Off the beaten track…

4th February 2020

So you think you’ve seen all there is to see in Cornwall?



Think again.


Come on down and this time, go off the beaten track.

Start out on Bodmin Moor – no matter the season, the moor has many secrets from curious ponies, to hidden lakes and prehistoric stone circles.

Stannon stone circle is one example, near St Breward, six miles north of Bodmin. It contains more than 70 stones – many still standing – and dates from either the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.

Archeology at the site suggests there was a Middle Bronze Age settlement in the area with a population of more than 100 people.

There’s a circular walk which takes you around Stannon Moor to a massive granite boulder which rocks if you sit on it – you can see more information here.

The village of St Breward claims to have the highest church in Cornwall at a height of about 700ft; the local feast day is on the Sunday closest to February 22nd when buns are baked, blessed and handed out to parishioners; and nearby is St Breward’s Well which is said to cure sore eyes for an offering of pins.

Closer to Newquay, there’s Castle an Dinas – an Iron Age hill fort near St Columb Major. It dates from around the 3rd century BC and is made up of three ditches and concentric rings, 700ft above sea level.

The views are amazing – given good weather.

Cornish legends mention the site as one of the seats of the Duke of Cornwall and as the place where Cador, Duke of Cornwall and husband of King Arthur’s mother met his death.

Experts believe places like this were a focal point for the community, for ceremonies, trades and rituals.

Not far from Redruth (about five miles south east) is the historic site of Gwennap Pit, famous for its use as a preaching spot by Methodist John Wesley in the 1700s – who, coincidentally, stayed at The Plume and preached there too.

It’s believed the original pit was a natural depression, probably caused by the surface collapsing into an abandoned mine.

Two thousand people are thought to be able to sit comfortably on the grass around the sides and Wesley himself once wrote: “…I stood on one side of this amphitheatre towards the top and with people beneath on all sides…”.

After Wesley died, the pit continued to be used for religious gatherings even to this day.

You can read more about it here.


Take it to the edge…


If it’s clifftops or beaches you’re after – you could try Hell’s Mouth, between Portreath and Gwithian, Hayle.

The land, which is owned by The National Trust, used to be a landing point for smugglers and is a group of cliff faces with a 300ft drop to the sea.

It’s a great place to watch seabirds soaring around the cliffs and fabulous for photos! But take care!

Visit the National Trust website for walking trails.



Closer to home is Porth Joke (or Polly Joke as it’s known locally) – a small cove between Crantock Beach and Holywell Bay.

It’s dog friendly all year round although the 10-15 minute walk through fields to reach it may be a bit tough on the very young or less mobile.

The beach faces west so if you’re after a great Instagramable photo, this is the place.

Cornwall has so much to offer, whatever the season and whatever your favourite thing to do; be sure to tick some of these beauties off next time you visit and don’t forget to share your photos by tagging us!