Walks And Walking – Cornwall Walks Bodmin Moor Rough Tor And Brown Willy Walking Route
I have been to Bodmin Moor quite a few times with my Cornwall walks but had yet to try its highest peaks of Rough Tor and Brown Willy. I mapped out a good 12 mile walking route from the village of Churchtown to Harpur’s Downs, up to Watergate and then across to the entrance of Rough Tor where I followed the main tracks all the way to King Arthur’s Hall and then back to the village.
It was a beautiful day but because Bodmin Moor weather can be so unpredictable I packed plenty of extra layers and my walking jacket in my rucksack. I was running a little late so didn’t have time to put my gaiters on, which I later regretted because it was very wet and the marshes were quite unforgiving, being knee deep on quite a few occasions. It is worth noting that Quaking Marshes are very hazardous so even though the tracks may be precarious they are still the safest option and I had my Scarpa walking boots on for plenty of support.
I parked right outside the church by the footpath sign in Churchtown and walked up the lane turning left at the telegraph pole over the stone stile crossing a series of stiles and following the signposts across fields where I then kept left at the fork of paths to then cross straight over the road to join the next road where I walked right.
I then got my first view of Rough Tor on my right hand side and as the road turned sharp left I kept straight on across more fields, still following the signposts of the Moorland Walk up to Harpur’s Downs crossing over the road to stay on the main tracks to the next road where I walked right following the road all the way up to Watergate where I then turned right by the cider barrel passing Poldue on my right hand side. At the end of this lane I walked right and walked down the road to the entrance of Rough Tor where I was greeted by a wild pony.
I then followed the track all the way directly up to Rough Tor, Bodmin Moor’s second highest peak, where I had a really good look round and took a short video of the breathtaking 360 degree views of Cornwall. I then made my way down Rough Tor and headed for a gate that signalled the entrance to Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor’s highest peak and the highest place in Cornwall, where I then carefully made my way up to the top.
I then followed the signposts all the way down Brownwilly Downs and even though it was very muddy I kept to the main path at all times and the rest of the marsh can be quite dangerous underfoot. At the bottom of Brownwilly Downs I crossed the footbridge across the stream and then headed straight up keeping the wire fencing on my right hand side following the signposts across Butters Tor crossing a few more stiles with Garrow Tor on my right hand side.
I continued my walk up to Garrow using the main track to the small buildings where I then contiued to the dense woodlands where I enter next to the stile and kept ahead and slightly to the right where I found a stone crossing over the river and climbed up to the next stile to continue to folloow the main track passing stone circles on my left hand side up to King Arthur’s Hall on my right at an area that has been fenced off.
I then kept ahead to the ladder stile on the left hand side turning right over the next stile and continued to follow the main track and signposts through the small buildings where I then turned right at the end of the drive by the signpost to walk across the marsh to the next road which lead to the white gates of Irish farm buildings following the tracks through various fields and stiles until the view of the church at Churchtown came in to view.
I made my way back down the lane to the car after completing an exhausting but highly rewarding 12 miles which took me just over 5 hours. You can find all the photographs from this walk on the Walks And Walking facebook page and Google+ page.