circle
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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A30 Walk 04 - From Webb's Down on the south side of the A30 near Bolventor - Oliver's Diary
I first visited Goodaver Circle in 2006 and, before this walk, had been there twice since.  It was only on my third walk that I discovered the best way to the circle, the route used for this walk, done in July 2011.  You will have noted from my introduction above that you need to trespass a little when leaving Goodaver Circle.  I don’t normally believe in trespass but on this occasion I believe it justified.  The problem is Smith’s Moor (Open Access!) which is divided in two by a coniferous plantation and high barbed wire fences.  The only way round this is to enter the long field north of Goodaver Circle and hop over a low loose fence, pass the obstruction then over another onto the north part of Smith’s Moor.  I guess that those who only want to visit Goodaver Circle may prefer to park on the road somewhere handy but I prefer my round walks.  Enough of the justification, now to the walk.  It was a warm sunny day in August 2011 when I did this research walk.  Taking a slightly different route from before, I was amazed to discover on Smith’s Moor an enclosure just like King Arthur’s Hall, though much smaller.  While I was up at Goodaver Circle and on Smith’s Moor a military exercise was going on overhead – Chinooks, other helicopters and Fat Alberts – so it wasn’t entirely peaceful but the walk was enjoyable though I wouldn’t rate it highly as Bodmin Moor walks go. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Carneglos - is this the rock that ate North Cornwall?
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A30 Walk 04 - From Webb's Down on the south side of the A30 near Bolventor - Interest
Webb’s Down:  When you park on this narrow dead-end country lane it’s hard to believe that this was once the A30, the main route into Cornwall.   Fowey River:  The Fowey is only 30 or so miles long, hardly surprising in a county only around 40 miles at its very widest.  It rises on Bodmin Moor, on the eastern slopes of High Moor, although this is confused by the existence of Fowey Well on the eastern slope of nearby Brown Willy - but then Bodmin Moor was originally Fowey (meaning beech) Moor.  The Fowey runs more or less south to Draynes Bridge, then west to the Lanhydrock Estate and south past Norman Restormel Castle and through Lostwithiel to reach the sea at Fowey.  In the middle ages the river was fully navigable to Lostwithiel, a major tin-exporting port.  But mining debris silted the river and now the only port is at Fowey, from which china clay is shipped.  The most scenic feature along the Fowey's course is Golitha Falls at Draynes Bridge.  It is just a shame that, apart from there, the only paths along it are on the Lanhydrock Estate, at St. Winnow and at Golant; not that anglers, who fish the Fowey for salmon and sea trout, will mind that.   Dryworks:  Since there were many china clay pits on Bodmin Moor, I had always assumed that there must have been a clay dries here at one time.  In fact, a dryworks is much the same as a streamworks except that where the latter worked tin ore by shallow excavation, the former worked ore deposited on the surface.  The revetted hillside on your way up to the farm must be a remnant of the works.  St. Lukes:  Attractive redundant roadside Methodist chapel, almost in the middle of nowhere, perhaps once serving Bolventor.   A planning application was granted in 2010 to Looe and Liskeard Methodist Church to convert the listed building to a home and, in 2011, it was for sale with planning consent.   Tresibbet:  Just to the west of the northern part of Smith’s Moor, and quarter-of-a-mile north of Trezibbet Farm, this is a lost medieval village, lost in bracken and brambles.  In winter you can just about make out some of the remains.  'Arthur Smith’s Hall':  You pass this shortly after entering Smith’s Moor.  An odd rectangular enclosure, its construction is very similar to the enigmatic King Arthur’s Hall to the west of Garrow Tor, hence my choice of name for it.   One wonders whether its age and purpose may have been similar, particularly as it is on the same alignment.   Goodaver Stone Circle:  According to Craig Weatherhill’s excellent Cornovia, the circle was restored in 1906 by the Rev. A H Malan.  Apparently some of the 24 stones were replaced upside down, others in the wrong sockets.  However, it is still quite an impressive circle.  Pity is that views from it, which should include Colliford Lake, Dozmary Pool and the cairns on Brown Gelly and Brown Willy, are largely obscured by inappropriate coniferous plantations.   Smith’s Moor:  This is a very odd bit of Open Access land.  It is divided by a narrow coniferous plantation, fenced on both sides, and with no gate, preventing access from one part to the other by walkers.  To get to the northern part from the southern, you have to cross a barbed wire topped fence on to the Open Access land of Halvana Plantation.  You can then cross back to the northern part or continue, with the fence on your left, in Halvana Plantation.  Smith’s Moor is Common land but apparently the ownership is a matter of dispute.  There is a shooting stand halfway along the northern part, perhaps for culling deer.  Since the whole of Smith’s Moor, apart from one strip of pasture, is designated Open Access, I think you should feel perfectly entitled to use my suggested route from one part to the other.   Carneglos:  The name means ‘church tor’ though it is difficult to see much resemblance. Views include Brown Gelly and Dozmary Pool to your SW and Brown Willy to your NW.
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A30 Walk 04 - From Webb's Down on the south side of the A30 near Bolventor -Statistics
Distance:  5.48 miles.   Ascent:  700 feet.   Highest Point:  1050 feet at Goodaver Circle.  Walk is all between 710 and 1050 feet.   Biggest climb:  340 feet from road up to Smith’s Moor.    Steps:  None.   Stiles:  4 only.   Gates:  14 but many will probably be open.   Open Access:  Smith’s Moor, Carneglos Down and Halvana Plantation, in all about 2 miles.   Footing:  Initially good over pasture.  Track up to Dryworks Farm rocky, may be muddy.  Road to entrance to Trezibbet, good track from there up to Smith’s Moor.  Awkward rough ground on Smith’s Moor.   Road:  Quiet road from Dryworks to Trezibbet about 1 mile.   Difficulty:  Moderate in dry weather but could be a bit strenuous in wet winter weather.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 Walk 04 - From Webb's Down on the south side of the A30 near Bolventor - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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A30 - 05 - East Moor, south of the A30, from Five Lanes - 7.04 miles
Route - Fox Tor, East Moor, Ridge, Nine Stones, Clitters, returning on the Copper Trail
Interest - High Open Moorland, Impressive Antiquities, an Abandoned Farm, the Copper Trail
This is one of those moorland walks where you have to walk on some very quiet lane to get to and from the moor itself.  But it’s well worth it for the easy moorland walking, the relative solitude, the glorious views and the fascinating antiquities along the way.  The walk starts at Five Lanes, close by Altarnun, along a quiet lane to Eastmoorgate, where you enter East Moor.  Four moderate or easy grassy climbs then take you first up to the trig point on Fox Tor, then up to an unnamed hill I have chosen to call Ring Cairn Hill (so marked on map), on up to Ridge by a great exposed burial cairn (marked tumulus), and finally up to the top of Clitters Hill.  The return, once off Clitters Hill, is by Mark Camp’s Copper Trail, mostly in pastoral farmland.  An alternative return stays on the moor back to Eastmoorgate, the route used for the shorter alternative walk.  Everywhere on the moor there is evidence of prehistoric settlement, with hut circles, cairns and field systems.  Most impressive is the Nine Stones of Altarnun circle and the once mile-and-a-half long stone row that passes through it.  The map calls it ‘boundary stones’ but stones are too closely spaced for that;  clearly it is an ancient alignment, later used to mark the boundary between Altarnun and North Hill.  One word of warning.  There are two marshes, Watery on the full route, Redmoor on the shorter;  avoid them. 
Seven of the Nine Stones of Altarnun after wet weather
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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A30 - 05 - East Moor, south of the A30, from Five Lanes - Oliver's Diary
After walking Mark Camp’s Copper Trail in winter 2006, I decided I should investigate parts of Bodmin Moor that the trail had crossed or skirted.  One of the first was East Moor and Fox Tor, where I walked in April 2006, looking for some of the many antiquities.  I was back in January 2009 when I managed to find those I had missed the first time.  So, when I came to do this research walk in May 2011, I was already familiar with the area.  For the main walk, I decided to return from the moor using the Copper Trail from Clitters.  Although it is not an officially adopted trail, I was disappointed by maintenance – stiles were damaged, waymarks missing – but enjoyed the variety it added to a moorland walk.  As an alternative, I also later did a shorter version, moorland only, parking at Eastmoorgate.  Despite some occasional sun, it was definitely a fleece day with the wind howling on the tops.  It was all action on the moor, herds of ponies, rabbits scampering on the fringes, and even a small group of deer crossing my path.  On the Copper Trail section bluebells were still prolific and looking good.  Up on the moor, the antiquities are well scattered so I chose a zig-zag route to take in all the most important, the stone rows, cairns and the Nine Stones of Altarnun.  All in all, a most enjoyable and rewarding walk.
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Remains of the cairn on Ridge
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A30 - 05 - East Moor, south of the A30, from Five Lanes - Interest
Fox Tor:  An easy hill to climb with rewarding views from the summit.  There is a possible Longhouse at 22746/78575 and a triangular Standing Stone at 22772/78565.   Ring Cairn Hill:  The second easy hill that you climb, indicated on the map only by the words 'Ring Cairn'.  A depleted Stone Row leads up towards the degraded cairns.   Ridge:  On the way up to the summit, you encounter a settlement with enclosures and several hut circles.  A 75 foot bronze age burial cairn stands at the north-eastern end of the hill on the north-eastern periphery of East Moor.  It is thought that the centre of the cairn was cleared by a farmer to create a sheep shelter.   Nine Stones of Altarnun:  An unusual stone circle with just a ring of eight standing stones with a ninth in its centre.  In wet weather the individual stones are surrounded by water where animals using the stones as rubbing posts have eroded the soil.   East Moor Stone Rows:  A mile-and-a-half long prehistoric stone row runs NE from near Carey Tor, changing direction at the circle to continue roughly ENE over Clitters Hill (near, but not to, the cairn) and on downhill to Clitters Plantation.  The row is erroneously called ‘boundary stones’ on OS109.  However, they are much to closely spaced for boundary stones and it was presumably at a much later date that the stones were marked with the letters A and N to designate an agreed boundary between Altarnun and North Hill parishes.   Clitters Cairn:   A Bronze Age burial cairn, apparently excavated in the 1980s, easily identified by its prominent position on top of Clitters Hill and by the thorn tree growing on it.   Clitters Farm:  An apparently abandoned farmhouse overlooks the valley of the infant River Lynher.  I first saw it in 2006, when walking the Copper Trail.  Then it was still windowed and clearly cared for.  When I passed it on this walk in May 2011 its windows were shuttered.  It is an attractive house, tile hung and slate roofed.  Just before it are small ancient enclosures.  In the woodland behind is an earlier abandoned house.  At the back is a primitive clothes-drying apparatus, three tall upright stones with a line wound round them.  There is no way you could get any vehicle up here, except perhaps a quad bike, and I think there can be no mains services.  I wonder whether anyone still owns and uses Clitters.   Treburland:  Just before Treburland are remains of Wheal Annie, where tin, manganese and wulfram were mined until the time of the second world war.   Trenilk:  An impressive farmhouse with equally impressive wrought iron gates.  Opposite is a small roadside stone building with turf roof, said to have been a butter store. 
Clitters Farm - an update:  In August 2013 I heard from Suzanne Beadnell who had seen the reference to Clitters on my Copper Trail page.  She remembers holidaying there, with her friend Will Hazelwood and others, as a teenager.  There was no vehicular access and no mains services and that is almost certainly still the case.  However apparently the house was dry and there was a fireplace and beds.  Suzanne has checked and it seems that the Hazelwood family still own Clitters and still use it occasionally. 
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A30 - 05 - East Moor, south of the A30, from Five Lanes - Statistics
Distance:  7.04 miles.  Shorter route, omitting farmland along the Copper Trail is 6.73 miles.   Ascent:   1000 feet. Only about 750 feet on shorter route.   Highest Point:  1090 feet at Fox Tor Trig Point.  The moor on this walk is all between 865 and 1090 feet, making it fairly easy.   Biggest climb:  Easy 210 feet up Fox Tor from Eastmoorgate.  165 feet up to cairn on Ridge.   Steps:  Up None.  Down 13.   Stiles:  17, of which 10 wooden and 7 mixed granite.  All are on the return leg after Clitters Hill.  A couple are damaged, a couple are somewhat blocked by wooden barriers.   Gates:  6.   Open Access:  Eastmoorgate to just before Newton.  On the shorter route it is Open Access all the way from Eastmoorgate back to Eastmoorgate.   Road:  Just under 3 miles of very quiet lanes.   Footing:  Generally very good grassy on the moor.  Small amount of stony on the return leg.  Good firm footing on farmland.   Difficulty:   Overall easy unless you dislike stiles, some of which are damaged or awkward.    Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 - 05 - East Moor, south of the A30, from Five Lanes - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it.
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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A30 - 06 - Inny Valleys Walk from Altarnun - To the north and east of Altarnun - 6.58 miles
Route - Laneast, Trethinna, Polyphant, Trerithick, Trenarret, Oldhay, Tresmaine
Interest - Altarnun and its church and holy well, Laneast and its church, Gimblett's Mill, Farms
Longer Route - From Trethinna, a detour to Polyphant adds 2.14 miles for a 8.72 mile walk
Although this is strictly within the overall confines of Bodmin Moor, and appears on the Bodmin Moor OS sheet 109, there is actually no moorland involved at all.  However, since the church in Altarnun is known as the ‘cathedral of the moor’ and the East Moor walk starts only half-a-mile away, it sees reasonable to include it as a Bodmin Moor walk.  At first glance it looks an easy walk but its 39 stiles, many awkward, and its 26 gates, contribute to making its grade at least moderate.  The walk starts in the charming village of Altarnun (see feature) and is best done clockwise to dispose of half of the moderate amount of road first.  Although marked on OS109 as an official trail, maintenance is poor, the route unclear in places, and waymarking inconsistent.  Apart from quiet lanes, it is almost entirely over rolling pastoral farmland.  The route takes you through Laneast, where it is worth lingering in the church.  After that, no more villages but plenty of attractive farms, most of whose barns are sadly now holiday homes.  The highlights among these are Trethinna, Trerithick and Tresmaine.  You may also like to linger at Gimblett’s Mill where the old watermill is now a beautifully located, but isolated, home.  Despite all the hedges, there are occasional distant views of the moors, including the ridge of Brown Willy.  Not an easy walk but well worth doing. 
Altarnun's packhorse bridge and Rosebridge Cottage
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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A30 - 06 - Inny Valleys Walk from Altarnun - Oliver's Diary
I first did this walk in July 2006 and noted at the time the vast number of stiles, their awkwardness, and the poor waymarking:  there were no waymarks in Altarnun, others were damaged and few referred to the trail.  Things haven’t improved so perhaps, despite it being shown on OS109 as a trail, Cornwall Council doesn’t care about it, concentrating instead on the Coast Path, the Camel Trasil and the many mining and clay country cycle trails that bring in visitors.  My major memory of my 2006 walk, done in a downpour, is slipping on a then slate stile over a wall in Laneast.  I came down on a hip on concrete and the pain made me fear I had broken the hip.  Happily it was just keys in my pocket going through the flesh to the bone.  This May 2011 research walk was done on a lovely sunny day and I got some good photographs, particularly of Altarnun, of Gimblett’s Mill and some of the farms.  There were a lot of cattle and sheep grazing.  Despite the ‘bull in field’ sign after Trerithick, there wasn’t one but, just after Laneast, it took me a while to get past a herd of enthusiastic young bullocks, convinced I had come to feed them.  I lingered at Gimblett’s Mill for a coffee and a chat with the owner;  it really is lovely spot.  I had a small problem with the route at Trenarrett and went back on a later occasion to check it out.  At that time I also researched the Polyphant detour. 
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Gimblett's Mill from the 1840 packhorse bridge
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A30 - 06 - Inny Valleys Walk from Altarnun - Interest
On the basic Inny Valleys Walk
Altarnun:  Delightful village, see feature below.   Laneast:  William Grylls Adams (born 18 February 1836 in Laneast) was professor of Natural Philosophy at Kings College.  In 1876, Adams and Richard Evans Day discovered that illuminating a junction between selenium and platinum has a photo-voltaic effect.  This first demonstrated that electricity could be produced from light without moving parts and led to the modern solar cell.  As an astronomer, Adams discovered planet Neptune.  The church here is now dedicated to St Michael. It had previously been dedicated to Saints Welvela and Sativola (alias Gulval and Sidewell). There is some good window tracery and some charming bench ends.  In the village are some attractive, fairly large new houses.   Gimblett’s Mill:  Lovely spot.  The former late 17th century mill building, listed Grade II, is now an attractive house.  Its waterwheel and machinery were removed in 1957.  The bridge over the River Inny is not as old as it looks, dating only from around 1840.   Trethinna:  The very attractive hamlet has had a great makeover and is now mostly second homes and holiday lets.   Oldhay:  Clearly some industrial history here.  Heading up from the footbridge over Penpont Water towards Oldhay, there is a former mill leat to your right, just south of the river.  Then, a little way up the second field, you pass a row of granite blocks.  Finally, at the top of the field, one of the barns on the left has a belt wheel protruding from the wall of what was once a forge.  Are all these connected?    Tresmaine:  Yet another attractive farm whose barns have been converted to homes. 
On the Polyphant detour
Polyphant:  If you like words, as I do, you might choose to think that the name means ‘many elephants’ but it really means Frogpool.  Oddly, there is a Frogpool near Bissoe but that is rendered in English.  It is a pleasant village with an attractive chapel at the north end, tree lined at the south. Polyphant Quarry, mentioned in Domesday Book, is noted for its ornamental stone which was used in the building of Truro Cathedral.  It is predominantly blue grey with green patches and white and brown veins.  Popular with sculptors, it is easily worked with hand tools and takes a high polish.   Bowden Derra:  Passed to the left after leaving Polyphant, the Grade II listed Victorian house, part Polyphant stone, is now a care home for adults with learning disabilities.
