Walking Around Liskeard
Liskeard is an excellent base for walkers being situated midway between the coast and the moors. It is an ancient market town on the main London to Penzance railway line and has good bus services, both local and national. It has a wide range of shops, mostly locally owned, and still has a livestock market.
Only the second town in Cornwall to gain Walkers are Welcome accreditation, it boasts a Heritage Trail and a printed map of local walks in and around the town maintained by the Town Council. Parts of these are wheelchair friendly and several are not particularly demanding.
South East Cornwall offers the walker so much choice, from stunning cliff walks to lonely walks on Bodmin Moor. A range of landscapes from ancient wooded valley to pretty fishing villages. Thousands of years of history dating back to the Neolithic., Short walks, long walks.
You have 33 miles of the South West Coast Path stretching from Fowey to Cremyll, ever changing scenery, hidden coves to visit and plenty of villages along the way for that lunchtime pasty or ice cream before tackling the next stretch. Most stretches are covered by regular bus services so you don't even have to walk back.
Inland from the coast there are plenty of wooded valleys to explore, some dating back to the Domesday Book. Both the Looe Valley and the Tamar Valley are accessible by train, and walks packs describing walks from the stations are availiable in TICs or online.
Bodmin Moor to the north of the region provides the keen walker with a chance to escape byways and highways and head out onto open moorland. Step back in time through 6000 years of history or just marvel at the rock formations.
Walks in Liskeard
Liskeard Heritage Trail is a self guided walk around the town which provides information about all the interesting buildings in the town and takes around 1.5 hours to complete. There are also two complimentary trails aimed at young children, one for the town and the other for the church. All three of these guides are available free of charge from Stuart House and Liskeard Information Centre
The Henry Rice Trail identifies over one hundred buildings in Liskeard which were designed by Henry Rice in the 19th Century as a result of the wealth created by the boom in copper mining. The trail leaflet costs 50p and is available from Stuart House and Liskeard Information Centre.
Footpaths and Walks in the Liskeard Area is a leaflet with 6 walks around the town. The walks range from 1 hour to an all day route around the parish boundary which is very close to the route the annual Beating the Bounds walk takes. Beating the Bounds is an ancient custom where members of the community walk the boundaries of the parish, usually led by the parish priest and church officials, to share the knowledge of where they lay, and to pray for protection and blessings for the lands. In Liskeard it takes place in early May and is well supported by the Town Council. The leaflet is free and available from Liskeard Information Centre.
Liskeard Treasure Trail is a fun route around Liskeard for families. The trail costs £5 and is available from Liskeard Information Centre.
Paths lead out from the town (as do some bus routes) to the edge of Bodmin Moor with its wild and ancient upland features. Amongst these are extensive remains of the great era of Cornish mines, chimney stacks, engine houses, granite quarries, and the remains of associated buildings. Alternatively there are walks out from Caradon Hill to the many tors in the middle of the moor including the high points of Brown Willy and Roughtor.
Local Blue Badge Guide Mark Camp of Walkaboutwest, has written several walking books including five covering Bodmin Moor and one volume of short walks between Looe and Truro. These can be purchased in both Liskeard and Looe Information Centres. Mark created the Copper Trail, a 60 mile long distance route that encircles Bodmin Moor starting at Minions, just to the north of Liskeard.
The Copper Trail is a 60 mile circular walk around Bodmin Moor. The book breaks the walk in to 6 10-mile sections which each take around a day to complete. The book costs £4.95.
Bodmin Moor Walks. The intention with these books was to create a walk in each of the eighteen parishes on Bodmin Moor. The series is split into three books (six walks in each) and ensures that wherever you are on the Moor, you'll never be too far away from the start of another walk. Each book costs £2.95.
Volume 1 contains walks in the Parishes of St Breward, St Clether, St Neot, St Cleer and North Hill.
Volume 2 contains walks in the Parishes of Warleggan, Lewannick, Michaelstow, St Ive, Helland and Advent.
