GOLITHA FALLS TO MINNIONS VIA SIBLEYBACK LAKE
START POINT GRID REF: 227690

This walk, up on Bodmin Moor and of about 8 miles, was led by Bob Perkins on the 12th Nov 00 ably assisted by his wife Daphne.

It was one of the best days for weeks, the day dawning with clear blue skies, rather than heavy rain.

The conditions encouraged 34 walkers to congregate at the start point, the Golitha Falls car park in good time for the 10.30 AM.

The majority of the group had never heard of Golitha Falls and therefore the grid reference came in very useful in helping us to get to the start point.

An outline of the route taken on the walk is shown above. It should be related to a suitable 1:25000 map of Bodmin Moor to get a better picture of the walk and footpaths we followed.

At 10.30 on the dot we left the car park turned left crossed Draynes Bridge and turned left onto the road heading north. We followed the road for about 300 yards before taking a footpath heading east.

Bob had promised a certain amount of mud in this area and he was not wrong. After the recent heavy rains of the last five to six weeks the ground was very wet indeed with the resultant mud and water to walk through.

There was little point in trying to avoid it, as there was no other way around and therefore through the mud was the order of the day.

The first half a mile towards Common Moor was perhaps the muddiest and as the pictures show there was plenty of water in the area.

We gingerly climbed over the stiles as all the rain had made them very slippery. The footpath swung North East and ran alongside a brook for a while before emerging out on a road on the edge of Common Moor.

We passed a few houses including one where the owner believed in making full use of garden decorations and ornaments. This particular one had so many artifacts on the lawn, cutting the grass must have been a complete nightmare.

 

The road headed north west for a short distance and then we took a footpath just beyond the South Trekeive Farm, which took us on a bearing of about 330 degrees up to drier ground.

As we skirted the brow of the hill we had our first views of Siblyback lake dead ahead of us.

This is a popular windsurfing lake but on this visit there wasn't a single windsurfer or boat of any description to be seen on the lake.

We headed in the general direction of the dam at the south western corner of the lake.

We didn't cross the dam but turned right and followed the edge of the lake around in an anticlockwise direction until we found the entrance to the lake car park and picnic area.

It was a lovely spot for morning coffee and the blue skies and sunshine made it a superb area for a break.

 

After the ten minute coffee stop we left the picnic area, made our way back to the entrance and turned left onto the road.

After a few yard we turned left onto the track leading up to the moors above and the first of the Tors we would see on Bodmin moor. Above the lake on the eastern side was Tregarrick Tor.

We reached the end of the track and then continued to climb up a grassy area towards the Tor. We walked right up to the Tor and by the granite outcrop.

From there we headed north east around the edge of some fields and then we swung due east and aimed toward the Caradon Hill transmitter, since just below that sat our target point of Minnions, the highest village in Cornwall at just under 1000 feet. It was just under 1.5 miles from the Tor across to Minnions.

In the distance to the north east of us we could see the imposing granite outcrop called the Cheesewring. This is a famous landmark in the area and attracts many visitors. We could see the human ants swarming over the rocks even from a full mile away.

As we approached Minnions we could see the village in the dip ahead of us and between us and the village lay two very distinctive stone circles known as the Hurlers.

These are a very impressive pair of stone circles and once again their proximity to the road and the village make them popular attractions for visitors.

Such is the popularity of the village as a tourist centre that it supports a hotel, called the Cheesewring Hotel and two car parks at each end of the village and even a heritage centre in one of the renovated engine houses which populate the area reminding us of the tin mining heritage of the area.

We made our way towards the heritage centre and some of us took the opportunity of a visit there during our lunch break to read about the archaeology of the area.

 

After lunch we gathered in the main street passing through the village and noticed how the sheep used the road as an easy transfer from one side of the village to the other.

After the sheep had passed through, we headed south west down passing the western end car park en route and then we left the road and followed a track south west just to the south of the road from the village.

Just as we left the village the sun disappeared and very quickly the rain arrived. We had managed the first half of the walk in fine weather and it looked as if the second half could be in rain.

 

We walked roughly parallel to the road for a mile heading for an old mining chimney, one of the many in the area.

After passing the chimney we turned more west and made our way across to the road along a track.

We walked down the road for about 30 yards until we saw a footpath sign pointing up a track north west towards Little Barton Farm. Passing around the farm we turned onto a narrow lane and headed down south west passing Great Gimble and GimbleMill.

The footpath took us from the track through farms and fields, some of them very wet indeed down towards Common Moor once again.

For a while the footpath ran alongside a brook and there was clear evidence that the track had been impassable due to flood water not too long ago. Eventually we left the footpath and crossed the road we had walked up to from Golitha Falls at about 10.40 AM.

The final section of the route was the muddiest of the whole walk, once again as Bob has prophesied it would be. We followed the route west that we had walked up at the start and then swung south west down across some really wet ground for the final few hundred yard until we came out onto the road just before Draynes Bridge .

Bob had offered us the chance to walk the extra half a mile down through the woods by he side of the river Fowey to see Golitha Falls.

With the river so full of water there was plenty of water pouring over the weir just above the falls. Perhaps 'falls' might have conveyed the wrong impression to some of us as it was more of a tumble of the water over the large stones in the area.

Unfortunately the photo I took of the falls decided to have a mind of its own and disappear from the camera so there is no pictorial record of this final section of the walk.

Upon our return to the car park, we found the leaders had returned to Plymouth so thanks to them both retrospectively via this page for their efforts in producing such and interesting and varied walk on Bodmin Moor.

I often wonder why we don't walk more often down in Cornwall, we don't need to use our passports just yet and Minnions is only 35 minutes drive down the road from Plymouth, much closer than some of the areas we walk up on Dartmoor.