Stiles:  Because there are so many stiles on this walk I have included a Stiles Feature below.
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Feature - Altarnun
Altarnun, named in Domesday Book as Penpont, is an attractive village, along with Blisland the most interesting on this part of Bodmin Moor.  There is a straggle of houses, stone or slate built, some slate-hung, one or two of them substantial Georgian houses, along the main street.  At the lower end of the street is the church, dedicated to the mother of St. David, St. Nonna, said to have founded this church in 547AD.  Known as ‘The Cathedral of the Moor’, it is approached by a narrow and ancient packhorse bridge over the fast flowing little Penpont Water.  Outside, unexpectedly exotic trees thrive in its churchyard and a Cornish cross stands at the top of a bank.  Inside are 79 superb 16th century carved bench ends and a very fine screen.  The handsome rectory is now a private house.  A little way up the hill in the village is a former Wesleyan chapel, over its door a stone likeness of John Wesley, a regular visitor, carved by local man Nevil Northey Burnard.   Wesley stayed often in the nearby village of Trewint in Digory Isbell's home, now a museum to Wesley and Methodism;  Isbell and his wife are buried in the chuchyard.  Surprisingly, Altarnun has shops but no pub or teashop.  However, excellent home made food is served in the Church Hall from 9 to 2.30 on summer Thursdays and the King’s Head in nearby Five Lanes opens all day. 
Altarnun Church from the packhorse bridge
See box below for Altarnun's saint, St. Non
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St. Non (or Nonna, Nonnita or Nun) 
Little is known of St. Non, mother of David, the Patron Saint of Wales.  She was born around 500AD and was either married to, or seduced by, Sant a local chieftain.  Their issue was David, born in 520.  In 527 she left Wales, settled in Cornwall and died in Brittany.  Her relics were held in Cornwall until the Reformation.  Legend tells other stories.  One tells that she married King Caratacus of Cornwall (actually of the Catuvelauni tribe from eastern Britain and led resistance to the Romans) producing David.  Another makes Sant a Cornish chieftain who seduced her and as penance founded a monastery at Lezant, 10 miles from Altarnun;  interestingly Lezant (Lann Sans) means the saint’s enclosure.  Another connects Davidstow, 10 miles from Altarnun with the story.  Finally, 15th century chronicler William of Worcester claimed David was born at Altarnun.  Non’s best known well is at St. David’s, near the sea.  It is beautifully kept and clearly marked, which is more than may be said for that at Altarnun, unmarked, degraded, overgrown, presiding over a stagnant pool.  The waters of St. Nonna's well were believed to be a cure for madness.  Lunatics were immersed in it and bought to church for mass. To find the well, leave the church northwards uphill to a left bend.  Go through a gate and a kissing gate on the right and down to the bottom of the field.  It is at 22434/81542.  I would have liked to include a photo but the site was too badly overgrown.
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Feature - Stiles
Disappointingly, many visitors to Cornwall never get to see a proper Cornish stile.  They walk the coast path, much owned by the National Trust which believes in wooden stiles or kissing gates, both very English devices for providing pedestrian access while keeping animals in their field.  I suppose it is a matter of cost; it must be much cheaper to make a wooden gate or stile than laboriously and skilfully set stone cross-pieces into a Cornish hedge.  A shame, because the granite or slate stile, in all its forms, expresses the character and landscape of Cornwall where a few bits of wood never can.  There are three basic Cornish stile types:  the open-stepped cattle stile, the sheep stile with its ladder of projecting stones and the coffen stile, its stones laid across a pit in the ground.  You will also find many variations.  On this walk, with its vast number of stiles, you will find some very strange and awkward ones, much of their structure redundant, as if landowners don’t want walkers.  Some granite stiles have barriers in front, on top and after;  some have gates before and after;  some are duplicated or even triplicated.  The worst example is on the Polyphant detour where a 9 foot stile consists of a wooden stile up to a sheep stile with a 3 bar stile on top.  Oddest is near Trerithick:  two wooden stiles and a five bar fence (beware barbed wire) to get to the next field. 
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
A  typical Cornish cattle stile 
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A30 - 06 - Inny Valleys Walk from Altarnun - Statistics
Distance:  6.58 miles.  The longer route, including the Polyphant detour is 8.72 miles.   Ascent:  1200 feet.  On the longer route, 1520 feet in all.   Highest Point:  760 feet after Higher Tregunnon.  Walk is all between 470 and 760 feet.   Biggest climb:  170 feet up to Laneast.  150 feet up from Gimblett’s Mill.  130 feet up to Tresmaine.   Steps:  Up 4.  Down 17.  Plus, of course, all those stiles.   Stiles:  39, of mixed type, many of which are extremely awkward with wooden barriers before, after and on top.  To include the Polyphant detour, a total of 46 stiles, one 9 feet high!   Gates:  26.  To include Polyphant detour, total of 31 gates.   Waymarking:  Several WM posts have been uprooted.  Some WMs missing, obscured or damaged.   Open Access:  None.   Road:  Approximately 1.40 miles of quiet lanes.   Footing:  Generally very good over farmland.  Just one muddy and slippery bit in woodland before the lane to Laneast.   Difficulty:  Overall moderate unless you have difficulty with stiles, many of which are awkward.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 - 06 - Inny Valleys Walk from Altarnun - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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A30 – 07 Temple – A Moorland Walk South of the A30 - 6.31 miles
Route - Glynn Valley Clay Works, Hardhead Downs, Carburrow Tor, Temple church and village
Interest - Wild Moorland, China Clay Works, Mine Remains, Massive Cairns, Unusual Church
Although only just to the south of the busy A30 road, this walk offers some surprisingly wild and little visited countryside.  Interest includes a major former china clay works, unexpected mining remains, massive cairns on a hill with views, and a tiny tucked-away church with an intriguing history.  Although relatively short, and lacking any serious ascents, the walk is classified as moderate for a difficult stream crossing and for the rough ground below Little Care Hill and descending from Carburrow Tor.  Views are pleasant but are extensive only from the summit of Carburrow Tor.  The walk starts from the car park by the A30 and heads first for Glynn Valley China Clay Works, crossing an awkward stream, with slippery rocks, on the way.  You then cross the Warleggan River – where a footbridge is not shown on the map - and head south along the western edge of Hardhead Downs to Carburrow and Whitewalls to head up onto the rough ground of Carburrow Downs and the impressive cairns on its summit.  Leaving Carburrow Tor north-east, you then follow an unsigned bridleway past Higher Dewey and back onto the eastern side of Hardhead Downs.  From there you follow telegraph poles to Tiptreehall and a well-made track to Temple Church.  Finally a stretch of quiet lane takes you back to the start point. 
The massive eastern cairn on Carburrow Tor
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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A30 – 07 Temple – A Moorland Walk South of the A30 - Oliver's Diary
I had previously been on most of the territory of this walk though never all in one go.  So initial research was from map and memory.  But memory played tricks and, when Bob and I walked it in November 2011, we made mistakes.  The first was to fail to spot a track heading for Carburrow.  The second more serious mistake was to try to link Hardhead Downs, Blacktor Downs and old Temple Bridge;  retracing our steps cost almost 2 miles.  I returned to the walk a few days later.  In the meantime I had learned of mining remains on Hardhead Downs – the map just shows ‘shaft’ – and was able to find them.  I was also able to improve on the route back.  I was glad I did have to return as the walk proved entertaining:  guns after woodcock by Little Care Hill, a horse trek over Hardhead Downs, Dexter cattle at Whitewalls and a fox near Temple.  I also enjoyed chatting to a couple from my hometown at Temple church.  As so often on the Moor, I was surprised by how much OS Explorer 109 omits.  Extensive mining remains on Hardhead Downs merit only ‘shaft’ and, as in too many instances elsewhere - such as below Garrow Tor and over the Fowey River at Dryworks - the clapper bridge by the Warleggan ford is simply not shown.  The weather this November has been good for walking, poor for photography. 
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Temple Church - a fascinating history
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A30 – 07 - Temple – A Moorland Walk South of the A30 - Interest
Millpool Rifle Range:  You skirt this to its north-east.  Do not try to follow the red and white posts, indicating the exclusion zone when firing is taking place, all the way.  If you do you will find yourself deep in marshland in places.  My directions will keep you perfectly safe.   Glynn Valley China Clay Works:  Major remains of a once thriving china clay works.  Exploration of this fascinating place could take at least half-an-hour.  See feature in Walk 02.   Hardhead Downs:  You would never guess it from the map, which shows only shaft, but Hardhead Downs is absolutely littered with mining remains.  Almost everywhere you look you will see doughnut shaped pits, evidence of lode-back working from the days before mines went seriously underground.  Many of these small pits are linked by deep ditches from which tin ore was recovered.  Oddly the word hardhead refers to a stage of the tin smelting process.  On the western edge of the Downs, at 14709/71498, are the remains of what is said to be an arsenic calciner and a row of four buddles, where the ore was washed.    Close by are banked ditches, presumably leats that brought water to the site.  Elsewhere on Hardhead Downs is a single standing, but in fact leaning, stone at 15532/71651.  It is little surprise that the OS map fails to show this.   Carburrow Tor:  At 935 feet at the top of the eastern cairn, this is one of Bodmin Moor’s lower hills.  Despite that, panoramic views are superb, taking in St. Bellarmin’s Tor, Glynn Valley china clay spoil heaps, Roughtor, Brown Willy, Colliford Lake, Brown Gelly, Hawke’s Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill and Caradon Hill.  The two cairns on the summit are massive.  The top of the eastern cairn was adapted by the Home Guard in World War II to act as a observation post.   Temple Church:  Temple village was once on the ancient east-west route across Bodmin Moor but it has long been a backwater.  In the 12th century it was a place of some significance, boasting a small settlement and a church built by the crusading Knights Templar (what on earth were they doing in Cornwall?).  The Templars held the right to conduct marriages without licence or banns.  As a result dubious marriages were made and the church acquired such a reputation that locals would say of a woman of ill repute "send her to Temple Moors", the ultimate ostracism.  After Parliament passed the Marriage Act in 1753, the church saw little use and became ruinous.  Sadly, rather than restoration, the Victorians pulled it down and built a new church. I say sadly because it would be wonderful to have a round Templar church in Cornwall.  The saving grace is that stone from the old church was re-used and stones bearing degraded figures and crosses have been incorporated into the wall of the outbuilding on the south side.    A Lost Road?  You can trace an almost continuous line of lane or track all the way from Temple to Warleggan and beyond that to the Cardinham to St. Neot road at Pantersbridge.  It starts as tarmac briefly in Temple, becomes a well made track through Merrifield and Tiptreehall on the northern edge of Hardhead Downs.  It continues as a grassy track, with underlying stone, across the Downs.  At the south-western corner it continues as an ‘other route with public access’ through Carburrow.  There it becomes a tarmac lane across Warleggan Down.  A footpath continues straight as an arrow to Warleggan church.  A short lane and then another ‘route with public access’ continues to Pantersbridge.   Surely this was once a north-south coach road across the moor. 
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A30 – 07 - Temple – A Moorland Walk South of the A30 - Statistics
Distance:  6.31 miles.   Ascent:  760 feet.   Highest Point:  925 feet on summit of Carburrow Tor.  Walk is all between 650 and 925 feet.   Biggest climb:  Moderate 175 feet up Carburrow Tor.  3 other climbs of over 100 feet, none particularly steep.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  None.   Gates:  10.   Open Access:  Mostly Open Access but excludes Higher Dewey bridleway and track and lane from Tiptreehall.    Road:  A little over a mile on quiet lanes from Temple church back to car park.   Footing:  Good on tracks and on Hardhead Downs.   Rough ground on Little Care Hill and Carburrow Downs.   Difficulty:  Moderate.  Would be easy but for an awkward stream crossing and the above rough ground.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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A30 – 07 - Temple – A Moorland Walk South of the A30 - RouteDirections
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Walks from Colliford Lake
01.  Dam Car Park Dozmary Pool, Dozmary Hill, Harowbridge, Brown Gelly Downs, Lords Park Farm  8.27 miles
02.  Dam Car Park Brown Gelly, Whitebarrow Moor, Northwood, Berry Down, Penkestle Moor  8.53 miles
03.  Dam Car Park Penkestle & Letter Moors, Warleggan, Carburrow Tor, Mennabroom  6.42 miles
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Colliford Lake - Walk 01 - Dozmary Pool and Brown Gelly - 8.27 miles
Route - Dozmary Pool, Dozmary Hill, Harowbridge, Brown Gelly Downs, Lords Park Farm
Interest - Colliford Lake, Dozmary Pool, Goodaver Stone Circle (detour), Brown Gelly Cairns
Despite climbing one of Cornwall’s higher hills, Brown Gelly, this is a relatively easy walk and has a lot of interest along the way to linger over.  It starts from a free car park at the western end of the dam at the southern shore of Colliford Lake reservoir, crosses the dam and follows first road and then quiet lane, along the east side of the lake, to Gillhouse Downs and the famous Dozmary Pool, where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur is reputed to rest.  It then follows a very quiet lane down to Dozmary Hill Farm.  Here it has to take the Bolventor to Draynes Bridge road for almost a mile, surprisingly traffic free, following the course of the Fowey River.  At Harrowbridge it then takes a steep track up to the Open Access land of Brown Gelly Downs, with a fairly easy ascent to the top.  On the summit of Brown Gelly there is a remarkable collection of cairns and a massive hedge, all well worth lingering over, as are the panoramic views.  From Brown Gelly you descend through Lord’s Park Farm on a long track back to the road near the entrance to Parson’s Park china clay pit.  You have been seeing the water-filled pit much of the way down.  Don’t worry about the 3¼ miles of tarmac on this walk;  most is very quiet lane.  If you would like to include a detour to Goodaver Stone Circle, this would add about 1½ miles;  directions are included. 
Water Tower, south end of Colliford Lake
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Colliford Lake - Walk 01 - Dozmary Pool and Brown Gelly - Oliver's Diary
The first time I tried to go up Brown Gelly, the main purpose of this walk, was back in 2006.  My sister Mary and I set out on the road from Bolventor, took a look at Dozmary Pool and were planning to approach Brown Gelly through Lord’s Park Farm.  The cloud descended, Brown Gelly disappeared and we chickened out of climbing unfamiliar moorland in thick fog.  I have been back several times since, the first in the course of walking Frank Squibb’s Smugglers Way, a coast-to-coast route from Boscastle to Looe.  Happily, each time the weather has been warm and sunny, as on this research walk.  Despite the tale of King Arthur’s sword and Dozmary Pool being pure fiction, I still find it a romantic spot.  Leaving the Pool I encountered, appropriately enough, Paul Shaw from Staffordshire, on the last leg of Frank’s 100 Challenge, walking the Saints Way and Smugglers Way, linking the two with sections of Coast Path.  I lingered up on Brown Gelly, visiting each of the five cairns and drinking in the wonderful panoramas.  Brown Gelly is very little visited, except by Smugglers Way walkers so, as before, I had it entirely to myself.  At the start of the walk, I had tried walking on the Open Access land of Bunning’s Park, so as to avoid a length of tarmac;  it’s hard going and definitely not recommended. 
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Dozmary Pool, site of Arthurian legend
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Colliford Lake - Walk 01 - Dozmary Pool and Brown Gelly - Interest
Colliford Lake:  Owned by South West Water and managed by the excellent South West Lakes Trust, at 900 acres this is Cornwall’s second largest lake after The Loe, and its largest reservoir.  At the northern end is Colliford Lake Park, with nature trails and footpaths, play areas, wetlands, picnic areas, a pub and café and, from sometime after 2012, proposals for a wildlife park.  There is fly fishing for natural brown trout,  permits from Jamaica Inn at nearby Bolventor.   Dozmary Pool:  Tennyson's description in Idylls of the King, The Passing of Arthur is taken by some to suggest Dozmary Pool as the location where Sir Bedivere threw Ecalibur into the water.  "On one side lay the ocean, and on one lay a great water."  Assuming Dozmary Pool to be the great water, Colliford Lake would have to be the ocean.  Unfortunately, it wasn't there in Tennyson's time, let alone in Arthur's.  The far better alternative is The Loe on the Penrose Estate near Helston, where there is both ocean and great water.  Nonetheless, it is an attractive and romantic looking spot, surrounded by moorland and with just one small former farm on the lake’s shores.   Dozmary Hill Farm:  Look out for some attractive small barns opposite the house.  One has what appears to be a slim menhir built into a wall.   Higher Harrowbridge:  Home to Blisland Harness Makers, where Jane Talbot-Smith, first a carriage builder and then a Master Saddler, now makes just about everything in leather – for horses, carriage-driving, dogs and guns – except saddles.   Harrowbridge Farm:  An entertaining and photogenic wreck of a place.  Before the farm, at the foot of the lane, is what looks like an abandoned former Methodist chapel.  There is another further north on this road, near to Bolventor.   Brown Gelly:  Little visited, except by Smugglers Way walkers, the hill boasts superb views and Cornwall's best collection of bronze age cairns. See feature below.   Parson’s Park China Clay Pit:  The disused pit is now water filled and acts as a feeder for Colliford Lake reservoir.  It is occasionally used for water-sports.  A great shame that it and its surrounding land are not open to the general public.
