The rugged landscape of Bodmin Moor is home to ancient Neolithic stone circles, old mining remains, pretty villages like Minions and on the fringes wooded valleys. Rare plants like coral necklace and bog orchids flourish here. Bodmin Moor is a favourite with birdwatchers and wildlife lovers – catch sight of golden plover, curlew, lapwings, skylarks and snipe across the spike rush and grazed grassland. Spectacular wooded river valleys flank the edge of moorland like magical Golitha Falls National Nature Reserve on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor near Liskeard.
Evidence of ancient man stretching back thousands of years can be found across the moorland in the form of hillforts on tors like Roughtor and Tregarrick, and Bronze Age standing stone monuments like the Hurlers near Minions village on the eastern edge of Bodmin Moor. In the mid 18th century tin and copper mining began on the moor, on the surface at first, and by the 19th century in the form of deep shaft mines topped by engine houses like that of Houseman’s near Minions. The great granite rock formations of The Cheesewring were also quarried.
From woodland walks to tours around great granite rock formations and ancient stone circles, Bodmin Moor is packed with natural and ancient manmade landmarks to explore. Good starting points are town museums exploring the history of Bodmin Moor in border towns like Liskeard, Camelford and Bodmin. Take a ride on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway or tour the age old Carnglaze Caverns at St Neot.
Equestrian and horse riding centres are plentiful offering treks into Bodmin Moor. Visit Jamaica Inn at Bolventor near Launceston, made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s 1930s novel and subsequent film and TV adaptations. The onsite museum details the history of this famous old coaching inn and displays a fascinating collection of smuggler artefacts. Minions village, home to Cornwall’s highest public house, is just a short walk from some of the most famous granite rock formations, ancient sites and mining remains in Bodmin Moor including The Hurlers stone circle, the granite strata of the Cheesewring and Houseman’s Engine House with permanent mining exhibition.
Where to Stay
Large towns and villages around Bodmin Moor including Camelford, Bodmin and Liskeard offer a wide choice of accommodation. Around villages like Blisland, Advent, St Neot and Twowatersfoot you’ll find numerous rural cottages and stone built barns or opt for a self-catering farm or camping holiday. Traditional Cornish B&Bs, farmhouses and Grade Listed small hotels are plentiful across Bodmin Moor.