Volume 3 contains walks in the Parishes of St Tudy, Altarnun, Cardinham, Linkinhorne, Camelford and Davidstow.
Much of Bodmin Moor is open access land where you are free to roam but on other areas you will need to stick to footpaths, you are advised to carry a copy of the Ordnance Survey Explorer map for Bodmin Moor, number 109.
For more information about Bodmin Moor, it's attractions, events and accommodation see the Best of Bodmin Moor website www.bestofbodminmoor.co.uk
South West Coast Path
The links to the coast, either on foot or via the picturesque Looe line, lead walkers to the South West Coast Path. The Cornish part of this is famous for its spectacular views and for its demanding ascents and descents. The path follows the entire coastline of this peninsula county, which of course includes Lands End.
Looe is just 8 miles from Liskeard, it takes around 20 minutes to drive to the coast or there is an hourly bus service and the excellent Looe Valley branch line. From Looe many people take the coast path west via Talland Bay to Polperro which is a distance of 5 miles, you can then either take the bus back to Looe or if you are feeling energetic you can return back the way you came - after a suitable refreshment stop of course. For more information about the South West Coast Path see the website www.southwestcoastpath.com
Trails From the Track
Trails From the Track are a series of walks on the local railway, there are 3 sets of walks based around the Looe Valley (Liskeard to Looe), Tamar Valley (Plymouth to Gunnislake) and Maritime (Truro to Falmouth) branch lines. Liskeard itself is the starting point for the Looe Valley Line and it is just 30 minutes by train to Plymouth to pick up the Tamar Valley Line and 50 minutes by train to Truro for the Maritime line. You can pick up a copy of the Tamar Valley walks and the Maritime walks packs in Liskeard Information Centre, unfortunately the Looe Valley walks are currently out of print but can be downloaded from the website www.trailsfromthetrack.com
In addition there are free leaflets available detailing walks from the railway:
A Walk Round St Germans
Calstock to Cotehele
Luxulyan to the Eden Project
The Cornish Mining Heritage of the Luxulyan Valley
These are all available from Liskeard Information Centre
Two Valleys Walk
This walk starts and ends outside the London Inn in St Neot. It is a walk of pleasant contrasts - lanes winding through rich farmland, open moorland and wooded river valleys. An ideal walk for a sunny afternoon, it is clearly marked on OS Explorer map 109.
It is not always easy to find somewhere to go for a walk if you are a pushing a wheelchair, a buggy or are just a little unsteady on your feet, however there are some fantastic accessible walks nearby:
Siblyback lake is to be found about 6 miles north of Liskeard near the village of St Cleer. It is a reservoir with a host of water based activities under the care of South West Lakes Trust. The 3.5 mile lakeside path has recently been totally overhauled and a well surfaced, level pathway now surrounds the lake, giving access to wheelchairs and buggies for its full length.
Golitha Falls are near the southern end of the road leading to Jamaica Inn. There are public conveniences and ample parking accross the lane from the woodland path which follows this stretch of the Fowey River. The path is fully accessible for wheelchairs and buggies to the head of the falls. There are other trackways through the woods past what remains of the Victorian copper mine, however, these are more uneven and muddy.
Seaton Valley Countryside Park
A treasure trove of nature and wildlife, the Seaton Valley runs inland from the sea at Seaton (Seythin in Cornish), it follows the river up to the first bridging point at Hessenford. There is ample parking and refreshments at Seaton and the path is clearly marked. Well surfaced and graded for two thirds of its length making it suitable for wheelchairs and buggies up to the wooden bridge which crosses the river. After this point the path becomes rougher and continues alongside the river until it reaches the village of Hessenford where there is a pub with excellent food.
