Walking from Colliford Lake to Jamaica Inn

Bodmin Moor is a large expanse of open countryside that’s suitable for a light stroll or a more intensive hike up to the summit of some steep tors. We think it’s well worth exploring the moors where you will find lakes and rivers, wildlife and if you’ve got the energy to scale some of tors on a clear day, you will be rewarded with far reaching views of North Cornwall. 

Here’s one of our favourite moorland walks with a convenient food and drink stop along the way!

The Essentials: 

  • Where: Just off the A30 dual carriageway, approx 3 miles from Bodmin. Set your sat nav to PL14 6PZ.
  • When: Year round with no restrictions. Be aware that in the winter, if it snows, traversing the small roads is impossible so stick to fair weather to avoid spending the night in your car on the moors!
  • Cost: Totally free of charge meaning that you can save your pennies for a pint of Doom Bar or Smugglers Ale when you reach Jamaica Inn!
  • Who: The moors can be challenging so you’ve got to be of reasonable fitness. Wear some sturdy hiking boots as well to avoid twisting your ankles on the rough terrain.
  • How long does it take: 2-3 hours round trip in total depending on your speed. Allow an hour or so to take a look around Jamaica Inn.
  • When’s best to go: We would recommend sticking to clear weather days. The moors can get very foggy in damp weather and you certainly don’t want to get lost!

The magic of Bodmin Moor can be found at Colliford Lake, home to one of Cornwall’s largest reservoirs set in amongst the rugged moorland. With an ample car park located just 4 miles from Bodmin, you can enjoy a circular walk around the lake to take in the far reaching views of Bodmin Moor’s many tors.

From the lake, you can traverse across the moor and in just two miles reach the Jamaica Inn, a journeyman inn that’s steeped in history and as legend has it, home to the ghosts of the past! Made famous by Daphne Du Maurier, Jamaica Inn was once the epicentre of Cornish smuggling.

Now a popular tourist attraction, the inn has expanded to provide a hotel with 36 bedrooms, a museum, shop and ample dining facilities where you can enjoy a traditional Cornish pub lunch. There’s plenty to choose from on the menu from hot meals to cream teas and cakes before you take the short walk back across the moor to Colliford Lake.

If you are interested in more of our favourite walking destinations in Cornwall, why not go coastal and take a look at our article for one of our favourite walks along the Heritage Coast.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and if you want to read more, do check out our other article categories.

Main image courtesy of Matt Jessop, Visit Cornwall.

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