Walking the Tors
Cornwall is perhaps most famous for its glittering shores and dramatic seas, and we are lucky that Lower Barns’ luxury accommodation is situated near to an impressive selection of Cornish beaches. For a truly romantic and magical experience, we suggest taking a trip to the equally impressive Bodmin Moor. We are huge fans of visiting at this time of year when the light lies low and the ground is crisp with frost and ice, making patterns on the foliage. Any time of year, though makes the moorland walk between Rough Tor and Brown Willy every bit as dramatic as a coastal walk.
Just an hour’s drive from our luxury boutique accommodation, Rough Tor (pronounced ‘row’ to rhyme with brow) creates a dominant presence in the scarce landscape around Camelford. Standing 1312ft above sea level, it is not as tall as neighbouring Brown Willy, but the views are still phenomenal. Visible from the road leading to it, a deep granite suture can be seen, beckoning exploration.
In spite of an impressively up and down rollercoaster of a journey, once you have driven through Camelford, you will find the National Trust Poldue Downs car park at the end of Roughtor Road. The three peaks visible are in ascending order Showery Tor, Little Rough Tor and Rough Tor and several different walking routes are detailed on the map, so you can pick and choose, dependent on your willingness to walk.
The most straightforward of the walks is about 3.5 km and takes roughly an hour and a half, at a relaxed pace.
Crossing the stream onto the moorland, relics of stone circles of Bronze Age farmhouses nestled amidst wild and unkempt grass. Wild ponies are dotted around, grazing and braying in the wind. On this note, the weather can change in a heartbeat in Cornwall, and so we recommend taking a waterproof, even if it seems to be glorious.
The three tors are laid out as you come to an opening, and you can pick your own path across the wide expanse of the moor. The rock stacks at the top of the tors make for stunning photography and equally impressive climbing challenges for those who fancy it. As with any climbing feat, though, the true beauty is in what you see. A sweeping panorama of the diversity of Cornwall. Surrounded by stretching scars of moorland with a palate of rust and river, you can see Port Isaac and the sea, cobalt in the distance. Looking back over this way, you’ll see the clay works mapped out in the hills surrounding St. Austell. The peak of Brown Willy is Cornwall’s highest point and beckons the braver walker.
Clambering back down boulders and marvelling at each rock as you go, you can decide whether to go back to the car park or carry on to encompass the five mile round trip to the top of the looming presence of Brown Willy. At 1,378 ft, this is the pinnacle of Cornwall and yet further incredible views of the county can be enjoyed. Dependent on time of year, you may encounter any number of wild flowers in blue and pink, the russet red of winter bracken or the bright yellows of spring. The ever changing hues of the autumn, and its accompanying pastel sunset are also excellent backdrops to a visit to the cairn on top.
Wellies or walking boots make negotiating the network of small streams and medieval farmland surrounding Brown Willy less arduous.
Having taken in great lungful of fresh Cornish air and exerted yourselves, a leisurely drive to the pub and eatery in Alternun’s The Rising Sun may be just the reward you need. Tasty food and great local ales will make your efforts all the more worth it.
As you’ll be heading west, you will often be graced with a stunner of a sunset for the journey back: the perfect end to a day of exploration. Returning to Lower Barns, why not soothe your muscles in the hot tub?
For a map of the walk with directions go to http://www.iwalkcornwall.co.uk/walk/roughtor_and_brown_willy
If you’r looking for some Luxury and a dip in the Hot Tub after all this walking www.lowerbarns.co.uk
We would love to welcome you all.