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Feature - Brown Gelly
The name translates as ‘grove hill’ so presumably it was wooded when it acquired the name.  It certainly isn’t now but there are two good reasons for climbing to the summit of Brown Gelly.  If the weather is fine, the views are spectacular, taking in a 360 degree panorama of Caradon Hill, Stowe's Hill, North Hill, Brown Willy, Roughtor, Dozmary Pool, Colliford Lake, Clay Country and Black Head on St. Austell Bay.  If you approach from Lord’s Park Farm, the first thing you notice as you approach the summit is a massive hedge, 10 feet high in places.  You have to wonder just how old the hedge is and whether it might even be old enough to relate to the cairns on the summit plateau.  Brown Gelly is remarkable for the number of cairns, a long curving arc of five.  Of these, three are in quite good condition, a fourth much diminished, the fifth, next to a trig point, almost totally disturbed.  From the cairns you can see at least three other hills topped by major cairns, Brown Willy, Carburrow Tor, and Tolborough Tor.  With good binoculars you would also be able to make out Goodaver Stone Circle, were it not for the intervening alien conifers.  You have to wonder whether there might have been a deliberate relationship of the sites.  On Brown Gelly, between the southern cairn and the nearby rocky outcrop, are what some describe as hut circles but look more like the remains of smaller cairns. 
The northern pair of Brown Gelly's five main cairns
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Colliford Lake - Walk 01 - Dozmary Pool and Brown Gelly - Statistics
Distance:  8.27 miles.  About 9.75 miles with Goodaver Circle detour.  Ascent:  800 feet.  1100 feet with Goodaver Circle detour.  Highest Point:  Summit of Brown Gelly at 1135 feet.  Biggest climb:  Cumulative 525 feet up to Brown Gelly Summit.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  None.   Gates:  11.  25 with Goodaver Circle detour.   Open Access:  Gillhouse Down, round Dozmary Pool, Brown Gelly Downs, about 2½ miles in all.   Footing:  Tarmac from Colliford Dam to Gillhouse Downs.  Generally good round Dozmary Pool.  Lane and road to Harrowbridge   Track to Brown Gelly Downs.  Mostly good footing over Brown Gelly, though may be wet in winter. Track and road back to the dam.   Road:  3¼ miles in all on quiet lanes and roads.   Difficulty:  Moderate in dry weather but could be fairly strenuous over Brown Gelly Downs in wet winter weather.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Colliford Lake - Walk 01 - Dozmary Pool and Brown Gelly - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it.
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Colliford Lake - Walk 02 - South of Colliford Lake - 8.53 miles
Route - Brown Gelly, Whitebarrow Moor, Northwood, Berry Down, Penkestle Moor
Interest – Cairns, China Clay Country, a water garden, a little known menhir, a hill fort
This walk is for those who don’t mind the occasional intrusion on to private land with no established right of way.  The walk starts, legitimately enough, from the car park at the western end of Colliford Lake dam and, after a short stretch of road, heads up on to Brown Gelly Downs by way of Lord’s Park Farm.  After visiting all the cairns on Brown Gelly, it heads south-west along the Driftway (not named on the map) on the old line of the Smugglers Way.  After a short distance on the Driftway, it then intrudes on private land, Imerys china clay land on Whitebarrow Downs, east of old china clay workings.  A clear well-made track, obviously made for Imerys or their predecessors, English China Clays, now runs all the way to the lane just north of Northwood, passing through New Closes farm on the way.  I justify using this track on the grounds that Imerys have co-operated in creating clay trails on their land near St. Austell and that, even though New Closes may have the rights to the track after their farm, they use Imerys track and the Driftway as a bridleway to get on to Brown Gelly on their horses.  Once at Northwood, the route crosses Berry Down, heads down to Loveny and back up to Penkestle Moor on very quiet lanes, finishing on a short stretch of road back to the Colliford Lake car park. 
Highland cow on Brown Gelly, Hawke's Tor behind
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Colliford Lake - Walk 02 - South of Colliford Lake - Oliver's Diary
I decided to research this walk after learning that Frank Squibb had had to change the route of his Smugglers Way after Brown Gelly.  It used to follow the Driftway south-east then cross two fields to get to the Open Access land of Draynes Common.  Apparently the farmer denied Frank access to the fields on the grounds that he was keeping a bull there – I haven’t seen it, only sheep.  Frank re-routed the Smugglers Way down through Lord’s Park Farm and south along the road to St. Neot.  I decided that I would look at tracks across Whitebarrow Downs after the first half of the Driftway and was pleased to discover that a track, shown on OS109 as petering out, actually continued all the way to the lane at Northwood Downs.  I know that Frank is trying to negotiate access along this route with both Imerys and New Closes.  My own feeling is that, as an individual walker, I see no harm in using the track for the reasons I use as justification in the description above.  I know that about 40% of this walk is on tarmac but feel that is acceptable because, except for the bit of road south of Colliford Lake, I scarcely saw a single vehicle on the very quiet lanes.  Despite two substantial climbs, up Brown Gelly and from Loveny to Penkestle Moor, this proved to be easy going and a very pleasant walk.
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Abandoned farm on china clay land
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Colliford Lake - Walk 02 - South of Colliford Lake - Interest
Colliford Lake:  Owned by South West Water and managed by the excellent South West Lakes Trust, at 900 acres this is Cornwall’s second largest lake after The Loe and its largest reservoir.  At the northern end is Colliford Lake Park, with nature trails and footpaths, play areas, wetlands, picnic areas, a pub and café and, from sometime after 2012, proposals for a wildlife park.  There is fly fishing for natural brown trout,  permits from Jamaica Inn at nearby Bolventor.   Parson’s Park China Clay Pit:  Production here ceased in the early 20th century.  The land is still owned by Imerys, the pit by South West Water who plan to make it a subsidiary reservoir to Colliford Lake, the lake in the pit is managed by South West Lakes Trust.  Sadly, although a disabled water-ski club meets here, there is no general public access yet, even on good tracks through fenced-off land.  This is hard to understand as SWLT’s other reservoirs are mostly accessible.   Brown Gelly:  See Feature in Colliford Lake Walk 01.    Smugglers Way:  Frank Squibb’s coast-to-coast route between Boscastle  and Looe harbours crosses Brown Gelly Downs from north to south.  Whitebarrow Downs:  You are on Imerys territory here, walking in a valley between china clay spoil heaps. This route uses a stretch of track through Imerys land that is used by the people at New Closes as a bridleway, in conjunction with the Driftway, to give them access to Brown Gelly Downs.  Although this is private land, I see no reason why one should not use it.  The track is clearly used as a bridleway to get to Brown Gelly Downs.   Mutton’s Downs:  When you are at the East and West Northwood turning, go right through a galvanised gate and in the hedge a few yards on to your right is a massive 9 foot pear-shaped menhir.   Northwood Water Garden:  Only open occasionaslly but so well worth seeing that I include a feature below.   Berry Down:  You cross Berry Down on the waymarked Two Valleys Walk.  A detour to the top would take you up to Berry Castle, an iron age hill fort, unfortunately almost completely hidden beneath rampant scrub.  From the trig point there are good views of some of the high points of the moor, and across the lowlands to the south-east.   Tremaddock:  Just past the handsome farmhouse and its old barns are a group of attractive holiday cottages.  Just down the hill is odd Halfpenny Cottage which, with its tallet steps, might once have been a barn.   Trewindle:  As you climb the hill up from Loveny, look to your right at Trewindle for a couple of tall stones by a small barn.   Hobb’s Hill Park Farm:  A lovely house, very photogenic, clearly the home of a golfer.   Penkestle Moor:  The track that follows the right-hand hedge can get very muddy in wet weather.  At the north-eastern foot, where you leave the moor, it can also get very wet on the way down to the ford and clapper bridge.  At the south-western corner of the moor are some traces of early tin streaming   At the south-eastern corner, look over the hedge on your right to see Trebinnick Mound, a low cairn with two standing stones on its edges. 
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Feature - Northwood Water Garden
A most surprising place.  The last thing you expect to find at around 700 feet, on the windswept heights of Bodmin Moor, is a luxuriant water garden filled with exotic plants.  But, if you can read a map, and don't mind risking the tiny blind lanes to the north of St. Neot, you will be rewarded with a couple of hours of delight.  Artist Mackenzie Bell and his partner Justin Stubbings acquired the house, a converted former china clay dry, in 2004.  There was a garden with pools but it was then a wilderness.  Now, after taking in a further 2 acres of boggy pasture, there are 8 pools, one with a colourful island, several with sculptures and glorious water lilies.  Planting is eclectic.  The expected marginal plants are mixed with exotics that you might not expect to grow on Bodmin Moor.  The striking blend - and sometimes clash - of colours must owe much to Mack's artist's eye, as must the sculptures, some found pieces, dotted around.  In the main water garden you will also find a great bank of hydrangeas, a bog garden and a wild area.  And don't miss the garden behind the house.  Above a grassy terrace, where we enjoyed a cream tea, are two granite-walled former clay settling tanks, now colourful walled gardens.  In front of the house is Mack's studio where his land and seascapes are on sale.  Nearby, in the former stables, is what must be the 'Loo of The Year'.   See Cornwall Life review.
Sculptures in a lily pond in Northwood Water Garden
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Colliford Lake - Walk 02 - South of Colliford Lake - Statistics
Distance:  8.53 miles.   Ascent:  1000 feet.   Highest Point:  Summit of Brown Gelly at 1135 feet.   Biggest climb:  340 feet up to Brown Gelly Summit.  270 feet from Loveny up onto Penkestle Moor.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  None.   Gates:  10, includes some which may be open.   Open Access:  Brown Gelly Downs, Berry Down and Penkestle Moor, just under 2½ miles in all.   Footing:  Easy going on tarmac lanes and on tracks.  Mostly good footing on Open Access moorland but wet in winter.  Road:  4 stretches of mostly very quiet lanes, totalling just under 3½ miles in all.   Difficulty:  Mostly easy though Brown Gelly Downs and Penkestle Moor get wet in bad weather.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Colliford Lake - Walk 02 - South of Colliford Lake - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Colliford Lake - Walk 03 - South to Warleggan - 6.42 miles
Route - Penkestle & Letter Moors, Warleggan, Carburrow Tor, Redhill Downs
Interest - Moorland, farmland, valleys;  Warleggan village, Carburrow Tor cairns
Please note:  I hope to revise this walk to cut out the road on the return from Carburrow Tor
This is a fairly challenging walk in two ways.  On the one hand, there are some awkward to follow paths across farmland, with few waymarks and no clear tracks to follow.  On the other hand, there is a very steep rocky climb, from the valley below Lantewey up to the village of Warleggan, a climb which continues more easily all the way to the summit of Carburrow Tor.  The walk includes a reasonable amount of Open Access land, on Penkestle and Letter moors, over Warleggan Down and on Carburrow Tor.  Interest is primarily in Warleggan village and Carburrow Tor.  The walk starts from the western Colliford Dam car park and first crosses Penkestle and Letter moors.  It then follows field paths and a quiet lane to Lantewey.  Then comes the toughest bit – a difficult stream crossing in Lantewey Wood and the long steep rocky climb up to Warleggan.  More field paths lead to Warleggan Down and a quiet lane to Carburrow Tor.  From there, thanks to blocked paths, you have to follow lane and road for the final 1½ miles.  I am working on a revision to enable you to avoid this.  Highlight is Carburrow Tor with its ancient hedges, massive cairns and panoramic views.  Warleggan village is worth exploring, though the church is uninteresting inside.  A word of warning.  At times several fields may have a bull with their herd of cows;  they are not usually troublesome. 
The damaged clapper bridge at Lantewey
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Colliford Lake - Walk 03 - South to Warleggan - Oliver's Diary
This walk, done in August 2011, proved more difficult to research than I had expected.  I found scarcely a single footpath sign or waymark – none expected on Open Access land, of course – and even found one path officially closed by the Elfin Safety freaks on Cornwall Council.  This was on the bridleway from Lantewey to Warleggan and had no forewarning back at Lantewey.  When I got to the bottom of the valley in Lantewey Wood, I discovered that the massive clapper bridge had been damaged by floods and the Council had put up barriers and a closed notice.  The bridge appeared safe enough and the stream looked fordable, so I tried both ways with little difficulty.  Of course, as this is officially closed, I couldn’t possibly recommend it to walkers who I would expect to make their own judgement.  Frankly, I found the steep rocky climb from there up to Warleggan far more dangerous.  Amazingly, this bridleway was still classified as a road until 1967!  I had more problems with my route back from Carburrow Tor.  I had intended a field route via Mennabroom.  It was blocked east of Mennabroom but I plan an alternative by Tamar.  I hadn’t been up on Carburrow Tor since 2006 and was pleased to be there again, the cairns are very impressive and you can just about see your destination as you start to descend the hill. 
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Warleggan church porch at flower festival time
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Colliford Lake - Walk 03 - South to Warleggan - Interest
Colliford Lake:  Owned by South West Water and managed by the excellent South West Lakes Trust, at 900 acres this is Cornwall’s second largest lake after The Loe and its largest reservoir.  At the northern end is Colliford Lake Park, with nature trails and footpaths, play areas, wetlands, picnic areas, a pub and café and, from sometime after 2012, proposals for a wildlife park.  There is fly fishing for natural brown trout,  permits from Jamaica Inn at nearby Bolventor.   Penkestle and Letter Moors:  These moors are, in fact, one continuous stretch of open moorland.  On Letter Moor the map shows a small circular feature, thought by some to be a ‘round’, dismissed by others as nothing more than a mound of earth.  The odd thing about this feature is that it lies close to Penkestle Moor;  the kestle part of that is Cornish for castle so at one time local people may well have thought it was a prehistoric defence of some sort.  In the south-western corner of Penkestle Moor are minor remains of early tin streaming.   Lantewey:  An attractive and expensive looking small settlement with a handsome, probably Victorian, house and some farm barns converted to homes.  The route which you take from here to Warleggan was classified as a a road until 1967 but it must have deteriorated before that as there is now almost no sign of any tarmac surface.  Instead it is now large rocks and quite difficult going.   Lantewey Woods Clapper Bridge:  Two fairly massive granite stones cross a stream with Lantewey Wood on one side and  Barleysplat Wood on the other.  Floods (date unknown) shifted the piers of the bridge which now leans.  Cornwall Council in their wisdom played the Health and Safety card and applied a closure which has since been extended.  They have also tried to block the path on both sides of the stream.  Oddly, despite the closure notice by the bridge, there is no warning at the road in either Lantewey or Warleggan and no mention of the closure on their web site.  In fact, the bridge is passable with care and the stream could be forded just upstream.  And, should Cornwall Council wish to make the crossing safe by their Health and Safety standards, all they have to do is place a few more stones in the stream downstream of the bridge.  In the circumstances, while I couldn’t possibly recommend walkers to ignore Cornwall Council’s closure, I would put it on record that it is passable with care.   Warleggan:  Little more than a hamlet, with some very attractive houses and cottages, Warleggan has a couple of literary connections.  Winston Graham used its name for the villain of his Poldark novels – he also used a couple of other villages for other characters, Demelza and (Tholly) Tregirls.  Daphne du Maurier wrote about Rev. Frederick Densham, a controversial figure who became rector of St. Bartholemew’s church in 1931.  Viewed by some of his parishioners as a kindly generous man, others saw him as a leftish zealot.  Eventually he found himself preaching to an empty church.  The story about him preaching to cardboard figures was probably a Du Maurier invention.  A TV film was made of Densham’s story, starring John Gielgud and John Hurt.  A feature film, A Congregation Of Ghosts was made in 2009 and starred Edward Woodward.  The church itself, with 11th century origins, stands on a grassy platform which may well indicate much old origins as a religious site.  It is not much to look at either inside or out.  A Cornish cross, listed Grade II, stands by the porch.  At one time it was clearly used as a gate post.   Carburrow Tor:  At 935 feet at the top of the eastern cairn, this is one of Bodmin Moor’s lower hills.  Despite that, panoramic views are superb, taking in St. Bellarmin’s Tor, Glynn Valley china clay spoil heaps, Roughtor, Brown Willy, Colliford Lake, Brown Gelly, Hawk’s Tor, Sharp Tor, Stowe’s Hill and Caradon Hill.  The two cairns on the summit are massive.  The top of the eastern cairn was adapted by the Home Guard in World War II to act as a observation post.
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Colliford Lake - Walk 03 - South to Warleggan - Statistics
Distance:  6.42 miles.   Ascent:  1000 feet.   Highest Point:  Summit of Carburrow Tor at 935 feet.   Biggest climb:  Stiff 380 feet from Lantewey Wood up to Warleggan Church.  Followed by an easy 325 feet on up to Carburrow Tor.   Steps:  6 up.  3 down.    Stiles:  5, mostly wooden.   Gates:  17, includes some which may be open, plus one wide kissing gate.   Open Access:  Penkestle and Letter Moors, Warleggan Down, Carburrow and Redhill Downs, 2½ miles in all.   Footing:  Generally good but muddy and rocky at beginning of Penkestle Moor, muddy in places over farmland and by stream in Lantewey Wood, scrubby on Carburrow Downs.  Only seriously nasty bit is the track from Lantewey Wood up to Warleggan.   Road:  2½ miles on mostly very quiet lanes.   Difficulty:  Mostly moderate but the track from Lantewey Wood up to Warleggan is seriously strenuous.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Colliford Lake - Walk 03 - South to Warleggan - Route Directions
This walk awaits further research.  It will then be revised to reduce substantially the amount of tarmac used.  A brief description of the revision is included in the PDF Route Directions.  I am sure that all serious walkers will easily be able to work out the proposed revised route for themselves.
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help you find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it.
