Jamaica Inn is the pub made famous for Daphne du Maurier’s famed book about wreckers and romance, set in the heart of bleak and beautiful Bodmin Moor. The Inn inspired Daphne du Maurier one wild, windswept night in the 1930 when she and her friend stayed at there after a terrifying encounter of the notorious moorland bogs on their ponies. This walk will take you from dog friendly Jamaica Inn up to Brown Willy.
The walk is 3.5 miles each way — a 7 mile round trip, but the terrain is difficult. You will need to be well prepared and allow at least five hours for the walk. The route takes you along roads, paths and open moorland and there are two steep ascents. Do not attempt it in poor weather and do let someone know where you are going. Take a map, compass and mobile phone with you.
GETTING THERE: Jamaica Inn is situated on the A30 at Bolventor between Bodmin and Launceston.
- Turn left out of Jamaica Inn, walk down the hill and follow the road to the left and under the bridge of the A30.
- Turn first right, signposted Bolventor Church and after 50m turn left along the lane.
- Walk along this lane for about 300m to a stile on the right which takes you into a field.
- Head through the first small field and then through a second field to a stile, about 300m in total.
- Go straight over the stile towards a metal gate in front of the farm. Open the gate into the farmyard and walk to the right of the farmhouse and then open a second metal gate onto the footpath. (Don’t climb over the gates!).
- Follow teh footpath for about 260m to the next gate. Continue straight ahead along the footpath for about 400m until the path turns to the left, but keep straight ahead and pick your path across moorland for about 350m towards Tolborough Tor which, if weather permits, you will see on the skyline.
- Leave the top of the Tor and head north west towards Brown Willy, the highest point on the skyline. Continue until you join a larger path coming in from the left, where you continue with a fence on your right until you reach a gate. This is some 600m from the Tor.
- Go through the gate and follow the path with the fence on your left until wet ground prevents further progress. At this point you can walk along the top of the wall on the right, but take care!
- Continue along the wall or path for some 1700m from the gate until you reach a stile on your left. There may be additional gates along this stretch.
- Climb the stile and then take the right hand of the ill-defined paths north west towards the highest point on the skyline, which is Brown Willy.
- The path peters out and you then pick your path towards the steep hillside ahead and you should, if weather permits. See Brown Willy ahead. Head up the steep and defined path ahead until you reach the ridge, about 800m from the stile.
- On arrive, turn right towards Brown Willy, some 150m away. You have bagged Brown Willy!