The former county town of Cornwall, Bodmin is a historic civil parish town in England. This small town has a population of about 18,000 people. This picturesque town consists of several exquisite buildings that are enriched with history and showcase elegant English architecture. The city is the heart of Cornwall and has a lot of historical significance to it. Bodmin is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and it offers a perfect atmosphere to enjoy the tranquil ambience and granite-built townscape. This delightful town has castles, jails, gardens, mansions, museums, and much more for you to enjoy. Bodmin is full of English history and culture. Here are the best things to do and explore when you’re in the charming and quaint town of Bodmin.
Take a walk
Walking is one of the best ways to explore any city. Bodmin is a very small town, and this makes it perfect for exploring it on foot. You can stroll around the city to take in the scenic glory of the picturesque city and check out the stunning architecture of the city. You can discover the town’s little secrets that you wouldn’t have known if you were exploring the city in any other way like every other tourist. Long walks with clean air and beautiful streets of Bodmin will definitely refresh your mind and body.
Visit The Lanhydrock House
Lanhydrock House is a splendid late Victorian country house above the River Fowey. The estate was restored in 1881 following a fire, but it still has elements that date back to the 1600s. The 890-acre house is a Grade I building and is owned and managed by the National Trust since 1953. You can discover two different sides of Victorian life here. The ‘upstairs’ living section where you can see the sophisticated dining room and spacious bedrooms that showcases the luxury of a grand family home. And The ‘below stairs’ section that showcases the nurseries, victorian kitchens, and servants’ quarters. The stunning country house also has gorgeous extensive 30-acres gardens that are filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. Besides exploring the estate, you can enjoy cycling on the off-road cycle trails here. Look out for the museum and second-hand bookshop.
Siblyback Lake Country Park
Siblyback Lake Country Park is located on Bodmin Moor and one of 12 designated areas of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cornwall. The country park has abundant space for walking, cycling, and picnicking. You can bring your pooch to this fabulous dog-friendly lakeside location. It is also a perfect spot for stargazing. You can spend your day in the striking beauty of the Siblyback Lake Country Park and rejuvenate yourself before exploring the upcoming places.
Experience Fun And Horror At Bodmin Jail
Bodmin Jail is a former archival prison located on the edge of Bodmin Moor. It was built in 1779 and was operational for 150 years. Bodmin Jail was the first British prison to hold the convicts in individual cells. The prison has now become a tourist attraction. It showcases the life of an 18th-century prisoner and offers fun and educational tours. Bodmin Jail is also known to be one of the most haunted locations in the UK. It provides after dark packages to people over the age of 18 wherein they can spend a night in the haunted jail. You can also watch scary movies here, Scary Cinema Nights are organised every Thursday from 9 pm till 1 am where you can watch a scary film in the bone-chilling environment of the jail. Do not forget to eat at the popular Governors Hall restaurant in the Bodmin Jail.
The Serene Pinsla Garden and Nursery
Pinsla Garden and Nursery is a popular spot for garden lovers. It is a 1.5-acre peaceful cottage garden in Bodmin. The work of garden art is not only focused on the plants, but they also make decorative paths, arches, shelters and edgings. The Pinsla Garden and Nursery provide a very tranquil environment to appreciate the beauty of grasses, shrubs, and alpines surrounding you. The garden is open every day from the end of February until the end of October, from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening.
Visit St Petroc’s Church
Also known as Bodmin Parish Church, St Petroc’s Church is the largest Parish church in Cornwall. It is also one of the oldest Parish churches, it dates back to the 15th century. The church’s building consists of a beautiful mix of granite and kilias stones. The church has an extremely rare and old font, and fantastic stained glass window and a well outside. The church is a must to visit if you’re in Bodmin. It has a very serene and tranquil environment coupled with the exquisite architecture of the building, St. Petroc’s Church is definitely a treat for your eyes and soul.
Visit the Restormel Castle
Only a 20 minutes drive away from Bodmin, Restormel Castle is one of the only four chief Norman castles of Cornwall. It is located near the village of Lostwithiel and overlooks River Fowey. The castle is famous for its perfectly circular design. It has been in ruin since the 16th century. However, it still holds the signature circular shell. The castle is a haven for beautiful birds and has greenery all year round. It is a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day while enjoying the incredibly pleasing view of the countryside and the River Fowey.
Explore Town’s History at Bodmin Town Museum
Located in Bodmin’s Town Centre, Bodmin Town Museum showcases the history of the town from earliest times in the form of displays, collections, and exhibitions. There is a recreation of a traditional Cornish kitchen and a blacksmith forge that you can experience. The museum is open from Easter until late October and is entirely run by a team of dedicated volunteers. The entry in the museum is free; however, even a little donation is very much appreciated.
Relax at Cardinham Woods
Located on the southwestern gateway to Bodmin Moor, Cardinham Woods is one of the hidden gems of Cornwall. This dog-friendly place has walking trails, cycling trails, picnic area, barbeque area, and a cafe with beautiful surroundings of the mixed woodland. The site is undoubtedly going to refresh your mind and body with fresh air, stream-side paths, and awe-inspiring viewpoints.