Cardinham Woods on the outskirts of Bodmin has a variety of trails for walking and cycling of various difficulties. Lady Vale Trail is a 1.5 mile circular route on a level paved pathway which follows the river upstream to Lady Vale Bridge, which takes its name from the Chapel of Our Lady that stood beside the river during the 12th Century. Once you have burnt off some energy you can recharge at the Woods Cafe which has wonderful homemade food. www.forestry.gov.uk/cardinham
Lanhydrock is a fantastic 17th Century country house and estate owned by the National Trust. From Bodmin Parkway Station there is a paved carriageway up to the house which was used by the Robartes family when they used the (then) new fangled train. This is a delightful 1.75 mile stroll along the drive which was planted with specimen trees. There is a tea/coffee shop with snacks behind the main house and in the signal box at the station. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
The following books are all available from Liskeard Information Centre:
A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Cornwall - does exactly what is says on the tin! 12 walks around Cornwall including one on Bodmin Moor and another around Talland Bay. £5.99
Linkinhorne Parish Walks - 8 walks around Minions, Upton Cross, Rilla Mill, Henwood, Coads Green and Linkinhorne itself. £1.50
Tamar Valley Discovery Trails. £5.95
Five Walks around Mount Edgcumbe and the Rame Peninsula. £4.50
Short(ish) Walks - we have 3 volumes - Bodmin Moor, Lower Tamar Valley and Truro to Looe. £3.99 each
Town Walks in Cornwall - 15 circular walks around Cornish towns including Liskeard, Looe, Lostwithiel and Launceston. £6.99
A Boot Up: Bodmin Moor and Around - 10 walks around Bodmin Moor. £4.99
A Boot Up: Mining Walks in Cornwall and West Devon - 10 walks around the Cornish Mining World Heritage sites including 2 walks around the Caradon mines. £4.99
Liskeard is very well placed for public transport. As previously mentioned it is on the mainline railway and the branch line to Looe, in addition there are several bus services out into the countryside.
80B - Liskeard - Hessenford - Seaton - Downderry - Crafthole - Antony - Torpoint
283 - Menheniot - Liskeard - St Neot
573 - Polperro - Looe - Sandplace - Duloe - St Keyne - Liskeard - St Cleer - Darite - Pensilva - Callington (there is a footpath from Crow's Nest to Minions. The footpath is about a mile long but you should allow around an hour to walk it due to the amount of things to look at on the way)
The Traveline website (www.travelinesw.com) is very useful for planning journeys on public transport, or timetables can be collected from Liskeard Information Centre.
The Ramblers Association
Formed many years ago to establish and maintain rights of way for walkers, the Ramblers are a forceful nationwide body. The Cornish branch organises a host of walks of varying length, some more demanding than others, all over the County. The Caradon group host several walks each month and visitors are always welcome to join in. For more information see their website www.cornwallramblers.org.uk or click here for details of their upcoming local walks.
Guiding services for groups, schools and individuals around the area, including Bodmin Moor and the South West Coast Path. Organisers of the South East Cornwall Walking Festival each September. www.walkaboutwest.co.uk
The Countryside Code
Please adhere to the Countryside Code when you are out walking
Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
Leave gates and property as you find them
Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
Keep dogs under close control
Consider other people
For more infomation see the website www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk
Walkers Are Welcome
Walkers are Welcome (WaW) is a community led initiative to promote towns as places that have something special to offer walkers of all kinds. Towns and villages who seek Walkers are Welcome must fulfil six criteria to gain accreditation:
Demonstrate local support for the concept.
Gain formal endorsement for the application.
Ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are well maintained.
Market the WaW scheme.
Encourage walking via public transport.
Demonstrate how WaW status will be maintained.
Obtaining Walkers are Welcome status, as a growing number of communities across Britain are doing, brings a number of benefits. It helps strengthen a town's reputation as a place for visitors to come to enjoy the outdoors, bringing useful benefits to the local economy. It also helps to ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained in good condition, benefiting local people as well as visitors. For more information see the website www.walkersarewelcome.org.uk
Click here for details of regular and upcoming walking events.
South East Cornwall Walking Festival
The walking festival takes place each September and is organised by Mark Camp of Walkaboutwest. This year the festival will be September 14th-22nd. Click here for details of last year's walks to get a flavour of the event and plan your visit.