Yes, it’s taken me this long to get around to visiting Cardinham Woods for the first time.
It’s one of the most popular things to do around the Bodmin area of Cornwall, and yet it seems to have take me over 23 years to go there. The woodland is owned by ‘Forestry England’ and features 4 walking trails and 3 cycling trails, with about 650 acres in total.
It’s the perfect place to take the dogs to stretch their legs, and the trails are mostly proper paths so you won’t get too muddy either. We decided to head there last Sunday during a rare break in the seemingly constant storms we’ve been having in Cornwall this Autumn.
Lucky for us, the weather held out and it turned out to be a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We packed a Thermos flask of hot chocolate, and set off on the 40 minute drive to find the woods!
It’s actually very easy to find – you can get to Cardinham Woods by car just off the A30 near Bodmin, and drive down the quiet tree-lined roads to the car park. It’s £2 for 2 hours or £5 for the whole day; we paid £2 but only JUST got back in time as we ended up going on the longest trail by accident, but it was possible to do that with some fast-paced walking.
There are toilets at the car park and a ranger’s hut/information point where you can ask about the trails and any of the learning/interactive maps they have for kids. There’s also the ‘Woods Cafe’ which serves light bites and hot drinks throughout the season too, but we brought our own so didn’t end up stopping to try this.
We took a look at the map and decided on the second-to-longest trail, but as we walked around we ended up taking a detour and heading off on the long route (I believe it’s called the ‘Deviock walk’) which goes up hill and has some steeper parts. It was around 6.4km and as I said, took us just under 2 hours to complete with fairly brisk walking. The shortest trail is around 2.5km (the ‘Lady Vale walk’).
I was pretty impressed with us to be honest; we hadn’t particularly set out for a hike that day and I’d like to point out that we were in fact quite hungover from the Saturday night before! But the fresh air and sunshine did us good and we had a really good day, feeling super productive and like we’d actually achieved something by the end.
You can find out more about Cardinham Woods on the Forestry England website.