Free things to visit
10 Free places
Whilst there are many wonderful attractions that you can visit whilst you are Bodmin, not everything need cost the earth. Try some of these ideas which are free or very inexpensive to enjoy. If you would like any further information on any of the places featured below please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly Visitor Information Centre staff.
Idea 1: Cycle the Camel Trail
Available 365 days of the year, the Camel Trail is an 18 mile, mainly traffic free route based on an historic railway track. The trail winds through some of Cornwall’s most beautiful countryside linking the towns of Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Travel along the Camel Trail and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Camel Valley, through wonderful woods, via historical towns and along estuary shorelines. Being an old railway track, the trail is virtually level all the way. It is mainly smooth and is also ideal for wheelchair users, pram and buggy pushers. If you don’t have your own bike they are available from Bodmin Bike Hire 01208 73192.
Idea 2: Take a picnic to Delphi Bridge, St Breward
Roll up a travel rug, pack a picnic basket with some of your favorite things and set off on a good old fashioned picnic. Delphi Bridge is a lovely secluded spot on Bodmin Moor close to the village of St Breward. The DeLank River forms lovely pools of cool clear water here, ideal for paddling. A peaceful oasis in the height of summer, away from the crowded beaches.
Idea 3: Fly a kite on Bodmin Beacon
Not something you would do every day, but in the right conditions, find an empty spot, unwind the string and launch a kite, into the wind and up to the sky. Bodmin Beacon stands proud on top of a windswept hill high above the town, a 144 feet tall obelisk in memory of Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert, a local dignitary. The area around the Beacon is now a local reserve with outstanding panoramic views, the ideal spot to fly a kite!
Idea 4 Visit Bodmin Town Museum
The delightful town museum tells the story of Bodmin and its locality from the earliest times to the 1950’s. There are many displays, a Victorian Cornish kitchen, WW1 & WW2, an 18th century fire engine, minerals and fossils and wildlife specimens. There is a popular quiz for the under 14’s. Entry is free (donations are welcome) . Open from Easter to end of October, Mon to Fri 10.30 until 4.30pm, Saturdays and in October 10.30 – 2.30pm. (Please note disabled access is restricted so please contact before visiting.
Idea 5: Let the children enjoy storytime at Bodmin library
Listen to stories followed by activities. Every Wednesday, 2-2.30pm at Bodmin Library. Free for under 5’s and their carers
Idea 6: Go down to the woods
Just outside Bodmin you’ll find the Forestry Commission owned Cardinham Woods. There are four, way marked trails here, ideal for walking or cycling, there’s also a wooden play area, a large expanse of grass, ideal for playing ball games and a river to paddle and make dams in. Make use of the free BBQ’s, just bring food and charcoal. Altogether a wonderful place to spend the day. (NB: Small parking charge)
Idea 7: Bodmin’s well trail
There are a total of seven Holy Wells dotted around Bodmin Town, which were once often frequented by devotees in search of health, omens or predictions of forthcoming events. Pick up a free leaflet from the Visitor Information Centre, which plots them on a map and takes you on an historic tour of these wells.
Idea 8: Enjoy a Cornish sunset at Helman Tor
Once a Neolithic Hill Fort, this little known tor is now a Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. Children will love to scramble over the giant rocks and once you reach the top there are fantastic far reaching views of the Cornish landscape including Roughtor, Brown Willy, Bodmin Beacon and on a clear day you can see right across to the South coast. Take a picnic and enjoy the view or if you’re up with the early bird, take breakfast and watch the sunrise! Cornwall Wildlife Trust 01872 273939, www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk
Idea 9: Spend some time in Priory Park
Take some time out to relax and feed the ducks and swans around the pond. Take the little ones into the play area or skatepark to let off some energy or just lay back and enjoy the Cornish sunshine.
Idea 10: Go on a nature treasure trail at Respryn
Situated on the Lanhydrock estate, owned by the National Trust, Respryn with its five arched bridge dating from 1520, is an idyllic place to go for a stroll along the river Fowey and through the beautiful woodlands. To keep children (or wayward adults) amused give everyone a list of natural treasures to find – pine cones, acorns, stones, feathers, different types of leaves and when you get home you can compare what you found and perhaps make something from them. Happy foraging and watch out for the nature spirits and fairies.
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