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Walks from St. Breward
01.  St. Breward Churchtown De Lank Quarry, Jubilee Rock, Delford Bridge.  Optional Blisland detour   6.56 miles
02.  St. Breward Churchtown Treswallock, Louden Hill, Stannon Stone Circle, Harpur’s Downs   6.91 miles
03.  St. Breward Churchtown Bolatherick, Leaze, Emblance & King Arthur’s Downs, King Arthur’s Hall, Lower Candra   6.07 miles
04.  St. Breward Churchtown A serious round walk taking in Louden Hill, Roughtor, Brown Willy and Garrow Tor 13.76 miles
05.  St. Breward Churchtown A short easy walk taking in Lower and Higher Lank and the Camel Valley   3.72 miles
06.  St. Breward Churchtown A shortish, fairly easy walk by Newton, Tor, Trewint, Trecarne Ford, Hanon and Hamatethy   5.53 miles
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St. Breward 01 – South from St. Breward Churchtown - 6.56 miles
Route - De Lank Quarry, Pendrift Downs, Jubilee Rock, Delford Bridge, Lady Down
Interest - Working Granite Quarry, carved boulder, listed Clapper Bridge, Downs and Farmland
The delight of  Bodmin Moor walks is that there are so many and varied points of interest along the way.   Most are generally fairly easy to approach.  Usually, too, the walks are easier than you might expect of routes over the moors.  This walk is no exception to the interest aspect but something of an exception when it comes to easiness.  Main interest, apart from the always delightful scenery and views, is found in the still working De Lank granite quarry, its restored turbine house, the remarkable Grade II listed Jubilee Rock on Pendrift Downs, the similarly listed Delford clapper bridge, and a little known cairn near Delford Bridge.  The lack of easiness arises first at de Lank Quarry where you find some of the Moor’s most difficult going, second at Jubilee Rock which, unless you approach by this route, you might never find, thanks to the obscuring furze and bracken.  The route starts by St. Breward church, crosses pastoral farmland on the way to De Lank quarry, bridges the De Lank River on its way to Pendrift and Jubilee Rock, continues over Pendrift and Kerrow Downs to Delford Bridge, and finally crosses more farmland and downs on its way back to St. Breward.  A variation is offered, continuing the difficult route through the quarry and reaching Jubilee Rock from a rather more awkward direction.  A detour to Blisland is also offered, intended for those who like their real ale. 
Delford Cairn, well worth the short detour
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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St. Breward 01 – South from St. Breward Churchtown - Oliver's Diary
My first walks that used parts of this route were in 2006, when I saw Delford Bridge for the first time, and in 2007, when I did a part of the Copper Trail, between Blisland and St. Breward, with my sister Mary on a soaking wet February day, and soon after when I sought out Jubilee Rock on a lovely sunny one.  This time I did several walks researching the possibilities for a circular route.  I had originally considered the difficult way, through de Lank quarry and up the other side but decided that it is easier to head for Pendrift when seeking Jubilee Rock for the first time.  However, I offer the difficult route as an alternative.  My chosen route also offers an optional detour into Blisland for a lunch and real ale break.  I have been interested by the different stiles on the West Penwith moors and Bodmin Moor.  In West Penwith they are nearly all coffen stiles;  on Bodmin Moor it’s mostly cattle stiles.  On my final research walk I made a small detour before Delford Bridge to a cairn not shown on OS109.  Details are in the Interest section.  Another point I was interested to spot is that, while waymarking is often poor across private land on the Moor, it is superb if you choose the very little used route all the way through De Lank Quarry.  I was also pleased to see that De Lank is restoring its old turbine house on the De Lank River where you come down to Pendrift Downs. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
You can walk through De Lank Quarry
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St. Breward 01 – South from St. Breward Churchtown - Interest
St Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile from north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets.  This walk starts from the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, its Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit.  There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.   De Lank Quarry:  To the best of my knowledge, this is Cornwall’s only granite quarry producing dimension stone, cut stone for building or sculpting, as opposed to aggregate like Castle-an-Dinas quarry in West Penwith.  There must have once been an iron age hillfort here as De Lank (Cornish Dyn Lonk) means ‘the fort by the ravine’.  The quarry has been operating since the mid-19th century and has provided stone for the famed Eddystone lighthouse and for that at Beachy Head.  Much more recently it provided the stone for Peter Randall-Page’s massive Seed sculpture at the Eden Project.  Entertainingly, the house passed soon after leaving the quarry, is named Eddystone, though now extended and pretentiously renamed Eddystone Court.  I would guess it was probably originally the quarry owner’s or manager’s home.   Pendrift:  The tiny hamlet, where you turn left for Jubilee Rock, still has a farm but a couple of buildings have been expensively converted and are now remote holiday homes.  I seem to remember there having been riding stables here once.   Jubilee Rock:  See feature below.   Delford Cairn:  Surprisingly not marked on the OS map, this cairn appears from the road down to Delford Bridge just to be a standing stone.  Closer investigation shows it to be the remains of a robbed-out burial cairn.  Though on private land, it is quite reasonable to access it as the gate leads to a fishery.  A few hundred yards before Delford Bridge go through a pair of gates on your left.  From here the cairn appears to be roughly in front of West Rose, though some distance from it.  You will find a massive stone still standing, some 6 feet high and eight feet wide.  It photographs nicely with Roughtor and Brown Willy in the background.   Delford Bridge:  Probably Cornwall’s most impressive clapper bridge, now modified to carry vehicular traffic.  See Clapper Bridge feature below
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Feature - Jubilee Rock
I first read of it in the North Cornwall Advertiser in 2007, part of a campaign for its restoration, and determined to take a look.  Surprisingly, there is no sign or clear path to the rock and one's approach is badly obscured by rampant furze.  The massive 8 foot high granite boulder was said to have been carved by Lt. John Rogers to celebrate the 1810 golden jubilee of King George III.  If Rogers was the carver he must have been a skilled mason as the detail of all the work remains crisp after 200 years.  All is apparently original except for an 1897 addition for Queen Victoria's golden jubilee.  Detail includes Britannia, the Royal and Cornish coats of arms and those of local landowners (the Falmouths, Morsheads and Molesworths), a plough, and two mason's marks, a compass and square.  I was back at Jubilee Rock in June 2011, researching this walk.  I was surprised to find that the Rock had been restored in 2010 to celebrate its bi-centenary.  Lichen had been removed and the rock was looking a bit cleaner.  I was, however, puzzled to see that the carving had been infilled with what looked like grey paint.  Is this not a Grade II listed monument?  Is it permitted to paint it?  And I was most disappointed to see that no furze or bracken had been cleared round it, something badly needed so that people can find the rock more easily. 
Jubilee Rock on Pendrift Downs
Description - Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Feature - Clapper Bridges
In essence the clapper bridge is a simple stone bridge with moorstone piers and a massive moorstone slab laid across it.  Sometimes there may be no piers but just a stone slab across a small stream.  The word derives from the Old English clep, a pile of stones.  Odd that the Cornish seem to have no word of their own for it;  after all, many Cornish clapper bridges must long predate the coming of the English language.  Probably Britain’s best known clapper bridge is the massively simple one over the East Dart River at Postbridge, very much photographed since it lies alongside a main Dartmoor road.  Cornwall’s finest examples can be found on Bodmin Moor.  Bradford is an attractive hamlet at the end of a dead-end lane.  The broad ford from which it takes its name has been superseded by a massive clapper bridge which carries the lane over the De Lank River and probably dates from the 17th century though later adapted to carry motor vehicles.  It has five piers, including the two abutments, and is listed as an Historic Building Grade II.  Close by is a smaller clapper crossing a tiny stream.  Half-a-mile further on is an even more impressive clapper, Delford or Delphi Bridge, also listed and also carrying a lane over the De Lank River.  Beautifully made, it has six piers, including the two abutments.  Here note two boundary stones, one standing on the south side and one fallen on the north side.
Description - Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Delford Bridge, a clapper now used by vehicle traffic
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St. Breward 01 – South from St. Breward Churchtown - Statistics
Distance:  6.56 miles.   Ascent:  500 feet.   Highest Point:  760 feet at Hallagenna.   Biggest climb:  300 feet from De Lank River up to Jubilee Rock.   Steps:  Up 5.  Down 47, including 43 uneven rock steps down to De Lank Quarry.   Stiles:  20, mostly high granite cattle stiles.   Gates:  9.   Open Access:  Pendrift Downs.  Kerrow Downs.  Lady Downs.   Footing:  Generally good on farmland, downs, tracks and quiet lanes.  Difficult down to De Lank quarry.  May be muddy up to Pendrift.   Road:  Total about ¾ mile at beginning and end of walk.  Difficulty:  Overall moderate.  Mostly easy going but awkward descent to De Lank quarry and long climb up to Jubilee Rock.   Map:  OS 109 Bodmin Moor.
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St. Breward 01 – South from St. Breward Churchtown - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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St. Breward 02 - Open Moor north-east from St. Breward Churchtown - 6.91 miles
Route - Treswallock, Alex Tor, Stannon Circle, Harpur's Downs, Newton
Interest - Cairns, a Cornish Cross, Two Stone Circles, Open Moorland, Pastoral Farmland
Although, at a touch under 7 miles, this is one of my longer Bodmin Moor walks, it is very easy going all the way, as long as you don’t mind stiles.  Because there is quite a lot of pastoral farmland, both out of and back to St. Breward, there are a lot of stiles, 33 in all including 18 cattle stiles, many of them quite high.  Oddly, several of the stiles are duplicated, a wooden one added to a granite one and, in one case, two wooden stiles surround a cattle stile.  Other than that, it is easy going and, although the map may suggest a fair amount of tarmac, you don’t need to walk on it.  The walk starts by St. Breward church, crosses pasture for over half-a-mile to Treswallock then soon gets onto open moorland at Treswallock Downs.  The 225 foot climb up Alex Tor is easy.  First major interest is here, a massive cairn and long views.  Other antiquities follow:  first Middlemoor Cross, then standing stones and a minor stone circle at the south-west foot of Loudon Hill.  Next you cross to Cornwall’s largest stone circle, close by the former Stannon China Clay pit.  Then, after following the line of a lane across Harpur’s Downs, you are back into farmland almost all the way back to St. Breward.  A pleasant and easy walk with a lot of worthwhile antiquarian interest along the way.  Waymarking off the open moor is rather inconsistent.
The unusual cairn on Alex Tor summit
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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St. Breward 02 - Open Moor north-east from Churchtown - Oliver's Diary
Although I have many times been on this part of the moor, seeking out the stone circles and the many standing stones and cairns, this research walk in July 2011 included a lot of unfamiliar territory joining up the dots.  I had not been through Treswallock before and was pleasantly surprised to find the tiny former Methodist Chapel there.  I had been up Alex Tor but previously I had approached it from the southern end of Treswallock Downs.  Nor had I walked along Harpur’s Downs, though I had driven that way when first visiting important Stannon Stone Circle.  A word of warning here.  Don’t try to cut off the corner on the Open Access land of Harpur’s Downs;  wait for the waymark post otherwise you will find yourself in difficult marshy land.  I am disappointed that Stannon Pit, although now owned by South West Water, remains closed to the public.  Perhaps, when their reservoir work is complete, the admirable South West Lakes Trust will take over, as they have at Cornwall’s other reservoirs, and access will be possible.  Do, however, look out for the over-the-top no entry sign at the gate.  Some wag has added a spot of mocking graffiti on a nearby water access cover.  And look out for the odd holed stone and the sheep gate soon after.  I was pleased with this new route and found it an easy, pleasant and varied walk. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Roughtor seen from a cairn near Stannon stone circle
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St.Breward 02 - Open Moor north-east from Churchtown - Interest
St Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile from north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets.  This walk starts from the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit.  There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.   Treswallock:  An attractive farm, believed to date from Tudor or earlier times but remodelled in the 19th century.  It is listed Grade II but the listing is only for the farmhouse, not for the attractive barns or, surprisingly, for the tiny barn on the right-hand side of the lane which was built in 1840 as a Methodist chapel.   Alex Tor Cairns:  There are several cairns dotting the slopes of Treswallock Downs.  Most impressive of these are on or near the top of Alex Tor.  One to the south-east of the tor retains one large standing stone but the most impressive is the one just to the west of the summit.  Here massive rocks describe an approximate circle but presumably the stone mound in the centre has been robbed for stone for hedge building.   Louden Hill:  Stone Circle, about 22 stones, only 2 properly upright, one, possibly a medieval boundary stone, stands on the E side of the circle.  There is a great deal more archaeological interest on Louden Hill and adjacent Steping Hill, including hut circles, standing stones, another stone circle and a logan rock, described in other Bodmin Moor walks.   Stannon China Clay Pit:  Until 2002 this was a working china clay pit, owned by multi-national Imerys.  In 2008 it was purchased by South West Water and work started in 2010 to turn it into Cornwall’s second largest reservoir after Colliford Lake.  One hopes that when the work is completed there will be access to it as there is to most of Cornwall’s reservoirs.  The (presumably) former manager’s house was sold separately and the poor purchasers have had terrible flooding problems.   Stannon Stone Circle:  Cornwall’s three largest and oldest stone circles are all within a radius of less than a mile.  Of these (Louden Hill and Fernacre are the others) Stannon is the largest.  It is thought there were once as many as 82 erect stones, now between 64 and 68 can be identified though no one seems to be sure of the exact number.  Sadly it is dwarfed by the massive spoil heaps of Stannon Pit.  Interestingly there is an almost precise alignment of Stannon, Fernacre and Leskernick circles and the northern cairn on Brown Willy.   See feature below on Cornwall's stone circles.
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Feature - Cornwall's Stone Circles
There are almost thirty identifiable stone circles in Cornwall and perhaps many more now lost.  They are thought to date from the early Bronze Age but some may be of the late Neolithic.  In some cases there may have been two or more adjacent circles and indeed one of these instances survives at Minions on Bodmin Moor, where the Hurlers consists of three circles, two standing, one now recumbent.  Probably the most complete circles are Boscawen-ûn, the Merry Maidens and Tregeseal, all in West Penwith.  There seems to be no consistent pattern.  Circles vary from 50 to 150 feet in diameter and the stones may be rectangular, triangular or irregular in shape.  Numbers of stones vary from 8 at Duloe near Looe, to a putative 82 at Stannon on Bodmin Moor.  Some feel that the perfect number is 19, with an additional central stone.  Many circles seem to form alignments with other monuments such as cairns, sometimes with associated stone rows.  Bodmin Moor has a high concentration.  Best known, and most accessible, are the Hurlers.  Largest are Stannon, Fernacre and Louden Hill near Roughtor and Brown Willy.  Others are the Stripple Stones near Hawk’s Tor, mostly recumbent but once massive, the Trippet Stones on Manor Common, the Nine Stones of Altarnun on East Moor, two on Leskernick Hill, two near King Arthur’s Hall on Emblance Downs, and one on Craddock Moor near Minions.
Boscawen-ûn stobe circle in West Penwith
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St.Breward 02 - Open Moor North-east from Churchtown - Statistics
Distance:  6.91 miles.   Ascent:  550 feet.   Highest Point:  Alex Tor at 980 feet.  Walk is all between 630 and 980 feet.   Biggest climb:  Easy 225 feet up Alex Tor from White Meadows.   Steps:  None.   Stiles: 33, mixed wooden and granite, of which 18 are cattle stiles, many quite high.   Gates:  2 only.   Open Access:  From the gate before White Meadows to where you leave Harpur’s Downs, about 3½ miles.   Footing:  Generally good on farmland and most Open Access land.  Can be wet, but not difficult, on Louden Hill.    Road:  Although you follow several lanes, you need not walk on most.  Total walked tarmac only about ½ mile.   Difficulty:  Easy although there are a lot of often high stiles in the farmland sections.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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St. Breward 02 - Open Moor north-east from Churchtown - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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St. Breward 03 - Open Moor east from Churchtown - 6.07 miles
Route - Irish, Bolatherick, Leaze, King Arthur’s Downs, King Arthur’s Hall, Lower Candra
Interest - Three Stone Circles, a Cist, Cairns, Standing Stones and Alignments, Moor and Farmland
This is a walk that should appeal to those who enjoy the superb selection of ancient monuments that Bodmin Moor has to offer.  In fact, you could hardly ask for a wider selection:  stone circles, standing stones, alignments, cairns, a strange rectangular enclosure and even a cist.  It also has the advantage that, although you start and finish in a village, a full two-thirds of the walk is on open moorland.  You start in St. Breward Churchtown and immediately start crossing pastoral farmland, a part of which is difficult in wet weather.  After Irish Farm you are out onto the open moor, through Bolatherick and past Whiteheads and Ivey farms.  The antiquities begin at Whiteheads.  Soon after that, you may choose to avoid the difficult path over a short stretch of private land.  At Ivey you start a gentle climb up Emblance and King Arthur’s Downs, passing cairns, a cist and three stone circles (one on private land – see Route Directions for information about access).  After the strange King Arthur’s Hall, at the high point of the route, there is some easy farmland, more open moor and finally a lane back to the start point in St. Breward.  Going is generally easy, apart from the two spots mentioned.  Views are fairly long and inevitably include superb views of Roughtor and Brown Willy.  Perhaps not a walk for the gloomiest of weather when it can seem a little bleak. 