Drop-in on Pencarrow House and Gardens
Just a 10 minutes drive away from Bodmin, Pencarrow House and Gardens is a Grade II listed country house near Washaway. It is open from March 1st to October 31st, daily, from 10 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. The house displays a lot of vintage furniture, antique toys, paintings, costumes, and even a rare 1840 portable shower. The 50 room Georgian mansion offers guided tours around the property. The estate also has a cafe on the premises named Peacock café. It serves the quintessential cream teas. The cafe also serves wholesome and delicious food that is made from locally sourced ingredients.
Shire Hall Courtroom Experience
Located in Bodmin’s Shire Hall, Shire Hall Courtroom Experience is a Victorian murder mystery set where the visitors play the part of the jury in the Charlotte Dymond murder trial and determine whether Matthew Weeks was guilty or not. The courtroom experience also provides a tour of the dungy holding cells and the original courtroom. Shire Hall Courtroom Experience offers an insight into the old victorian courthouse and the process of trial.
Pay a Visit to Bodmin Beacon
Bodmin Beacon is a 144 feet tall Beacon memorial located on the hilltop, towering over Bodmin’s southern reaches. It was built in 1857 in memory of Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert to commemorate his service in India. After gazing at the beacon, you can roam around in the young woodland and enjoy picnicking in the picnic area that is wheelchair friendly.
Get Upclose to Animals at Porfell Wildlife Park
Porfell Wildlife Park is just 11 miles away from Bodmin and is the biggest exotic animal sanctuary of Cornwall. It houses more than 150 animals. You can contact the animals up close. You can even meet and feed the animals. The site also has a kid’s farm and a recreated Maasai village.
Ride in a Steam Train at Bodmin and Wenford Railway
Bodmin and Wenford Railway is a heritage railway station in Bodmin. This dog-friendly place has the sole full-size railway in Cornwall where you can also ride the steam trains. The trains operate all year round, buy it runs on an everyday basis from May to the end of September. You can board the train and experience the delightfulness and charm of ‘Steam Era’ while enjoying the splendid countryside of Cornwall.
Go Cycling at The Camel Trail
One of the most successful recreational trails in the UK, the Camel Trail is an 18-mile multi-use trail that runs from Padstow to Wenford Bridge, and it passes through Bodmin. It is the disused line, so it is mostly traffic-free. The path is mainly used for walking, cycling and by horse-riders. You can hire cycles from Bodmin Bikes & Cycle Hire, it is only 400 meters away from the trail. The trail offers the view of the magnificent countryside in the South West. It is perfect for spending your day either relaxing or biking in the stunning landscape of the trail.
The Bewitching Bodmin Moor
The town of Bodmin is famous for its Bodmin Moor. People from all over come to the city to see the lovely granite moorland. It 80-square-miles and dates back to the Carboniferous period. It also includes the two highest peaks of Cornwall, Brown Willy and Rough Tor. The moor houses a significant number of wildlife and plants. It is the only place in the world where Cornish Path Moss, a scarce species of moss, grows. The picturesque moor offers a heavenly view of the delightful landscape of the Cornish countryside.
Cornwall’s Regimental Museum
Located at “The Keep” in Bodmin, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum houses one of the finest military collections of South West. This dog-friendly museum’s displays include uniforms, decorative arts, and paintings. The museum also houses an outstanding collection of weaponry. If you are intrigued by military history, this is an excellent museum for you to visit.
Experience the Award-Winning Night Sky
International Dark Sky Association awarded Dark Sky Landscape status in 2017 to Bodmin Moor for its stunning dark skies. It is the first International Dark Sky Place in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has a number of stargazing points from all over the moor. You can watch the beautiful sky from the stargazing points and swoon over the bewitching sky full of stars.
Where To Eat and Drink?
Bodmin is famous for its delightful British cuisine. You can find locally sourced fresh wholesome food all over the town. Some of the best eateries of the town are The Lanivet Inn, Flory Restaurant, The St. Kew Inn, Snail’s Pace Cafe, and The White Hart. Do not forget to try the town’s specialities, the delectable Cornish Pastries and mouth-watering cream teas, at these place. You can quench your thirst at the award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard with red, white, and sparkling wines.
Where To Stay?
The accommodation is not going to be the problem when you’re in Bodmin. The town has a wide range of hotels and cottages, from budget abiding to luxurious. Some of the best accommodations in Bodmin are Lower Trengale Holiday Cottages, Hengar Manor Country Park, Mennabroom Farm Cottages, and Hoburne St Mabyn. These places are perfect for relaxing on your holiday and offer a fantastic view.
Bodmin is a charming and quaint town located in the heart of Cornwall. Bodmin is perfect for your next sojourn. This delightful town is full of history and culture with a marvellous backdrop of the Cornish countryside. The picturesque town is surely going to amaze you with what it has to offer. Visit the city to immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape that Bodmin is known for. Do not forget to tell us your favourite thing from the list and make sure to do all these things when you visit the delightful town.