Cardinham Woods

Cardinham Woods

Cardinham, Near Bodmin, PL30 4AL
Tel: (0300) 0674800


Fun in the forest

Cardinham Woods, extending to 650 acres, were acquired by the Forestry Commission in 1922. 70 years of continual and careful management has achieved a very varied and attractive woodland and the fertile valleys now produce high quality Douglas fir for the British timber industry. At the same time as producing valuable timber the woods are home to a wide variety of wildlife and it all makes an interesting day out for the whole family.

From the central car park there are two way-marked walks starting at a large upright post. One is an easy walk and is suitable for all abilities, the other takes you up to the steepest parts of the wood and is more difficult. Both these walks will take you to Lady Vale Bridge where trails guide you to explore more of the woodland.

The more adventurous can hire mountain bikes and explore the woods following the way-marked cycle trails, while the young and energetic can try the play trail.

After your exploration, relax at Woods Cafe with a cream tea or make it a family fun day and have a barbecue in the picnic area; charcoal and grills are provided at the Woodland Cafe. Both the Cafe and cycle hire are open every day from the 1st June to the 30th September and every Sunday throughout the year as well as all bank holidays and Cornish School holidays.

Forest Enterprise
Forest Enterprise is a self contained organisation within the Forestry Commission which manages the forest estate owned by the nation. Its aim is to create and maintain attractive and productive woodlands and to manage them for public benefit. Forest Enterprise markets timber and forest products, provides many recreational opportunities and actively conserves and safeguards the wildlife in its forests. The national forests are in a unique position to supply these multiple benefits. With and increase in leisure time and mobility, we hope more people are aware and will enjoy this valuable national asset. It is with pleasure that the Peninsula Forest District welcomes you to explore the beautiful Cardinham Woods.

Nature Notes
The woodlands you see are an ever changing habitat for plants and animals. Whilst the trees are mainly exotic trees from other parts of the world, they still provide homes to our native wildlife. Quite a few species thrive in the great variety of habitat and one of these is the roe deer. This is a recent resident of this part of Cornwall and joins the long established red deer population. Woodland animals are secretive creatures and the most you will see are their tracks and other signs such as where deer have been rubbing their antlers on young siblings or perhaps, empty hazelnut shells left by squirrels or dormice. You will hear the deep cawing of ravens or the shrill mewing of buzzards high overhead and if you are lucky, spotted woodpecker. The Woodland Cafe has a monthly wildlife board telling what you might see through the year. Whatever you see please respect the wildlife and flora of this woodland.

Badger Forest School & Outdoor Learning
The Forestry Commission’s exclusive Learning Partner in Cardinham Woods offers educational and family learning sessions in this beautiful woodland environment. Badger Cubs sessions on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-11.30 am are for children up to five years old and their families. Children of all ages can enjoy a wild birthday party around a camp fire in the woods, and school holidays mean woodland adventure time at Cardinham Woods!

Walking Trails

Lady Vale Walk
1.5 miles

The work starts at the starter post near the beginning of the play trail: it is the easiest of the trails and can be used by wheelchairs. Its furthest point crosses the stream near Lady Vale Bridge which takes its name from the Chapel of our Lady of the Vale, believed to have stood nearby. The Chapel was endowed by the Lords of Cardinham Castle before 1170. The walk continues back on the other side or the river, back to the car park.

Lidcutt Valley Walk
4 miles

A long loop leading off the Lady Vale walk. A more strenuous route, involving several steep paths which introduces you to most of the Forest. This is the most adventurous of the trails and takes you through valley bottoms up into the hills passing many different species of trees and plants. Look out for the more secretive wildlife as you explore deeper into the woodlands. Take a well deserved rest at the Scott's Pine picnic area.

Wheal Glynn Walk
3 miles

Follow the Riverside walk to Lady Vale Bridge and then up a steep track, that can get quite muddy, to the top of a hill where you will walk through young beech woods. After this it is relatively easy going and you are rewarded by seeing the ruins of the ancient engine house of the Hurstocks lead and silver mine, last worked in the 19th century. Past the mine it is a downhill walk to the car park with wonderful views over the forest.

Callywith Wood Walk
2 miles

A stroll on a good track with gradual slopes that skirts the Callywith Wood Wildlife Research Area, Where we are carrying out a long term research project to help conserve the dormouse. About half way round the walk you arrive at a viewpoint where you can see up the valley of Cardinham Water to its source on Bodmin Moor.

Cycle Trails

Bodmin Beast
7.5 miles

Suitable for cyclists with a moderate level of off-road experience and keen mountain bikers, this exciting trail explores the wooded slopes of the Cardinham Valley. You will encounter a number of technical climbs and descents, snaking single track trail and features such as tight bermed corners, small step downs, rollers and table tops. All features can be rolled over at a moderate speed. The trail is exposed to steep unfenced side slopes in places.

0.5 miles

Natural, flowing and fast; an ideal introduction to Red grade single track and a great place to develop your trail riding skills.

Hell's Teeth
1 mile

After a tough initial climb, with some very steep sections, but you'll be rewarded at the top with some narrow, flowing trail featuring numerous technical features and then a very steep bermed final descent.

Cardinham Woods Map

Opening Times

All Year

Admission Free
Charges for Car Parking

Cardinham Woods Would you like to see more of the area without having to drive on narrow lanes or hectic main roads? Then Let the Train Take the Strain.
Just over half a mile along a footpath from the car park in Cardinham Woods is Colesloggett Halt, part of The Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Steam trains stop here regularly on their journeys up and down the steep side of the Glynn Valley between Bodmin town and the main railway system at Bodmin Parkway Station.

Woods Cafe is a beautiful woodsman's cottage in the middle of Cardinham Woods, a cosy little haven where they love to serve delicious home made treats.
Cardinham Woods


About two miles east of Bodmin sign-posted from the A38.

Bodmin       Bodmin Jail       Bodmin & Wenford Railway       Bodmin Moor       Cardinham

Pinsla Garden and Nursery       The Copper Trail       Cycling in Cornwall       Walks and Walking in Cornwall