Ponies at Bolatherick
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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St. Breward 03 - Open Moor east from Churchtown - Oliver's Diary
This research walk, in July 2011, took me a lot longer than expected.  I was keen, at last, to get some decent photographs of Leaze Stone Circle, King Arthur’s Hall and another nearby stone circle.  The forecast was for sunny intervals but it was one of those Bodmin Moor days when the sunny intervals tend to be few and far between and I had to linger for half-an-hour at several locations.  My patience was rewarded with some good results.  I was first here in 2006 and back later on several occasions when helping re-research the Land’s End Trail.  On this occasion the recent dry weather meant that going on the moor was dry and easy and that minor sites were easily identified, thanks to the short well-grazed grass.  One site, near Ivey Farm, puzzled me particularly.  On the track from the farm, at 12972/76597, you see to your left an apparent stone row heading WNW and on your right one heading NE towards De Lank Waterworks.  Closer inspection shows that several upright stones carry boundary markings.  If you follow the WNW row, at its end you find a junction of low but clear boundary banks so presumably this is part of an ancient field system.  Nothing is shown on OS109.  One warning.  Between Whiteheads and Ivey, unless you are a stickler for following mapped paths, don’t try the path I describe in the Route Directions but take the suggested detour. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Leaze Stone Circle
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St. Breward 03 - Open Moor east from Churchtown - Interest
St Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile from north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets.  This walk starts from the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit.  There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.   Cornwall’s Stone Circles: See St. Breward Walk 02.   Leaze Stone Alignments:  Described in Oliver’s Diary above.   Leaze Stone Circle:  On the private land of Leaze Farm, this is a little known but fairly impressive stone circle.  Although bisected by a field boundary bank, it can all be seen quite clearly.  There appear to be 15 stones of, it is thought, an original 22.  9 remain standing, 6 are recumbent and at least one was used in the construction of the bank.  The circle photographs well with Roughtor and Brown Willy in the background.   King Arthur’s Downs Stone Circles:  There is one clear stone circle with two prominent standing stones and about 8 others, either stumps or fallen.  Just to its east is the remains of another circle, with just 6 identifiable stones.  If you want to know where the others are, look over the hedge to see the very substantial stones of which it is constructed.   King Arthur's Hall:   See feature below.
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Feature - King Arthur's Hall
A very puzzling site.  There is a rectangular banked enclosure, over six feet high in places and some 160 feet by 65 feet.  The inside is lined with apparently random stones, upright, angled or lying flat.  Romantics would have us believe that the enclosure was once roofed, hence its name, but its sheer size makes that most unlikely.  Its age is a puzzle;  its existence was first recorded in 1584 when it was apparently already known as King Arthur’s Hall.  According to Craig Weatherhill, in his Cornovia, it could date from the Neolithic period, as do similar enclosures in Ireland and Wales.  Some have suggested that it could simply be a cattle enclosure but its interior wetness makes that unlikely.  It is noticeable that inside the bank and stones is a well defined rectangle of mares tail grass, inside that a rectangle of cotton grass.  This suggests a lining of some sort that holds the moisture.  Could it just be that it was a man-made pond or even reservoir to water the cattle on the moor or provide a water source for settlements nearby.  Whatever its purpose, the sheer size suggests a place of some importance.  It still feels like a special place, perhaps because of its location.  Despite knowing that farms and villages are near, you feel total isolation on the high moorland, your views of the higher land of Garrow Tor, Rough Tor and Brown Willy heightening that feeling. 
King Arthur's Hall, Roughtor & Brown Willy behind
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St. Breward 03 - Open Moor east from Churchtown - Statistics
Distance:  6.07 miles.   Ascent:  450 feet.   Highest Point:  King Arthurs Downs at 905 feet.  Walk is all between 675 and 905 feet.   Biggest climb:  Very easy 135 feet to top of King Arthur’s Downs.   Steps:  None.  Stiles:  12, mixed wooden and granite, of which 7 are fairly high cattle stiles.   Gates:  13, including 1 narrow kissing gate.   Open Access:  Almost continuous from Irish to Hallagenna, a little over 4 miles in all.   Footing:  Generally good on the Open Access land and farmland.  Can be muddy but passable after Palmers and, in wet weather, could be impassable on the *private land between Whiteheads and Ivey but the latter is avoidable.  Road: Although you follow a couple of lanes, you need not walk on most.  Total walked tarmac about ½ mile.   Difficulty:  Fairly easy if you avoid *above.  Call it moderate if you include it.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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St. Breward 03 - Open Moor east from Churchtown - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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St. Breward 04 - Circular walk from St. Breward to Roughtor Car Park and back - 13.76 miles
Out:  Treswallock, Harpur's Downs, Stannon Circle, Louden Hill, Roughtor Moors
Back:  Roughtor, Brown Willy, Garrow Tor, King Arthur's Hall, Lower Candra, Lady Down
Recommended pub after the walk:  Old Inn, St. Breward Churchtown
Interest:  Cairns, Standing Stones, Stone Circles, Logan Stones, Bronze Age Settlements
This is probably the ultimate Bodmin Moor Walk since, without getting involved with some of the boggier parts, it would be difficult to create an accessible moorland walk of much greater length than the 13¾ miles of this route.  And, except for the last half-mile or so back into St. Breward, no road at all has to be used.  In a way this one is cheating.  It is, in fact, Camelford Walk 04 but with a different start point.  Those who like a pub along the way will prefer that walk;  those who like their pub at the end will prefer this.  Starting by St. Breward Church, the walk goes by Treswallock, Alex Tor, Middlemoor Cross, Stannon Circle and Louden Hill to the Roughtor Car Park.  It returns by the Roughtor Ridge, Brown Willy, Butterstor Downs, Garrow Downs, King Arthur's Hall, Lower Candra and Lady Down.  It is a fairly strenuous walk with five climbs, totalling some 2000 feet.  Except in the worst weather going should not be difficult while views are quite superb, especially from Brown Willy, Cornwall’s highest hill.  Interest along the way includes a cairn on Showery Tor, two on Brown Willy and two on Alex Tor;  Middlemoor Cornish Cross;  a major stone circle near Stannon Pit;  and the interesting church in St. Breward.  You will find full details of Interest and Statistics on Camelford Walk 04.
Brown Willy seen from Catshole Downs
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St. Breward 04 - Circular walk from St. Breward - 13.76 miles - Oliver's Diary
This really is my ultimate Bodmin Moor walk.  My Bowithick 5 Hills Walk is much more of a walk on the wild side than this, but this one includes so much of the best of Bodmin Moor that I think it has to come out on top.  The difference between the two is that on the Bowithick walk the only times you are likely to see another person is at Bowithick itself;  once you start to climb Buttern Hill civilisation disappears, reappearing only back at the end of the walk, at Bowithick again.  On this walk the several popular spots mean that you are always likely to encounter other walkers.  You are sure to see others on Roughtor and Brown Willy and you may well encounter them on Butterstor, Garrow Tor and at King Arthur's Hall.  And the footpaths around St. Breward are well used, thanks perhaps to being well signed.  Even so, I don't suppose that, except on Roughtor, I have ever encountered more than a dozen or so people on this walk at any time.  The interest along the way is wonderful;  not just the usual features but surprisingly complete hut circles near Stannon Circle, the cairns on Alex Tor, Showery Tor and Brown Willy, the logan stone on Louden Hill and much more.  There are one or two places with awkward footing but a little bit of care will take care of these.  As a comprehensive introduction to the moor north of the A30 I feel this walk cannot be bettered.
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Part of Stannon Stone Circle
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St. Breward 05 - Short Circular Walk from Churchtown via the Camel Valley - 3.72 miles
Route:  Lower Lank, Higher Lank, Coombe, River Camel, Fellover
Interest:  Includes part of De Lank Tramway and Clapper Bridges over the Camel
This is not really a Bodmin Moor walk.  Rather than head east on to the moor as other walks from St. Breward do, it heads south through farmland down to the valley of the River Camel.  However, since my other St. Breward walks are all definitely on the Moor, I have chosen to designate this as another.  It is a short and relatively easy walk, downhill for the first part, undulating on the second part and steadily uphill for the third.  It starts from the lane to the church, adjacent to the excellent Old Inn.  It takes a track and a field path to reach Rylands, heads just a little west of south to Penvorder Cottages then south-west to Lower Lank.  (From here it’s overall roughly north all the way to Fellover).  From Lower Lank a quiet road then takes you a short distance to Higher Lank before field paths descend steeply to a massive clapper bridge (there are several on this walk) over the River Camel.  It’s then up and down, over another clapper bridge, this time carrying a road, through Coombe Mill Farm's animal enclosures and on up through woodland to attractive Chapel Farm.  You emerge from the woodland faced with a variety of paths.  Of several possible routes back to Churchtown I have chosen the longest, which continues north above the Camel as far as Fellover before turning back roughly south-east to the start. 
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Ramblers heading down towards the Camel Valley
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St. Breward 05 - Short Circular Walk from Churchtown via the Camel Valley - Oliver's Diary
Unlike almost all my other Bodmin Moor (and Coastal Round) walks, this one is not original.  I was first introduced to it in 2006 when Jane, my sister Frances and I joined the Camel Ramblers on their AGM Day.  This was, in almost exact detail, the first activity of the day, the highlight of which was a Powerpoint show on the Copper Trail by its devisor Mark Camp.  At that time it seemed like not only a short walk but also quite an easy walk.  When walking it again in March 2013, I realised that 7 years and time spent in hospital make an awful lot of difference;  it now seemed like quite a difficult walk!  While I have nothing but admiration for the Ramblers, I do have some criticism of their walks.  Their purpose so often seems to be just to get from A to B and back, walking for its own sake.  Mine is always to find interest along the way if possible.  So in retrospect it shouldn’t surprise me that in 2006 no one even mentioned that we were within 100 yards or so of a holy well, nor would I have known that there were some minor mining relics around.  As a short walk, I find this one surprisingly full of variety:  farmland, woodland, river valleys, ancient bridges, industrial remains, and occasional long views.  And when you get to the turn at Fellover it is worth taking the path into its grounds for the unusual statuary. 
Attractive Chapel Farm, the holy well is nearby
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St. Breward 05 - Short Circular Walk from Churchtown via the Camel Valley - Interest
St Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile from north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets.  This walk starts from the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit.  There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.   Lower Lank:  An attractive complex, presumably no longer farm but expensive homes or second homes.  Were you to turn left on the lane at Lower Lank you would eventually come to the entrance to the famous De Lank granite quarry.  Were you to turn left on the road at Lower Lank you would find the abutments of a bridge on the old granite quarry tramway, much of which now forms the Camel Trail.   Clapper Bridges:  The two finest clapper bridges, constructed of granite blocks laid over granite piers, in Cornwall are on Bodmin Moor at Bradford and nearby Delford, both now carrying modern road traffic.  There are a couple of impressive examples on this walk, the purely pedestrian clapper over the Camel after Upper Lank and another with a now tarmac surface on the road near Coombe Mill.  And see Clapper Bridges in St. Breward Walk 01.   Coombe Mill:  What was once a 16th century watermill and associated farm is now a family friendly farm holiday complex.  Apart from the purpose built lodges, there are some attractive former farm buildings including an open cart shed.   Chapel Farm:  Attractive hamlet of farmhouse, cottages and converted barn.  The farmhouse has two pretty wrought iron gates, one with a parrot, the other with a swan, and an unusual old post box.  The holy well is nearby.   St. Brueredus (or St. James) Holy Well:  There is some confusion about holy wells in St. Breward parish.  I believe that the one just up a lane from Chapel Farm is St. James’s well.  From Chapel Farm head up the hill, take a FP sign on the L;  the well, in an attractive housing is a few yards up on the R.   Industrial Remains:  There is roadside parking N of St. Breward, on W side of road at 09676/77705.  Here note, tucked away behind furze, a plaque about Mine Hill.  Great Mitchells Consols was opened in 1845 by the Mitchell family, landowners of Hengar Manor.  It was short-lived, closing in 1848 after producing only £500 of copper.  The main lode was in the vicinity of St. James’s well.  A new company, Great Onslow Consols, was formed in 1851 but expectations were not fulfilled and it closed in 1862.  St. Breward Consols Copper Mining Company was formed in the 1870s, and in the 1890s traded as Wheal Onslow Mines, producing some arsenic.  Thrussel and Thrussel:  Father and son Gary and Thomas Thrussell describe themselves as artist metal smiths.  They produce metal sculptures for public places and private commissions, working from St. Neot to the south of Bodmin Moor. They work in mild steel, copper and stainless steel, using forging, welding and sheet metal working processes.  Their sculptures can be seen in all sorts of public places in Cornwall (also in Essex), sometimes in such simple form as park benches as in Beacon Park in Bodmin, sometimes more complex as in the mine chimney on the clay trail from Wheal Martyn.  While in St. Breward you might like to see their ‘Arachnathrone’ behind the primary school.  Well worth looking at their web site
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St. Breward 05 - Short Circular Walk from Churchtown via the Camel Valley - Statistics
Distance:  3.72 miles.   Ascent:  Around 600 feet total.   Highest Point:  740 feet at St. Breward War Memorial.   Biggest climb:  500 feet in ¾ mile up from Chapel Farm.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  23, mostly fairly high granite cattle stiles.   Gates:  18 including some kissing gates.   Open Access:  Tiny bit only, just before St. Breward War Memorial.   Footing:  Generally good on paths on farmland and on paths and tracks through woodland.  Some awkward footing in climb up from Fellover.  May be muddy in places.   Road:  About ½ mile in all, most between Lower and Higher Lank.   Difficulty:  Overall fairly easy but many stiles and long final climb may make it seem moderate.   Map:  OS 109 Bodmin Moor.
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St. Breward 05 - Short Circular Walk from Churchtown via the Camel Valley - Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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St. Breward 06 - Shortish Circular Walk - Newton, Tor, Trewint, Henon - 5.53 miles
A fairly short and easy walk from St. Breward Churchtown, making a counter-clockwise loop north of the village.  It incorporates parts of a much longer walk, Camelford 05 on this page, a fair amount of interest and some fine views – on the outward leg of Roughtor and Brown Willy, on the return over the Camel Valley.  The walk starts from St. Breward church, crosses farmland on its way north-east to Treswallock, Corgelly and Newton farms, all relatively isolated places.  It then turns north, over a ridge and down into the valley of the little River Stannon, a tributary of the Camel.  Continuing north, the route climbs to two more isolated farms, Tor and Trewint, then a quiet lane leads down to Trecarne ford and a fine clapper bridge over the River Camel.  Turning south, you climb easily up through Henon and woodland to reach the relatively open grazing land of Hamatethy Down.  Finally, you drop down to Lower Hamatethy before the toughest part of the walk, a short but very steep stretch of lane back to St. Breward Churchtown.  Interest along the way includes an unexpected Methodist chapel, now used as a barn, many attractive farm buildings, and the impressive clapper bridge at Trecarne ford.  There is quite a variety of stiles along the way, a mixture of wooden stiles and granite cattle stiles – and one sheep stile on Hamatethy Down about 7 feet high and topped with a wooden stile! 
Roughtor seen from near Newton
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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St. Breward 06 - Shortish Circular Walk - Newton, Tor, Trewint, Henon - Oliver's Diary
I undertook this research walk in early April 2014 on a warmish, dry but not very sunny day.  When the sun did shine, I managed a couple of decent photographs but happily I already had some quite good ones of much of this walk, taken in September 2011 when I was researching Camelford 05 on this page.  I hadn’t remembered just how many barriers of one sort or another there are in these parts.  In a mere 5½ miles I encountered 24 stiles and 23 gates, though a fair number of the gates are probably open much of the time.  It was an enjoyable walk, mostly over easy pasture land.  There were two hitches along the way.  I decided to take a detour to look for Carwether abandoned medieval village;  thanks to some boggy ground I didn’t get to it and only realised later that I was approaching it from the wrong direction.  The second hitch was crossing Hamatethy Down where I encountered a large herd of Welsh Black cattle with many calves.  I was reluctant to go through the herd, which might have meant passing between cow and calf, so I took an easily followed detour through a couple of other fields.  Don’t worry, the route directions follow the correct way.  I sometimes wonder just how many farm buildings are really that and how many are converted holiday homes and holiday lets.  At Trewint the attractive barns were undergoing conversion when I passed. 
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Tiny former Methodist Chapel at Treswallock
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St. Breward 06 - Shortish Circular Walk - Newton, Tor, Trewint, Henon - Interest
St. Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile from north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets. This walk includes the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit. There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.  As you come back into the village at the end of the walk, you pass a recently constructed war memorial with grand views over the Camel Valley, some charming old cottages, one with tallet steps, another with a positively antique AA distance sign showing London 235 miles. 
Treswallock:  An attractive farm, believed to date from Tudor or earlier times but remodelled in the 19th century. It is listed Grade II but the listing is only for the farmhouse, not for the attractive barns or, surprisingly, for the tiny barn on the right-hand side of the lane which was built in 1840 as a Methodist chapel.
Trewint:  An attractive farmhouse with a range of barns and outbuildings which, at the time of the research ealk, were being converted for holiday lets. 
Henon:  The section of the walk from Trecarne Ford, with its impressive clapper bridge, to Hamatethy Down is a delight. First you cross the River Camel on a long clapper bridge by a ford, then a track leads you up to Henon where the attractive house is listed Grade II and the outbuildings are equally attractive. The whole grouping is set off by colourful hydrangeas and the woodland behind. Walking up through the woods leads you up onto Hamatethy Downs.
Carwether Lost Medieval Village:  Glancing at OS109, you might at first think that a detour from this route, where you enter Hamatethy Downs, would take you to Carwether.  It might but only with difficulty.  If you are interested in seeing the remains of the lost medieval village, the best route is by a track off the lane from St. Breward Churchtown to Harpur’s Downs, at a RH bend at 10571/79313.  Follow the FP sign through a wooden gate.  You could then follow a difficult rough track through a cattle yard.  However, it is simpler and easier after a few yards to go through a gap on the R into a field and go L with the track to your L.  Remains of Carwether begin after about 570 yards at about 10176/79624.  You will find only very skeletal remains of three longhouses, several ancillary buildings and some paddocks or garden plots. There are races of a strip field system and of ridge and furrow.
