Bodmin Moor is an impressive inland Cornish landscape, a breathtaking area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). Covering nearly 200 sq km, the moor is heather-clad with rocky granite tors and formations. Despite being cut in half by the A30, which makes it more accessible, the sense of remoteness and isolation captured so beautifully by Daphne du Maurier in Jamaica Inn, remains.
The land, untouched for centuries in many places, is not excessively high but parts of it can appear dramatically bleak in winter. The highest point is Brown Willy (420m) and just behind it is (Rough – pronounced row, as in argument) Tor. Walking info is accessible here.
In terms of flora and fauna, Bodmin Moor is home to rare Cornish Path Moss, and Marsh Fritillary Butterflies. There are lakes, too, at Colliford and Siblyback, both significant in size. Siblyback is manageable as a circular walk. If you watched Poldark on television, many of the dramatic horseback scenes were filmed on the moor.
Look out for The Cheesewring, huge granite slabs caused by weathering, The Hurlers (same link) and the Golitha Falls, spectacular waterfalls and cascades, best after heavy rain on the moor. Keep a watch for beautiful wild ponies here (you will usually see some near Crowdy Reservoir and Rough Tor) and if you like a good legend, maybe keep your eyes peeled for the ‘big cat’ known as the ‘Beast of Bodmin’.
Finally, Bodmin Moor is a designated dark sky landscape. For stargazers, it is a spectacular place to see the wonders of the night sky.