Roughtor, Brown Willie (snigger) and other Tors

Helen wanted a day pottering around at the local beach so I took the opportunity to go for a long walk. The other day when we passed Camelford I notice a high pointy hill, it turns out it was either Brown Willy or Roughtor the two highest peaks in Cornwall. Bodmin Moor upon which both are, is a granite moorland, and a fair chunk of it is open access land, meaning that you can walk where ever you like, although they prefer you to keep to the waymarked paths.

There is a car park at the end of a lane fairly close to the bottom of Roughtor, so the start was a rude awakening, after a very short down hill the path heading directly up towards the summit. I overtook a few people on the way, my regular walking in the Chilterns paying off. At a saddle in the hill I took a left turn and checked out Showery Tor my first of the day. The path to Roughtor was relatively flat from the lower Tor, but then kicked up towards the summit. There were some natural standing stones at the top , and a cairn but no trig point that was reserved for Brown Willie.

I chatted to a guy having a coffee break and asked a bout the route to Brown Willie, his route would have had me retracing my steps. I could see a path up the highest tour in the bottom of the valley, so I headed down off piste. I found a path at the bottom an a steep path heading up. So far I had climbed 120m to get up Roughtor then descended 110m to get the the bottom of Brown Willie, I now had another 120m to the top of the highest peak. The hill was taking its toll on my leg muscles.

At the summit of Brown Willie there is again standing stones, and a cairn, but there is also a trig point. In the hole in the middle of the trig point I found a metal cross on some string. It took some effort to fish it out because the hole was smaller than my hand. After some research I found out it was an Icelandic Wolf Cross. I put it back where it came from and put a rock in the hole to cover it.

The next (and longest part) of the walk had me heading south west to Butter’s Tor then West to Garrow Tor. I passed an enclosure called King Arthurs Hall then the hamlet of Candra and about a half mile later I turned North East to take in Alex Tor. Down from this last Tor I picked up a track heading East for a couple of miles which I then left to head north round the base of Rough Tor, for anther mile and a bit back to the car park.

By the time I had finished I was knackered, but it was not the distance it was the ascent and descent that had tired me out. It was well worth the effort as I had spent most of the day not seeing a soul in the wide and open landscape, very different to where I normally get to walk.