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St. Breward 06 - Shortish Circular Walk - Newton, Tor, Trewint, Henon - Statistics
Distance:   5.53 miles.    Ascent:  Around 800 feet.  Highest Point:  775 feet before Treswallock.   Biggest climb:  260 feet up from River Stannon to beyond Tor.  Steps:  2 up, 7 down.   Stiles:  24, mix of cattle, sheep, step, wooden and wooden lift.   Gates:  23 but many may be open.   Open Access:  Only a tiny bit, bypassing Mellon Farm and in the last ¼ mile back to St. Breward.   Footing:  Generally good on pasture, lanes and tracks.    Road:  1.70 miles but almost all very quiet lanes.   Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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St. Breward 06 - Shortish Circular Walk - Newton, Tor, Trewint, Henon - Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets.
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Walks from the Camelford area - includes Roughtor car park
01.  Roughtor car park Roughtor, Fernacre, Stannon and Louden Hill 5.45 miles
02.  Roughtor car park A Six Hills walk, including Brown Willy and Garrow Tor 9.75 miles
03.  Roughtor car park Showery Tor, Davidstow Moor, Davidstow Woods 7.34 miles
04.  Roughtor car park Circular moorland walk to St. Breward and back 13.76 miles
05.  Camelford Circular farmland walk to St. Breward and back 11.13 miles
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Camelford 01 - Roughtor car park - Open moor south-west of Roughtor - 5.45 miles
Route - The Roughtor Ridge, Fernacre, Stannon, Louden Hill, Roughtor Moors
Interest - Cornwall’s second highest hill, 3 of Cornwall’s largest stone circles, two Logan rocks, bronze age settlements, cairns, hut circles and a well-preserved cist.
This shortish walk, a mere 5½ miles, acts as the ideal introduction to those who would like to experience the high moorland and see some of its finer antiquities.  If you enjoy this one, then there is much more to enjoy on longer and wilder walks.  The walk starts from a car park two miles out of Camelford, one of only two proper car parks (the other is at Minions) that put you straight on to the moor.  Because of the car park and the fame of Roughtor you are unlikely to be alone for the first mile or so but, once beyond Roughtor, you probably will have the moor to yourself.  The route first climbs a moderate slope up to Showery Tor at the northern end of the Roughtor ridge.  It then follows the ridge, by way of Little Roughtor to Roughtor itself at the southern end to see a military memorial and a logan rock.  The only difficult part of the walk follows, a fairly steep and rocky descent to pass through a bronze age settlement on your way to the first of three stone circles, Fernacre Circle.  You then head for two more stone circles, Louden Hill and Stannon, on the way seeing a burial cist.  From Stannon Circle, you then skirt the massive Stannon china clay spoil heaps.  After turning the corner, by staying low you will encounter some impressive hut circles before climbing Louden Hill (here is another logan rock).  From there you can see the car park to which you are returning.
The Roughtor ridge, seen from Butterstor
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Camelford 01 - Open moor south-west of Roughtor - Oliver's Diary
It wasn’t until 2004 that it occurred to Jane and me to forsake the busy Coast Path in summer and try our hands (or feet) at walking on Bodmin Moor.  After an easy introduction with a walk from Minions, we decided, with some trepidation to try Roughtor, Brown Willy and Louden Hill.  It all turned out to be easier than we had expected and it was then that I fell in love with Cornwall’s high moorland.  On an assortment of walks I have since been up on Roughtor on many occasions, including in the course of the St. Breward to Bolventor stage of the Land’s End Trail.  For this walk, researched in July 2011, my love of the moor’s antiquities persuaded me to include all three stone circles in the area, as well as the impressive cist on Steping Hill.  It was a lovely warm clear sunny day and I was able to get a lot of good photos.  Several were of moorland ponies with their foals, very appealing.  I saw two large herds on this part of the moor, on Steping hill and Roughtor Moor, each of at least 40 ponies.  And I spotted a real oddity among the cattle, a horned Belted Galloway cross, something I’ve not seen before, perhaps a Highland cross.  I shall be back in these parts again soon, on a longer walk which will include Roughtor, Brown Willy, Butterstor, Garrow Tor, St. Breward, Alex Tor and Louden Hill - Camelford Walk 02.
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Louden Hill logan stone, Roughtor in background
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Camelford 01 - Open moor south-west of Roughtor - Interest
Rough Tor:  The ridge runs for about half-a-mile.  At its northern end is Showery Tor, where the rocky outcrop, reminiscent of the famous Cheesewring on Stowe's Hill, and with a possible Logan rock on top, is surrounded by a massive bronze age cairn in which several burial cists have been discovered.  On your way south along the ridge, you pass Little Roughtor before coming to Roughtor itself.  On its summit, at about 1325 feet, is a memorial plaque to the 43rd Wessex Light Infantry Division which included what was then the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.  The plaque was put in place in 1955.  The final rocky outcrop is topped by a Logan rock from which you can clearly see one certain other on Louden Hill and one possible other on Showery Tor.   Logan Rocks:  The Cornish pronounce it ‘loggan’ and that means rocking.  Thousands of years of weathering has meant that not only are so many granite outcrops exposed on hill tops but also that the rocks on those tors have become rounded, sometimes leaving the top rock balanced almost precariously.  These rocks may weigh several tons but there is a technique to get them rocking though I’ve never mastered it.   The Three Stone Circles: See feature below.    Steping Hill Cist:  Fairly well preserved, this cist stands just south of a small low cairn.  Presumably, at some point, ignorant antiquarians removed the cist’s cairn completely.  But if they hadn’t you wouldn’t now see the cist.   Stannon China Clay Pit:  This was a working china clay pit until 2002 when new owners, multinational Imerys, did as they have done to many of Cornwall’s china clay pits and works, and shut it down.  So far, the sole benefit to Cornwall is the pit’s acquisition by South West Water who have started to turn the flooded pit into a reservoir. When it comes on-stream this will be Cornwall’s second largest capacity reservoir after Colliford Lake.  One hopes that South West Lakes Trust will take over its management as a leisure resource and that the site will then be open to the public.  From Louden Hill, look back to the massive spoil heaps.  You will see what look like ragged tors or maybe even crude quoits.  These were probably put in position by Imerys’ predecessors, English China Clays.   Louden Hill:  As you round the corner from Stannon Circle, before starting up Louden Hill, do be sure to stay fairly close to the Stannon China Clay hedge on your left so as not to miss an impressive collection of hut circles.  The most impressive is the last one, located at 13318/80079.  Once at the top, there is a Logan rock on the final outcrop.  I have seen people manage to rock it.    Charlotte Dymond Memorial:  To your right before you start your initial ascent to Showery Tor, you can see a memorial to Charlotte Dymond, brutally murdered there in 1884. Her boyfriend Mathew Weeks, was tried, found guilty and executed in Bodmin Gaol for the crime, though there is considerable doubt as to whether he was the killer. You can visit 'The Courtroom Experience', at Shire Hall Bodmin.  There you’ll find documented Charlotte Dymond's murder and the subsequent court case. 
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Feature - The Three Stone Circles
There is only one other place that I know of, in Cornwall or elsewhere in Britain, where you can visit three stone circles in little over a mile.  The other one is, of course, Minions where, just north-west of the village are the three adjacent stone circles known as the Hurlers (see Minions Walk 01).  Here, in an arc to the south-west of Roughtor are Cornwall’s three largest, but not necessarily most impressive, stone circles.  On this walk you first encounter Fernacre circle, just to the south of the remains of a major bronze age settlement below Roughtor.  This circle, with an irregular diameter of about 150 feet, has 35 upright stones, 17 fallen and more buried.  Next you come to Louden Hill circle.  Diameter is much the same as Fernacre but only one 5 foot stone remains standing, and even that leans.  There are also four stumps and 12 fallen stones of an original 33 to 39 stones.  Stannon circle is the most impressive.  Here, in a diameter marginally smaller than the other two, is a total of 81 visible stones, 39 of them standing.  There appears to have been an entrance to the west where the tallest stones, about 4 feet, stand.  One wonders whether these three circles were all built by the same people or whether they may have been built by different tribes or families, each trying to outdo the other.  The same thought occurs with the massive cairns on almost all the hilltops on the moor.
Fernacre Stone Circle - on this walk
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Camelford 01 - Open moor south-west of Roughtor - Statistics
Distance:  5.45 miles.   Ascent:  920 feet.   Highest Point:  Summit of Roughtor at 1325 feet.  Louden Hill summit at 1040 feet.   Biggest climb:  Cumulative 575 feet up to Roughtor summit.  200 feet up to Louden Hill summit.   Steps: None.   Stiles:  none.   Gates:  4, leaving and re-entering the car park.   Open Access:  Continuous for the whole route.   Footing:  Mostly fairly good but can be quite wet in places in bad winter weather.  Very rocky on the descent from Roughtor.  A bit rocky on the way back from Louden Hill, depending on the route chosen.   Road:  None.   Difficulty:  Moderate when dry but could feel fairly strenuous in wet winter weather.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Camelford 01 - Open moor south-west of Roughtor - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Camelford 02 - a Six Hills walk – 9.75 miles
Route - Showery Tor, Brown Willy, Butterstor Downs, Garrow Downs, Alex Tor, Louden Hill
Interest - Cornwall’s two highest hills, massive cairns, Bronze Age settlements, a lost medieval settlement, King Arthur’s Hall, a major stone circle and some lesser ones, ‘logan rocks’ – and wonderful views from the heights.
This is a fairly challenging Bodmin Moor walk for several reasons.  At almost 10 miles it is long enough to be challenging in its own right.  It’s six hills vary in height between 900 and 1375 feet.  The ground is not always easy either, rocky at times, muddy at others and there is marshy land to be avoided.  However, the interest along the way more than makes up for any difficulties.  The walk starts at the Roughtor car park and heads up to Showery Tor at the northern end of the Roughtor ridge.  It continues to Brown Willy to walk the length of the ridge there before crossing Butterstor to Garrow Downs.  From there it heads onto King Arthur’s Downs to visit King Arthur’s Hall on the way to Treswallock Downs, Alex Tor, Stannon Stone Circle and Louden Hill and on back to the Roughtor Car Park.  Interest along the way includes impressive cairns on Showery Tor, Brown Willy and Alex Tor;  Stannon Stone Circle and the possibility of up to three others with a short detour;  bronze age settlements on Garrow Downs and Roughtor Moors, and a lost medieval settlement at Garrow;  a ‘logan’ rock on Louden Hill, plus another if you choose to take the ¾ mile detour to Roughtor itself.  Views everywhere are superb with great panoramas from all the hills, most particularly from Brown Willy, from where you can see both coasts. 
Brown Willy southern cairn, Roughtor behind
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Camelford 02 - a Six Hills walk – Oliver's Diary
When I originally walked this 10 mile route in August 2008 I found it fairly challenging but quite feasible as a single circular walk, even in my 70s.  A mere three years later, in August 2011, I decided that for this research walk I needed to divide it into 3 separate out-and-backs, with breaks at Garrow and Stannon Circle.  These walks, the longest of about 8 miles, gave me the opportunity to spend time at the many points of interest and, to my delight, to find a better way over Butterstor to Garrow, avoiding some very boggy ground.  At the clapper bridge on the new route I disturbed a buzzard – which startled me, too.  It being August, there was a lot of purple heather in flower, looking good against the low yellow furze.  As always, there were large herds of ponies, several of twenty to thirty.  I am always tickled by a warning sign at Garrow;   I wonder what makes the authorities think that motorbikes could negotiate the boggy slopes of Butterstor, two footbridges and two stiles.  I had a very pleasant surprise on my way to the enigmatic King Arthur’s Hall.  I chatted to Richard from Par and was telling him what I was doing.  To my delight he said “you must be Oliver”.  That’s the first time when walking that I’ve knowingly met someone who uses my web site for inspiration for walks.
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Garrow farmhouse, Brown Willy in the background
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Camelford 02 - a Six Hills walk – Interest
Charlotte Dymond Memorial:  To your right before you start the ascent to Showery Tor you can see a memorial to Charlotte Dymond, brutally murdered there in 1884.  Her boyfriend Mathew Weeks was found guilty and executed at Bodmin Gaol, though there is much doubt as to whether he was the killer.  You can visit 'The Courtroom Experience' at Shire Hall Bodmin.  There you’ll find documented Charlotte Dymond's murder and the subsequent court case.   Showery Tor and Roughtor: The Roughtor ridge runs for about half-a-mile.  At its northern end is Showery Tor, where the rocky outcrop, reminiscent of the famous Cheesewring, and with a possible Logan rock on top, is surrounded by a massive bronze age cairn in which several burial cists have been found.  If you wish, you could detour to Roughtor itself, passing Little Roughtor first.  On the Roughtor summit, at about 1325 feet, is a memorial plaque to the 43rd Wessex Light Infantry Division which included what was then the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.  The final rocky outcrop is topped by a Logan rock from which you can clearly see the one on Louden Hill. Brown Willy:  The ridge of Brown Willy runs north-south for almost a mile.  From a distance it looks formidably rocky but proves to be easy enough to negotiate.  At the summit is a trig point on a massive cairn;  at the southern end of the ridge is another impressive cairn.  Views from the trig point on the summit are superb, a 360 degree panorama that includes both coasts.  For a detailed Brown Willy feature see A30 Walk 03, Bolventor and Brown Willy.   Garrow Downs lost medieval village:  This lies just north of the present farmhouse and was clearly a major settlement thanks to a good spring as a water source, the De Lank River below and good grazing on the Downs. The present later farmhouse and barn may still be in occasional use as there are signs of habitation.  Interestingly, there is another important medieval village site only a mile away on the western edge of Brown Willy Downs.  Unfortunately this is on the private land of Fernacre Farm and access is denied.  You may like to see an interesting 23 page PDF file on a dig at Garrow.   King Arthur’s Hall:  Experts continue to argue about this isolated and enigmatic enclosure in the middle of what is now known as King Arthur’s Downs.  The only thing that one can be sure of is that it has nothing to do with the legendary King Arthur.   Full feature in St. Breward Walk 03.  If you would like a short interest detour while in this area, there are two very minor stone circles, where just one is shown on OS109, to the ESE of King Arthur’s Hall;  the largest stones are at 13468/77529.  You could also include Leaze Circle, on private land nearby at 13660/77288.  It must be emphasised that the circle is on the private land of Leaze Farm and you should really ask permission to visit.  Contact Michelle Hand on 01208 850702, or at michellehand30@hotmail.com.   Alex Tor:  This is one of Bodmin Moor’s hills which most people just pass by.  At less than 1000 feet it’s easy to ignore when Roughtor and Brown Willy are close by, and climbing its gentle slopes is no challenge.  However, it’s well worth visiting for the impressive cairns.  On the ridge of Treswallock Downs you should make a point of seeking out a flattened, but still impressively well-made cairn at 11727/78160, with several lesser ones to its north.  Even more impressive is the one on the summit of Alex Tor at 11824/78738.   Stannon China Clay Pit:  This was a working pit until 2002 when new owners, multinational Imerys, did as they have done to many of Cornwall’s china clay pits and works, and shut it down.  So far, the sole benefit to Cornwall is the pit’s acquisition by South West Water who have started to turn the flooded pit into a reservoir.  When it comes on-stream this will be Cornwall’s second largest capacity reservoir after Colliford Lake.  One hopes that South West Lakes Trust will take over its management as a leisure resource and that the site will then be open to the public.  From Louden Hill, look back to the massive spoil heaps.  You will see what look like ragged tors or maybe even crude quoits.  These were probably put in position by Imerys’ predecessors, English China Clays.   Stannon Stone Circle:  Stannon circle is the most impressive of three to the south and west of Roughtor   Here, in a 150 foot diameter, is a total of 81 visible stones, 39 of them standing.  There appears to have been an entrance to the west where the tallest stones, about 4 feet high, stand.  One wonders whether these three circles were all built by the same people or whether they may have been built by different tribes or families, each trying to outdo the other.  See Stone Circles feature in Camelford Walk 01.   Louden Hill:  As you round the corner from Stannon Circle, before starting up Louden Hill, do be sure to stay fairly close to the Stannon China Clay hedge on your left so as not to miss an impressive collection of hut circles, the most impressive at 13318/80079.  Once at the top, there is a Logan rock on the final outcrop.  I have seen people manage to rock it.  Logan Rocks:  The Cornish pronounce it ‘loggan’ and that means rocking.  Thousands of years of weathering has meant that not only are so many granite outcrops exposed on hill tops but also that the rocks on those tors have become rounded, sometimes leaving the top rock balanced almost precariously.  These rocks may weigh several tons but there is a technique to get them rocking though I’ve never mastered it. 
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Camelford 02 - a Six Hills walk – Statistics
Distance:  9.75 miles.   Ascent:   1500 feet.   Highest Point:  Summit of Brown Willy at 1375 feet.  Showery Tor at 1285 feet.  Louden Hill at 1025 feet.   Biggest climb:  435 feet up to Showery Tor.  435 feet up to Brown Willy summit.  200 feet up to Alex Tor Summit.  200 feet up to Louden Hill summit.  Steps:  None.   Stiles:  6 only.   Gates:  4 in all, at start and finish of walk.   Open Access:  Continuous for the whole route.   Footing:  Mostly fairly good but can be quite wet in places in bad winter weather.  If you take the conventional route over Butterstor to Garrow (not used here), it can be very boggy.  A bit rocky on the way back from Louden Hill, depending on the route chosen.   Road:  None.   Difficulty:  Fairly strenuous with long steep climbs up to Showery Tor and Brown Willy.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Camelford 02 - a Six Hills walk – Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it.
