October 18, 2011 at 2:38 AM
Cardinham Woods by Julie Berman
Recommended by a friend, as well as being on our list of new places to visit this year, we finally made it to Cardinham Woods last week. Firstly, it’s very easy to find, a few minutes outside Bodmin (head towards the A38/Liskeard direction and take the first turning off the roundabout – follow the brown tourist signs). There is lots of parking (£2 flat fee all day). Straight away, the girls were in awe of the variety of dog breeds jumping out of the back of their owners’ cars (it is a dog-walking heaven). We donned wellies and waterproof jackets and set off armed with a map of all the trails. The day was overcast and it was threatening to rain, so we decided on the easiest 3km circular route. It was flat for the most part so very accessible to wheelchairs or pushchairs. I can’t vouch for the other routes but the one we took would also have been perfect for cyclists of all abilities. There are in fact 5 different walking trails through the Woods ranging from 3km to 5 ½ km. Some of them apparently are steep in places but you are then rewarded by stunning views over the forest and (on one of the trails) of an old lead and silver mine.
Our timing was perfect and the heavens opened just as we reached the end of the walk which brought us back to our starting point of the car park. If, like me, you need hot liquid refreshment and something sweet to munch on at the end of a walk, then Woods Café will be right up your street. It’s not massive inside but very welcoming, with comfy sofas, piles of magazines to flick through and toys and books to keep children occupied. It also has outside seating if the weather’s right. The coffee was excellent and the enormous slab of cake was delicious and nearly (!) too much for one person.
I can see on a dry, sunny day that you could pack a picnic and spend the whole day exploring the forest. There are a couple of picnic and barbeque areas along the trails and a very well equipped play area ideal for smaller children back near the car park.
Next time, we will come prepared and try one of the longer walks – and hope for better weather!
A bit about Julie
After many years of city life, Julie moved to North Cornwall 9 years ago. In between helping with her husband's business and acting as taxi driver to their 2 beautiful daughters, she now spends as much time as possible on the beach. I love Julie's writing style and am hoping for more guest blogs in the future, perhaps one on our lovely Cornish beaches!