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The Smugglers Way


Boscastle Harbour in Cornwall

Route Introduction

Distance 36 miles coast to coast  Grade  Mainly Moderate to Strenuous with some Severe grade exposed and open moorland - what these grades mean

bodmin moor walking, uk walking holidays, cornwall smugglers way footpath

Created and developed by Cornishman Frank Squibb in the spring of 1994 this is Cornwall’s best and most challenging coast to coast walking route and for experienced walkers it can be combined with the Saints Way and the South West Coast Path to give Cornwall's most varied week of walking in the 100 mile circular challenge.  

Not only linking two coastlines, inland you also top the highest points in ancient the ancient county of Kernow (Cornwall) on the wild and imposing tor of Brown Willy and the eerie rock sculptures of Rough Tor both high on the bleak and mysterious expanse of Bodmin Moor.

The Smugglers Way takes you down forgotten drove roads and ancient lanes mixed with testing sections of wild and open moorland walking. Either side of Bodmin Moor deserted, hidden river trails follow stunning and unspoilt forested valleys and pasture as you follow the waters gushing off the high ground and charging down to the sea.

west looe valley walk, cornwall long distance paths, hiking holidays ukStart with an overnight in the busting Cornish South Coast fishing port of Looe and end by exploring the stunning natural fjord like harbour at Boscastle. In between a highlight is a stay in one of Cornwall’s most remote and atmospheric locations at the infamous and dramatic Jamaica Inn of Daphne du Maurier fame high on Bodmin Moor.

The route is not short on the unusual either, prepare to walk down an abandoned WW2 runway, tramp the foreshore of King Arthur’s burial lake, spend a night with a variety of moorland ghosts, pass locations from Thomas Hardy's poems and whilst you might not be (un)lucky enough to meet up with the infamous wild cat, the “beast of Bodmin”, you will be wandering through otter, deer, buzzard and kingfisher country all the way.

Kilmar Tor on the Ten Tors Cornwall Walk South West England Bodmin Moor WALKERS NOTE: Whilst much of the route follows footpaths, bridleways and back lanes there is no specific National Trail route marking. Sections around the Bodmin Moor Tors can be challenging walking on open moorland with no facilities or even footpaths in some sections. The moorland is best suited to experienced walkers with good map reading skills. Backed up with the accurate line maps of the Smugglers Way Guide book this will see you through in clear weather but if you head out in poor visibility the additional ability to be able to use compass bearings is then a must.  

SO…….If you prefer your walking to be well signposted, well travelled and with regular facilities click  look at sections on the Cornish Coast Path instead.  If on the other foot you are stirred by the thought of undertaking more of a challenge, are motivated by something different away from the crowds and want to push yourself to unearth the unusual and the remote…. then read on!


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