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Camelford 03 - An easy round walk by Davidstow Moor - 7.34 miles
Route - Showery Tor, Lanlavery Rock, Oldpark, Davidstow Moor and Woods, Lower Moor
Interest – Showery Tor, cairn and views;  Lanlavery Rock;  Oldpark;  Davidstow Airfield
This is a slightly odd walk compared to most of my other Bodmin Moor walks, on which I try to stay off-road as far as possible.  The first half is mostly on open moorland, the second half first in woodland and then on lanes back to the start point in the Roughtor Moor car park.  Don’t be put off by the fact that the last three miles or so are on tarmac;  the lanes are quiet and the views are open and interesting and, after a climb on the moor and maybe a subsequent struggle through mud, it gives the chance of a good stride-out at the end.  You start with a fairly easy 450 foot climb up to 1250 foot Showery Tor at the northern end of the Roughtor ridge, before dropping down to around 1000 feet again for most of the rest of the walk.  You then head for Lanlavery Rock and on to Davidstow Airfield by way of Oldpark, though in wet conditions you may well prefer to take a shortcut here.  The return includes strange Davidstow Woods, once part of the airfield.  Interest detours could include a look at the remains of lost Lanavery village, an exploration of Davidstow Airfield and its Cornwall at War museum, and a wander down to Crowdy Reservoir.  Views from Showery Tor are good.  Going is generally easy, except sometimes through Oldpark where an alternative route is suggested for bad conditions.
Showery Tor, surrounded by a vast cairn
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Camelford 03 - An easy round walk by Davidstow Moor - Oliver's Diary
I was last here in summer 2006 when I did almost this exact walk, primarily to take a look at the remains of the lost village of Lanlavery, included as an archaeological alternative on this walk.  For this research walk I returned on what started as a cloudy Saturday in November 2011.  When I parked in the Roughtor car park, mine was the only car there;  when I returned, the sun was shining, the car park was packed and families were walking on Roughtor, a popular spot on a fine weekend.  It must have been pretty dry when I did my original walk because I was really surprised by the deep mud and slurry on the track through Oldpark.  You may need to be wary of this and I have included a possible detour to avoid it.  I am always tickled by the gates to Davidstow Woods which include large dog gates.  Apparently one local collie can operate these unaided.  I noticed two changes to the landscape along the lane after the woods.  Where you might not have noticed the old wind turbines at Delabole, the UK’s first commercial wind farm, you could hardly miss their giant 400 foot replacements.  What a pointless waste of our money, producing only fortunes for the builders and landowners, and inflated bills for us poor consumers.  Lower Moor Water Works has its own turbine, a much more sensible minor scale proposition.
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Ponies on the skyline near Lanlavery Rocks
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Camelford 03 - An easy round walk by Davidstow Moor - Interest
Charlotte Dymond Memorial:  To your right before you start your ascent, you can see a memorial to Charlotte Dymond, brutally murdered there in 1884.  Her boyfriend Mathew Weeks, was tried, found guilty and executed in Bodmin Gaol for the crime, though there is considerable doubt as to whether he was the killer.  You can visit 'The Courtroom Experience', at Shire Hall Bodmin.  There you’ll find documented Charlotte Dymond's murder and the subsequent court case.  She is buried in Davidstow churchyard.   Showery Tor:  The Roughtor ridge runs for about half-a-mile.  At its northern end is Showery Tor, where the rocky outcrop, reminiscent of the famous Cheesewring, and with a possible Logan rock on top, is surrounded by a massive bronze age cairn in which several burial cists have been discovered.  If you choose to detour to Roughtor itself, adding about one mile, you pass Little Roughtor first.  On the Roughtor summit, at about 1325 feet, is a memorial plaque to the 43rd Wessex Light Infantry Division which included what was then the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.  The final rocky outcrop is topped by a Logan rock from which you can clearly see one certain other on Louden Hill.   Lanlavery Rock and Lost Village:  A little less than half-a-mile north-north-east of isolated Lanlavery Rock are the remains of a medieval hamlet, consisting of six longhouses and several outbuildings.  These are now seen as turf-covered banks but are quite distinct.  Two standing stones, one now fallen, are to the north-east and north-north-east of Lanlavery Rock, itself quite prominent in the relatively flat landscape here.  There are other standing stones and boundary stones in the vicinity.   Roughtor Mine:  Little of substance remains to be seen of this former mine.  The mine, a modest producer, worked tin lodes from Morris' Engine Shaft and Thomas' Shaft and, after some amalgamation, became known as Great Roughtor Consols.  You will find some remnants, including an open pit, in the Oldpark field that you enter after leaving the open moor.  You will also find a lot of small lode-back pits between Lanlavery Rock and where you leave the open moor.   Oldpark:  An odd and probably quite ancient settlement, of which only field boundaries and a fairly modern cattle shed survive.   Massive hedge banks, some with trees growing on them, may be very old.  Within one field are the spoil heaps of the former Rougtor mine.  The ground can be very wet around here and the bridleway heading NNW past the cattle sheds can be deep in mud and slurry in poor weather.  The Route Directions suggest how to avoid it.   Davidstow Airfield:  There must have been high expectations of Davidstow Airfield.  It was completed in 1942 with three runways and a vast dispersal area.  The RAF and Canadian Airforce operated from Davidstow and duties included U-boat and E-bost patrols, air-sea rescue and bombing missions.  However, it was never a great success, thanks largely to the inevitable foggy moorland conditions.  It closed soon after war ended and began to revert to grazed moorland.  However, in 1952 a motor racing circuit was created and three Formula One races were held there.  The circuit closed in 1955.  Although it has largely reverted to nature, many buildings remain:  the main control tower, bunkers, massive protective bunds and the buildings which now house the Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum, open Easter to October.  To wander the airfield and visit the museum will add a mile or so to the route.   Crowdy Reservoir:  Owned by South West Water and managed by the South West Lakes Trust.  No water sports or café but there is trout angling, a bird hide and walks around some of the lake.   Lower Moor Waterworks:  Notorious for the contamination incident in July 1988,when 20 tons of aluminium sulphate was emptied into the wrong tank.  Even more notorious for the incompetence of the then South West Water Authority and their failure to respond promptly or correctly to the problem and the attempts by them and by the Department of Health to cover up the seriousness of the pollution. 
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Camelford 03 - An easy round walk by Davidstow Moor - Statistics
Distance:  7.34 miles.   Ascent:  750 feet.   Highest Point:  Summit of Showery Tor at 1250 feet.   Biggest climb:  445 feet up to Showery Tor.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  3, all wooden.   Gates:  7.   Open Access:  Roughtor car park to the far end of Davidstow Woods, but not the ½ mile through Oldpark.   Footing:  Good up Showery Tor, tussocky much of the way to Oldpark.  Can be very muddy for 200 yards through Oldpark.  Good on grass or tarmac back to Roughtor car park.   Road:  3¼ miles on quiet lanes from Davidstow Woods exit back to Roughtor car park.   Difficulty:  Moderate.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Camelford 03 - An easy round walk by Davidstow Moor - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Camelford 04 - Circular walk from Roughtor Car Park to St. Breward and back - 13.76 miles
Out:  Roughtor, Brown Willy, Garrow Tor, King Arthur's Hall, Lower Candra, Lady Down
Suggested lunch stop:  Old Inn, St. Breward Churchtown
Back: Treswallock, Harpur's Downs, Stannon Circle, Louden Hill, Roughtor Moors
Interest:  Cairns, Standing Stones, Stones Circles, Logan Stones, Bronze Age Settlements
This is probably the ultimate Bodmin Moor Walk since, without getting involved with the boggier parts, it would be hard to create an accessible walk of much greater length than the 13¾ miles of this route.  And, except for the last half-mile or so into St. Breward, where lunch at the excellent Old Inn is suggested, no road at all has to be used.  The walk starts at the free Roughtor car park and heads immediately onto the open moor to climb to Showery Tor at the northern end of the Roughtor Ridge.  It then heads to Brown Willy (a detour to include Roughtor itself would add about 1 mile) and then across to Garrow on the way to King Arthur’s Hall.  The route then into St. Breward is by way of Lower Candra and Lady Down.  The shorter, and easier, return route heads to Alex Tor by way of Treswallock then takes in Middlemoor Cross, Stannon Stone Circle and Louden Hill before crossing Roughtor Moor on the way back to your car park.   It is a fairly strenuous walk with five climbs, totalling some 2000 feet.  Except in the worst weather going should not be difficult while views are quite superb, especially from Brown Willy, Cornwall’s highest hill. Interest along the way includes a cairn on Showery Tor, two on Brown Willy and two on Alex Tor;  Middlemoor Cross;  a major stone circle near Stannon Pit;  and the interesting church in St. Breward. 
Roughtor seen through a bronze age entrance
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Camelford 04 - Circular walk, Roughtor Car Park to St. Breward and back - Oliver's Diary
I have to confess that I have never walked this as one single straight walk.  I would dearly have loved to have done it but, now in my mid-70s and after an illness, I am unlikely ever to do it.  However, I have covered this ground so many times in the course of many different walks that I feel entirely entitled to compose it for this page as a single walk.  In fact I have constructed it from four different walks that already appear on this Bodmin Moor Walks page, two from St. Breward and two from the Roughtor car park.  I know it will make a superb walk containing, as it does, so many of my own favourite parts of the northern section of Bodmin Moor – Showery Tor, Brown Willy, Garrow, King Arthur’s Hall, Alex Tor and Louden Hill.  For good measure it also contains one of my favourite pubs, the ever excellent Old Inn at St. Breward, a convenient spot for a lunch stop after somewhat more than half the walk.  I really didn’t discover Bodmin Moor until 2004, having tended to concentrate on the coast path to the exclusion of most other walking.  Once I did discover the moor, I couldn’t keep away from it.  Of all the different parts of the moor I have walked I think this walk epitomises my view of it:  hills with magnificent long views, stone circles, bronze age settlements, standing stones, great burial cairns and grazing ponies, sheep and cattle.
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The Old Inn in St. Breward
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Camelford 04 - Circular walk, Roughtor Car Park to St. Breward and back - Interest
Showery Tor and Roughtor:  The Roughtor ridge runs for about half-a-mile.  At its northern end is Showery Tor, where the rocky outcrop, reminiscent of the famous Cheesewring, and with a possible Logan rock on top, is surrounded by a massive bronze age cairn in which several burial cists have been discovered.  If including the detour to Roughtor itself, you pass Little Roughtor first.  On the Roughtor summit, at about 1325 feet, is a memorial plaque to the 43rd Wessex Light Infantry Division which included what was then the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.  The final rocky outcrop is topped by a Logan rock from which you can clearly see one certain other on Louden Hill.   Brown Willy:  The ridge of Brown Willy runs north-south for almost a mile.  From a distance it looks formidably rocky but proves to be easy enough to negotiate.  At the summit is a trig point on a massive cairn;  at the southern end of the ridge is another impressive cairn.  Views from the trig point on the summit are superb, a 360 degree panorama that includes both coasts.  Click for a full Brown Willy feature.   Garrow Downs lost medieval village:  This lies just north of the present farmhouse and was clearly a major settlement thanks to a good spring as a water source, the De Lank River below and good grazing on the Downs.  The present later farmhouse and barn may still be in occasional use as there are signs of habitation.  Interestingly, there is another important medieval village site only a mile away on the western edge of Brown Willy Downs.  Unfortunately this is on the private land of Fernacre Farm and access is denied.   King Arthur’s Hall:  Experts continue to argue about this isolated and enigmatic enclosure in the middle of what is now known as King Arthur’s Downs.  The only thing that one can be sure of is that it has nothing to do with the legendary King Arthur.  Click for full feature.  If you would like a short interest detour while in this area, there are two very minor stone circles, where just one is shown on OS109, to the ESE of King Arthur’s Hall;  the largest stones are at 13468/77529.  You could also include Leaze Circle, on private land nearby at 13660/77288.  It must be emphasised that the circle is on the private land of Leaze Farm and you should really ask permission to visit from Michelle Hand 01208 850702 or michellehand30@hotmail.com.   St Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile from north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets.  This walk includes the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit.  There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.   Treswallock:  An attractive farm, believed to date from Tudor or earlier times but remodelled in the 19th century.  It is listed Grade II but the listing is only for the farmhouse, not for the attractive barns nor, surprisingly, for the tiny barn on the right-hand side of the lane which was built in 1840 as a Methodist chapel.   Alex Tor Cairns:  There are several cairns dotting the slopes of Treswallock Downs.  Most impressive of these are on or near the top of Alex Tor.  One to the south-east of the tor retains one large standing stone but the most impressive is the one just to the west of the summit.  Here massive rocks describe an approximate circle but presumably the stone mound in the centre has been robbed for stone for hedge building.   Louden Hill:  The Stone Circle has about 22 stones, only 2 properly upright, one possibly a medieval boundary stone on the E side of the circle.  There is a great deal more archaeological interest on Louden Hill and adjacent Steping Hill, including hut circles, standing stones, another stone circle and a logan rock, described in other Bodmin Moor walks.   Stannon China Clay Pit:  Until 2002 this was a working china clay pit, owned by multi-national Imerys.  In 2008 it was purchased by South West Water and work started in 2010 to turn it into Cornwall’s second largest reservoir after Colliford Lake.  One hopes that when the work is completed there will be access to it as there is to most of Cornwall’s reservoirs. The (presumably) former manager’s house was sold separately and the poor purchasers have had terrible flooding problems.   Stannon Stone Circle:  Cornwall’s three largest and oldest stone circles are all within a radius of less than a mile.  Of these (Louden Hill and Fernacre are the others) Stannon is the largest.  It is thought there were once as many as 82 erect stones, now between 64 and 68 can be identified though no one seems to be sure of the exact number.  Sadly it is rather dwarfed by the massive spoil heaps of Stannon Pit.  Interestingly there is an almost precise alignment of Stannon, Fernacre and Leskernick circles and the northern cairn on Brown Willy.   Feature on Cornwall's stone circles.
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Camelford 04 - Circular walk, Roughtor Car Park to St. Breward and back - Statistics
Since this walk is a combination of parts of four others, is is difficult to be precise about any statistic other than the distance off 13.76 miles.  However, at a rough estimate, the total ascent is not far short of 2000 feet, the biggest climbs are up to Showery Tor and Brown Willy, each of 435 feet.  There is a moderate number of stiles and gates, all fairly close to St. Breward.  Almost the whole walk is on Open Access land and there is just a small amount of road on the way to St. Breward. 
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Camelford 04 - Circular walk, Roughtor Car Park to St. Breward and back - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Camelford 05 - A circular walk from Camelford to St. Breward and back - 11.13 miles
The full walk, starting in Camelford, taking the easy Camel Valley route to St Breward and returning by a longer moorland route, should make a comfortable day’s walking, even allowing for time spent at points of interest and for lunch along the way.  However, should you wish to do it as two separate walks, buses make that entirely feasible.  The Webbers 251 bus, which serves Bodmin, St. Breward, Camelford and Wadebridge, can easily be used to do this.  For full details of the service go to the Cornwall Bus web site.   If you prefer, you could, of course, equally well do the full round walk from St. Breward, doing the longer leg first to Camelford, lunching (if you wish) at a café or pub there and taking the shorter Camel Valley leg back.  My own personal recommendation is, however, to do the Camel Valley leg first, lunch at the excellent Old Inn in St. Breward and return on the more interesting, more scenic and longer moorland leg.  The following paragraphs - description, diary, interest and statistics - cover the whole round walk.  Route directions are divided into two sections, Camelford to St. Breward, which is 4.91 miles and St. Breward back to Camelford, 6.22 miles.  Neither section is difficult, though overall the walk qualifies as moderate.
Henon from the woods above
Description - Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Western Greyhound's route 561 has been replaced by Webbers 251, running much the same routs. 
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Camelford 05 - Camelford to St. Breward and back - 11.13 miles - Description
The outward stage roughly follows the line of the River Camel though only the first mile to Fenteroon bridge is alongside the water.  From there the route is through fields and woods to lonely Advent church and attractive Tresinney.  A short stretch of lane then takes you to fields above the river and on down to cross it on a clapper bridge at Trecarne.  Then it's a moderate climb past attractive Henon and through woodland up onto Hamatethy Down and down past Hamatethy before a short stretch of lane into St. Breward Churchtown.  After a break at the excellent Old Inn (food all day) the inward stage heads across farmland to Treswallock and Newton to cross Harpur's Downs.  More farmland follows on the way to Watergate and impressive Moorgate Longstone.  Finally, more farmland through Aldermoor and Treclago lead you to a surprisingly rural route into Camelford.  Interest along the way includes, on the outward stage, remote Advent church and medieval village remains on Hamatethy Downs and, on the return stage, some fairly remote farms and the impressive Moorgate Longstone, easily photographed with Roughtor in the frame.  Looking at OS109 you will see three trails, shown as Camelford, Moorland and Watermill walks.  These are poorly trail-marked and this route doesn't follow any of them but uses parts of each. 
