5 Highest spots in Cornwall

Many of our guests visit us for the excellent walking opportunities.  From rugged clifftops to open moorland, winding rivers to fishing villages, there are some great hikes to be had.  For those that are feeling even more adventurous, the area also has some more serious adventures on offer.  This week, we’re featuring the 5 highest points in Cornwall – perhaps unsurprisingly they all happen to be on Bodmin Moor.  How many have you climbed?


5 – Langstone Downs

Perhaps less impressive than it’s lower neighbour Sharp Tor, Langstone Downs near Upton Cross are nonetheless a pleasant way to stretch your legs, with a grassy ridge and three cairns.  Park at Henwood, and for a slightly longer walk you can include Kilmar Tor (see number 3 below) and Sharp Tor as well.

© Copyright Chris Andrews

© Derek Winterburn

4 – Stowe’s Hill

Although the name might not ring any bells, even to many locals, it is instantly familiar as the site of the Cheesewring – an unusual granite tor featured in numerous folk tales.  The hill is also host to two large walled enclosures, and countless footprints of Neolithic buildings.  The most popular walking route is from the highest village in Cornwall (Minions), past the ‘Hurlers’ stone circle.

3 – Kilmar Tor

Kilmar Tor is really a long rocky ridge, surprisingly unknown bearing in mind it is only slightly lower than the county top.  It is in the same area as the above two summits, and you can realistically walk between them without too much trouble.  You can take the lane North-West from Berriow Bridge to the car park just North-North-East of the tor, or for a longer walk, park at Henwood and approach from the South-East over Bearah Tor.

© Copyright Neil Hanson

© Copyright Humphrey Bolton

2 – Rough Tor

Pronounced ‘Rowter’, Bodmin Moor’s second highest peak is a sister to Brown Willy just next door.  The area is peppered with smaller tors, the ruins of enclosures from Neolithic and more recent times, and boulders for scrambling over.  The peak itself is about a mile and a half from the car park (near PL32 9QG) and is relatively easy to climb.  For an added spectacle between Autumn and Spring, time your descent to just before dusk and you may be treated to vast swooping murmurations of starlings that often roost in the nearby coniferous forests.      

© Copyright Pete Chapman

1 – Brown Willy

Yes – you knew it already!  With a name to make most school children chuckle (although it actually means ‘Hill of Swallows’ in ancient Celtic), Cornwall’s county top is 420 metres above sea level.  It is grassier than its sister Rough Tor, and of the two cairns at the top, one has never been excavated – rumour has it an old Cornish king is buried deep within!  One thing is certain – the area has been sacred and special for millennia, and the summit has a profound timeless quality to it.

The walk from the forestry commission car park (near PL32 9QG) is a bit further than to Rough Tor so many visitors never make it as far as Brown Willy, but at less than 2 miles it shouldn’t pose much of a problem to seasoned hikers, and the views of the North and South coastline should provide ample incentive.