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Walk 1808 - Brown Willy, exploring Cornwall's highest Tors


Region   Cornwall AONB
County/Area   Cornwall
AuthorLou Johnson
Length4.0 miles / 6.5 km
Ascent1300 feet / 394 metres
StartOS grid reference SX138818
Lat 50.6055533951666 + Long -4.6343812963695
Postcode PL32 9QJ (approx. location only)

Photo from the walk - Brown Willy, exploring Cornwall's highest Tors 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This relatively easy exploration of Cornwall's highest land can easily be accomplished in a couple of hours and provides a good introduction to the moorland spine to this the most western County of Britain. The easiest approach is from Camelford which lies astride the A39. From this pleasant town head southeast on the minor road to Poldue Downs where ample car parking is available at the end of the road (grid ref. SX138818).

From the car park continue south-east following the clear path that leads to the summit of Rough Tor, which forms the right hand end of the rock strewn ridge ahead. Roughly half way to the summit leave the main path and head west to the rocky crown of Showery Tor - the summit at the left hand end of the ridge. There is a path but if you miss it the terrain provides easy off-path walking.

Cresting the ridge Cornwall's highest summit, Brown Willy, comes into view offering a less exciting prospect than the Tor just climbed. Taking the feint path south and keeping to the western side of the stream, you will reach a more defined path that leads onwards and upwards to Cornwall's highest land. The summit is rather uninspiring but it does offer good views in all directions. The warning notices should be heeded as there are Adders in this area.

Return by the same path you used on the ascent to drop down to the stream. However rather than return by way of Showery Tor head gently upwards to the dramatic rocks that mark the summit of Rough Tor where there is plenty scope for scrambling on the rocks. All that remains is a steady descent northwest back to the car park. If time permits a short detour south along the banks of the stream just prior to the car park will reveal a monument to a nineteenth century murder victim - a rather gruesome end to a very pleasant short Cornish excursion.

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OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

Suggested Maps

It is recommended you take a map with you when following a walk route. The preferred scale is 1:25000 used by the Explorer series.

OS Explorer1:25,000Sheet 109
OS Landranger1:50,000Sheet 201
OS Landranger1:50,000Sheet 202

Note : If two maps are listed at the same scale then either (a) both are required for full coverage of the route or (b) the route is covered on both maps.

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