The clapper bridge at Trecarne ford
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Camelford 05 - Camelford to St. Breward and back - Oliver's Diary
When I came to plan this September 2011 walk I was surprised to realise how little of the ground I had covered previously.  Of the outward route, way back in 2006 I had walked from St. Breward Churchtown to Helsbury Castle, using a route that took me over Hamatethy Down and down through Henon to Trecarne ford.  Of the inward route I had several times walked between Churchtown and Harpur's Downs but no further than that.  So I was delighted to try some new territory for a change.  Although, at a glance, this doesn't look much like a proper Bodmin Moor walk, I found there was rather more moorland than I had expected - a long stretch over Hamatethy Downs on the way to St. Breward and Harpur's Downs and Watergate to Moorgate and Aldermoor on the way back.  I particularly liked two things about the walk:  the wide variety of scenery, lush valleys, woodland, pastoral farmland, and moorland;  and the fact that you can conveniently break for an early lunch at the excellent and hospitable Old Inn in St. Breward Churchtown.  And I was delighted that I was able to visit the Moorgate Longstone for the first time.  Close to it is an area of rough ground which probably hides archaeological interest;  I must revisit.  I also wished for more time to investigate the settlement remains on Hamatethy Downs.
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Moorgate Longstone, Roughtor in the distance
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Camelford 05 - Camelford to St. Breward and back - Interest
Outward Leg - Camelford to St. Breward Churchtown
Camelford:  A better small town than you might guess when just passing through on the busy A39.  See feature belowRiver Camel:  The outward leg of the walk follows the Camel Valley for some of its length and crosses the river several times. See full feature below.   Advent Church:  Advent parish is a real oddity, mostly moorland with a population of only about 150.  There is no village of Advent but the church is just ¼ mile from the hamlet of Tresinney.  The site is roughly circular and is clearly ancient.  The church, dedicated to St. Adwenna, one of the many daughters of Welsh King Brychan, is mostly 15th century and is built of a dour grey stone but has a handsome tower with eight crocketed pinnacles.  The south porch has a sundial and some good wooden roof bosses.  Inside is very plain but a good arcade divides nave and aisle, both with wagon roofs.  At the east end of the aisle are two slate tombstones and one of granite, its wording carved in high relief, no easy thing to do so well.   Rood stairs are blocked;  by the door is what may have been part of the rood screen.  At the west end of the south aisle is a fine simple circular Norman font.  Water Mills:  Part of this leg is done on what OS109 shows as ‘Watermill Walk’.  Although a couple of the mills – Kenningstock and Trecarne - still exist, they have been converted to expensive homes and there is no sign of their former use.   Henon:  The section of the walk from Trecarne Mill to Hamatethy Down is a delight.  First you cross the River Camel on a long clapper bridge by a ford, then a track leads you up to Henon where the attractive house is listed Grade II and the outbuildings are equally attractive.  The whole grouping is set off by colourful hydrangeas and the woodland behind.  Walking up through the woods leads you up onto Hamatethy Downs.   Carwether Lost Medieval Village:  Glancing at OS109, you might at first think that a detour from this route, where you enter Hamatethy Downs, would take you to Carwether.  It might but only with difficulty.  If you are interested in seeing the remains of the lost medieval village, the best route is by a track off the lane from St. Breward Churchtown to Harpur’s Downs, at a RH bend at 10571/79313.  Follow the FP sign through a wooden gate.  You could then follow a difficult rough track through a cattle yard.  However, it is simpler and easier after a few yards to go through a gap on the R into a field and go L with the track to your L.  Remains of Carwether begin after about 570 yards at about 10176/79624.  You will find only very skeletal remains of three longhouses, several ancillary buildings and some paddocks or garden plots. There are traces of a strip field system and of ridge and furrow.   St. Breward:  A long village, more than half-a-mile north to south and made up of half-a-dozen hamlets.  This walk turns at the northernmost, Churchtown, where it is worth visiting the church of St. Brueredus for its two carved bench ends - in the choir – and the three superb painted carved stone panels from the former rood screen, Norman nave columns and a charming carved wood pulpit.  There is also a handsome slate memorial dated 1609, with two kneeling figures.
Return Leg - St. Breward Churchtown to Camelford
Treswallock:  An attractive farm, believed to date from Tudor or earlier times but remodelled in the 19th century.  It is listed Grade II but the listing is only for the farmhouse, not for the attractive barns or, surprisingly, for the tiny barn on the right-hand side of the lane which was built in 1840 as a Methodist chapel.   Quitecombe:  No longer a farm, apparently, but home to Wga watches and clocks.   Watergate:  Tiny attractive hamlet.  As you approach on the lane past Quitecombe, you get a lovely view of nearby Highertown with Roughtor and Brown Willy behind.  In the first field after Watergate you pass through an interesting L shaped enclosure, possibly connected with the ‘Settlement and Field System’ shown nearby on the map.  There is a similar, but larger, enclosure between Heneward and Highsteps.  Both are somewhat obscured by the trees growing on and around the banks.   Moorgate Longstone:  The 10 foot menhir (Cornish for long stone) is said to be the tallest in the Bodmin Moor area though others elsewhere in Cornwall, such as the Pipers and Gûn Rith in West Penwith, and Men Gurta near Wadebridge, are much taller.  It photographs nicely with Roughtor and Brown Willy behind.  The odd thing about this site is the rough unimproved area just to the north and west of the longstone.  Here, mostly hidden by rank growth, are an ancient bank, many small standing stones, some aligned, massive stones that might once have stood, and groups of stones that once might have been part of cairns.  Equally intriguing is the large area of rank nettles, usually a sign of former human habitation.  Quarter-of-a-mile off to the east is a group of cairns, possibly associated.   Aldermoor:  Like so many Cornish farms, Aldermoor now farms holidaymakers and their pasture land is let to neighbouring farmers.  The attractive holiday cottages are highly rated.   Treclago:  At the beginning of the farmyard, look out for the small stone drinking trough, fed by a spring that runs through the hedge. 
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Feature - Camelford
Although not mentioned in Domesday Book, Camelford must have been of significance not too long after as it was made a free borough by Richard Earl of Cornwall in 1259.  From the 16th century until the Reform Act of 1832 it returned two members to Parliament.  With the coming of toll roads in the 18th century it became an important coaching stop on the northern route into Cornwall.  In the 20th century the closure of the North Cornwall Railway was a blow;  the station is now a museum of cycling.  The A39, the laughingly titled ‘Atlantic Highway’, bisects the town, making life difficult for shoppers.  Main interest is the excellent North Cornwall Museum, a museum of rural life around 100 years ago.  Out of town are the Arthurian Centre at Slaughterbridge, putative site of Arthur’s death at the Battle of Camlaan, and the nearby Cycling Museum.  Camelford’s name is obvious enough, the ford on the River Camel, but the river’s name is subject to some disagreement.  It may derive from Cam meaning crooked and Allen, a common Cornish river name.  Three waymarked trails start and/or finish in Camelford.  The Camelford Way is an extension of the Camel Trail but, unlike the Camel Trail, is not suitable for cyclists.  The Watermill Walk is a circular walk from Camelford but its mills are all now homes.  The Moorland Walk takes a somewhat similar route to this walk but omits some of the interest. 
North Cornwall Museum in Camelford
Description - Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Feature - River Camel
One thinks of the Camel as a river of Bodmin Moor.  Indeed you do encounter it on parts of the northern moor, but not on the heights and it cannot be said, in any way, to drain the moor, except that it is joined near Poley's Bridge by the De Lank River which really does drain a part of the moor.  The Camel itself rises on the very northern extremities of the moor near Davidstow.  On its way to the town to which it gave ts name, Camelford, it passes through Slaughterbridge.  The owners of Worthyvale Manor there like to claim it as an Arthurian site - indeed the place where Modred slew Arthur at the Battle of Camlaan - but the basis of their claim, an inscribed stone by the river, never recorded any claim to commemorate Arthur's death. After Camelford the river runs through farmland and light woodland until it reaches Wenford Bridge.  Here a trail joins it, the Camel Trail, as it continues through woodland all the way to Wadebridge, before the countryside opens out alongside the Camel Estuary to Padstow and beyond for the river to enter the Atlantic between Stepper Point and Pentire Point.  This is definitely our favourite section of the Camel, the broad estuary beyond Padstow (best views from this side) where it is now followed by the Coast Path and offers glorious views across the water to Rock, sand dunes, Brea Hill, Daymer Bay and Pentire Point. 
The Camel estuary from dunes near  Rock
Description - Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Camelford 05 - Camelford to St. Breward and back - Statistics
Outward Leg - Camelford to St. Breward Churchtown
Distance:  4.91 miles.   Ascent:  700 feet.   Highest Point:  700 feet on Hamatethy Down.   Biggest climb:  Long moderate 225 feet up on to Hamatethy Down.   Steps:  Up 3.  Down 11.   Stiles:  19.  Mix of granite and wooden stiles.  Care with wooden stiles, many of which have some barbed wire.   Gates:  14, includes several kissing gates.   Open Access:  None.  Footing:  Often muddy along the River Camel and in some lower fields.  Good on tracks and lanes and on well grazed Hamatethy Down.   Road:  A little over 1¼  miles but all on quiet lanes.   Difficulty:  Fairly easy.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
Return Leg - St. Breward Churchtown to Camelford
Distance:  6.22 miles.   Ascent:  700 feet.   Highest Point:  855 feet at the Moorgate Longstone.   Biggest climb:  Easy 155 feet up to Highsteps, 3 others over 100 feet .   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  52.  Mix of cattle, wooden and lift stiles.   Gates:  14.   Open Access:  Only a little over 300 yards across Harpur’s Downs.   Footing:  Generally good in fields.  Good on tracks and lanes.  May be quite muddy at each of the stream crossings.   Road:  A little over 1½ miles but all on quiet lanes.    Difficulty: Moderate.  Would be fairly easy but for all the stiles.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Camelford 05 - Camelford to St. Breward and back - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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Bowithick - A Five Hills Walk - 7.80 miles
Route:  Buttern Hill, High Moor, Leskernick Hill, Beacon Hill, Black Rock, Bray Down
Interest:  Tin Streams, Cairns, Burial Cists, Standing Stones, Stone Rows, Elephant Rock
The main purpose of this walk is to include five hills over 1000 feet on a little known area of the northern moor.  It is relatively featureless and navigation is not always straightforward.  A fine day is recommended as, should the cloud descend, it would be easy to get lost.  I said featureless but there are bonuses.  Those who enjoy their mining history will find ancient streamworks and dryworks on several of the hills.  Those who enjoy their archaeology will find a major bronze age settlement on Leskernick Hill and much more elsewhere.  The walk starts by the little ford at Bowithick, a delightful and photogenic spot.  It heads first up Buttern Hill, to find Cornwall’s best preserved cist, before heading down past the source of the Fowey River and up on to the featureless expanse of High Moor.  From there, crossing the infant Fowey on the way, you head to Leskernick Hill with its major and complex bronze age settlement, worth taking some time to explore.  Then it’s on to Hendra Downs and The Beacon, the high point of the walk, and the little known Elephant Rock.  Finally you make your way back to Bowithick by way of a pair of tin streams ravines and then a trig point and large cairn on Bray Down.  A walk for a fine day and one on which even experienced walkers may be grateful for map, compass and GPS, the latter to identify wet ground crossing points. 
Sister Frances on Buttern Hill cist, Brown Willy behind
Oliver's Diary - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
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Bowithick - A Five Hills Walk - Oliver's Diary
I had walked this twice before, in the autumns of 2006 and 2007, the latter with my sister Frances, her first introduction to the mysteries of the high moor.  This time I did my research in autumn 2011.  Because I wanted to find some antiquities I had missed before – and, I must admit, because the legs don’t get any younger – I did three round walks to cover the ground, two from Bowithick and one from Westmoorgate.  On the latter walk, I had nearly finished, and had taken the photo of the rainbow over Black Rock, when I saw low cloud rushing in from the west.  I just got back to the car before I was totally enveloped in fog, a little frightening.  I am glad I did the three walks:  I was able to find the best crossing of the infant Fowey River on the way to Leskernick Hill and, at last, I found the Leskernick cist.  I also found Elephant Rock on The Beacon and was able to improve on the route from Black Rock back to Bray Down, taking in a massive tin streams ravine, new to me, and an abandoned farmstead on the way.  I find this a walk of unexpected paradox:  what seems a featureless stretch of high moor yet has so much archaeological and early mining interest.  And the views are superb, particularly when you get to 1225 foot Beacon where, for the first time, the southern moor also opens out in front of you. 
Description - Interest - Statistics - Directions & Information
Rainbow over Black Rock
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Bowithick - A Five Hills Walk - Interest
Bowithick:   The sort of place you usually only come across when lost.  A delightful hamlet with some attractive houses and a good collection of unconverted barns.  Penpont Water, also seen in Altarnun, crosses the narrow lane at the start of the walk.  Here there are a ford, a tramway bridge with a clapper bridge alongside it, and another clapper bridge on another branch of the river nearby.  A very peaceful place now but it may well have been a hive of industry when the surface mining on the hills was at its height.   Tin streams:  Vast ravines on the northern and eastern slopes of Leskernick Hill are the result of tin streaming.   See feature below.   Leskernick Hill:  There is a major and fascinating bronze age settlement on the ridge of Leskernick Hill.  At the northern end is a major cairn, with several degraded ones nearby.  Running down the southern end of the ridge is the settlement with field boundaries and impressive hut circles, among the best are those at 18259/79927 and 18381/79884.  At the southern extremity, just inside the final settlement boundary, is a burial cist at 18322/79838.  To the south-east of the settlement are remnants of stone circles and stone rows.  North of the settlement is the False Quoit, almost certainly man made but certainly not a quoit at all.  A fascinating report on a major archaeological dig here was published by UCL.  To read it go to this article.  Below you will find more on Leskernick antiquities.   Leskernick:  Surely this must be Bodmin Moor’s most remote working farm.  The attractive farmhouse lies in the valley south of Leskernick Hill and a rough track runs for 1½ miles over the moor to Westmoorgate still with another mile of narrow lane to get to Trewint.   Other Archaeology:  In addition to the Leskernick Hill settlement, you will find remains on all the other hills in the walk.  Amongst the cairns on Buttern Hill is what must surely be Cornwall’s most complete cist at 17471/81677.  There are several cairns, all badly degraded, on High Moor.  Those beyond the fence on The Beacon are also badly degraded but it is worth continuing to them for the great panorama to the south and for Elephant Rock.  The latter, though just leaning rocks piled on one another, does look rather elephant like from the right angle.  As you climb Bray Down you may encounter standing stones, some triangular, some forming a possible row, maybe of boundary stones.  At the summit a trig point has obliterated one cairn but the further one, at 18837/82185, is fairly impressive.  It seems to have been constructed around a natural rock feature and has been partially excavated.
More on Leskernick Hill Antiquities
If archaeology is your interest, there is a vast amount to explore in the impressive bronze age settlement at this southern end of the Leskernick Hill ridge.  There are good hut circles at 18259/79927 and at 18381/79884.  The centre of a large rectangular enclosure is at 18436/79902.  More or less due S of this is a cist at 18350/79880.  Some way to the ENE of the cist is a stone circle at 18556/79924.  To the ESE of the circle is a stone row running from 18700/79860, said to be about 350 yards long.  From here, at the western end of the stone row, go slightly E of S to find another hard to spot stone circle at 18810/79642.  SW of that is a small rectangular enclosure at 18635/79387.  Leskernick Cist, at 18322/79838, is just inside the final southern settlement boundary.  There are hut circles at 18371/79997, 18416/80010, 18412/80025, 18383/80027, a double one at 18373/80027, a single at 18387/80036, and an interesting rock formation at 18355/80141.
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Feature - Tin Streaming
We tend to think of Cornish ore working as something of the era of the engine houses seen dotted around Cornwall.  But tin and copper had been mined here in the bronze age and tin is known to have been exported in the late iron age.  Little is known about the earliest methods of tin extraction but they probably involved the exploitation of ore close to the surface.  Certainly this was a major method in the 14th century when vast streamworks were created on several parts of Bodmin Moor. This walk includes examples of great steamworks probably originally dating from that period.  These are found on the northern and eastern slopes of Leskernick and, since there was a vast bronze age settlement on the upper southern slope of Leskernick Hill, it must be possible that tin streaming here dates back to the bronze age.  In appearance these sites look something like double glacial ravines, their sides dotted with what appear to be glacial drumlin deposits but are actually the spoil from streaming.  Methods were surprisingly sophisticated:  with the topsoil removed, water was run down the hill to wash away sand and gravel, leaving behind the heavier ore-bearing rock.  Water was brought long distances along the contours by leats, many clearly visible as grassy ditches.  As well as the Leskernick streamworks, you see others on the eastern slope of Buttern Hill and on Hendra Downs. 
Streamworks ravine, east side of Leskernick Hill
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Bowithick - A Five Hills Walk - Statistics
Distance:  7.80 miles.   Ascent:  1250 feet.   High Points:  Buttern Hill 1120 feet.  High Moor 1175.  Leskernick Hill 1090.  The Beacon 1220 feet.  Bray Down 1170.   Biggest climb:  Buttern Hill 245 feet. High Moor 200.  Leskernick Hill 185. The Beacon 250.  Bray Down 240.   Steps:  None.   Stiles:  None.   Gates:  5.   Open Access:  The whole walk is on Open Access land.   Road:  None.   Footing:  Mostly tussocky.  Boggy in valleys.  Some awkward streams to cross.  Awkward descent from Bray Down.   Difficulty:  Overall fairly strenuous because of a fair amount of awkward boggy land in the valleys between hills.   Map:  OS Explorer 109 Bodmin Moor.
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Bowithick - A Five Hills Walk - Route Directions
Route directions are fully detailed - some may think too much so - and contain some grid references, mainly to help find antiquities.
You will find Route Directions and Useful Information in a separate PDF file.   Click here for it. 
Useful Information included - parking, getting there, transport, refreshments and toilets. 
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