While planning my visit to Cornwall I discovered a relatively unknown place called Bodmin Moor and I am so glad I did!! Bodmin Moor is a granite moorland. The granite from this area has been used in several famous buildings and bridges; Tower Bridge in London for one. This is an incredible place to visit. You can feel the ancient Celtic presence in the air.
We were able to stay in a small cabin on the land of a homeowner which was within walking distance to many geological and Celtic sites.
What is wonderful about Bodmin Moor is the fact that it isn’t “touristy” and it has a raw untouched appeal to it. You can walk up, around, and onto everything. What is also great is that this is land that the local sheep, cows and semi-feral horses graze on. So as you walk through these areas, you will be within a few feet of these beautiful animals.
There are many tors in this area. According to Wikipedia, tor is the Cornish word for hill and is notable for being one of the few Celtic words to be absorbed into vernacular English before the modern era. Tor also refers to the large, free-standing rock formations that rise up abruptly from the surrounding gentle slopes.
One granite tor in the area is Cheesewring. This looks like a giant inukshuk. From a distance it is quite impressive, but once standing beside the 32 foot high rock formation, it is overwhelming. The view of the outlying areas from the top of the hill is spectacular.
Goldiggins Quarry is a beautiful surprise on the moorland. You do not see it until you are upon it. It is a spring-fed quarry lake. The area was used as a quarry until the underground spring was discovered. It is just gorgeous and is suitable for swimming and if you are brave enough jumping off the cliffs into the lake! Apparently Tim Burton recently shot part of his new film at Goldiggins.
Another treat on Bodmin Moor are the Hurler Stone Circles. These are three circles of standing stones, similar to Stonehenge, but smaller. The diameters of the three circles measure 108 ft., 115 ft., and 138 ft.
One evening after supper, we went to the Hurlers for the sunset. I decided to go stand beside the center stone of one of the rings and was looking at the sunset when I heard a gentle rhythmic thudding from my left. I turned my head and gasped with both fear and delight as six feral horses entered the ring of stones. The moss covered ground muted the sound of their galloping and it was as if they were floating past me. They paid me no heed and gracefully galloped past about eight feet away from me. It was a fairy tale magical moment and I will never forget it!
It made me think of the Natasha Bedingfield song “Wild Horses”:
Wild horses I wanna be like you
Throwing caution to the wind
I’ll run free too…..
I wanna run with the wild horses, run with the wild horses!