Bodmin Moor: Brown Willy trek

Brown Willy summit

From the highest point in Devon, the following day we summited the highest point in Cornwall! Brown Willy is located in Bodmin Moor and its original Cornish meaning is ‘Hill of Swallows’.

We parked in Rough Tor car park and as Roza wasn’t with us today Russell, Flo, Mike, Chris and I walked to the gate, crossed the bridge over the stream and across towards Rough Tor.

The walk to the summit of Rough Tor was fairly easy and we spent much of it childishly sniggering and cracking every single Brown Willy joke you can think of!

Russell, Mike and Chris

We clambered over the amazing rock formations of Rough Tor although didn’t hang about as there seemed to be a bee’s nest hidden somewhere in the rocks. We quickly started to make our way to Brown Willy.

Walking towards Brown Willy
At the summit of Brown Willy
Brown Willy summit

From bees to flying ants! There were thousands of flying ants at the top of Brown Willy however we descended just a short distance and enjoyed a peaceful and insect-free lunch with a view!

Views from Brown Willy

Amazingly and despite this being a popular hill to climb, we didn’t see any other climbers at the top of Brown Willy and had the place to ourselves for about 30 minutes.

A cute foal on the way down!

This short and leisurely trek to Rough Tor and Brown Willy took approximately 3 hours meaning we were finished by 2 pm. We decided to drive the short distance to Tintagel, a well-known tourist hotspot with dramatic views and an ancient castle!


From the peace and quiet tourist-free summit of Brown Willy there was a huge contrast as we arrived in Tintagel and just about managed to find a parking space. Battling through the crowds Chris and I enjoyed a cold refreshing drink and shared a large Cornish pasty, highly recommended from Pengenna Pastie Shop.

Feeling slightly stuffed having indulged in the pastie (as well as lunch) the 5 of us sauntered down the steep road to the entrance to the ancient castle where notices advised it is best to have pre-booked tickets. We hadn’t done so however the entrance cost was a rather pricey £17.40 each! Nobody was too bothered about jostling with the crowds to explore the ruins of King Arthur’s castle especially as we knew the wow factor is the coastal view from the castle, which was to feature in a walk later in the week!

Chris pondering

We walked along the cliffs for a short distance before returning to the cars and drove back towards the holiday house. We stopped en-route in the town of Camelford… but didn’t stay long as there wasn’t anything there…

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