The Copper Trail
A 60 mile circumnavigation around Bodmin Moor
The name 'The Copper Trail' comes from the great number of abandoned mines that are passed along the route. Not all are as visible as the ones encountered around Minions. In fact many have disappeared back into the ground from which they arose. Many of the paths on the trail originated as ways to get to and from work. They serve as a reminder of a time in history when the moor was alive with industry and activity. The trail covers about 60 miles in total which is split into six sections that each should be possible to walk in a day. Wonderful scenery with views across the moors, quiet villages, and some unusual places to visit all provide interest along the route.
- Minions to St. Neot - 8.5 miles
Leaving Minions by the Cheesewring Hotel, the route follows the old Liskeard and Caradon Railway line southwards on its granite sleepers down past Gonamena Farm, under the shadow of Caradon Hill, then up through the waste tips of West Caradon Mine, eventually reaching the road at Crows Nest, just up the lane from the 300 year old Crows Nest Inn. The ancient Trethevy Quoit is passed before reaching the village of St. Cleer and the Stag Inn. Then on past Siblyback Reservoir and Common Moor to Golitha Falls. Using some quiet country lanes and heading westwards through Draynes and Trenant, the route eventually reaches the pretty village of St. Neot and the London Inn.
- St. Neot to Bodmin - 13 miles
The trail leaves St. Neot using the lane to the left of the London Inn and continues northwards until Colliford Reservoir is reached. Then using country lanes and heading westwards, Warleggan and Mount are soon passed. Along a few more paths and just skirting the village of Cardinham you come to Cardinham Woods where the route follows the wooded valleys until the climb up to and across the A30. A short diversion off the route can be made here to visit Bodmin.
- Bodmin to St. Breward - 10 miles
After regaining the route leaving Bodmin, the trail follows the Camel Trail northwards for a few miles before heading off into the village of Blisland. The famous Blisland Inn is passed before the trail turns northwards again and passes close by the De Lank Quarry using footpaths across the fields eventually arriving at St. Breward opposite The Old Inn.
- St. Breward to Camelford - 6 miles
From St. Breward the trail meanders generally northwards using footpaths and crossing many stiles until reaching a footbridge across the river Henon. The higher sections of this part of the trail give excellent views of Roughtor and Brown Willy. Soon after passing through the hamlet of Pencarrow the trail again crosses the River Camel. From here a riverside path takes you on to Camelford, passing the Darlington Inn and a few shops, before reaching another bridge over the River Camel.
- Camelford to Five Lanes - 10.5 miles
From Camelford the trail heads generally eastwards using country lanes with views of Roughtor until the disused Davidstow airfield with its military museum is reached. Soon Crowdy Reservoir can be seen nearby before reaching the hamlet of Bowithick. Some very deeply sunken lanes are used along this section passing South Carne and eventually arriving at Trewint, near to Wesley Cottage. From here is a short distance along the old A30 to Five Lanes and The Kings Head Hotel.
- Five Lanes to Minions - 9 miles
The trail now passes under the main A30 and crosses fields and stiles, then passes through the hamlet of Trenilk and Tregrenna before dropping to cross the infant River Lynher. Continuing on in a south-easterly direction and passing the little known hamlets of Treburland, Tolcarne and Stonaford, eventually arriving at Trebartha and North Hill and the Racehorse Inn. From here and turning southwards, the trail crosses the River Lynher again before passing through Berriowbridge and Kingbeare, continuing down into the pretty village of Henwood. The last section, using moorland lanes with views of Caradon Hill, Cheesewring and Sharptor, climbs up past the Phoenix United Mine and takes you back into the high moorland village of Minions and the Cheesewring Hotel.
Bodmin Moor Walks and Walking in Cornwall The Caradon Trail Minions Heritage Centre