Bodmin Moor forms part of the Cornish Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a plateau generally over 800 feet high, but dominated by dramatic granite tors. Brown Willy (1,375 feet), the highest point and Rough Tor (1,311 feet), tower over the expanses of open moorland and give a general view of the level nature of the Cornish peninsula. Brown Willy can be reached from Codda Farm, north of Bolventor.
The main road to Lands End from Exeter, the A.30, cuts across Bodmin Moor. Just off this busy road at Bolventor, is the famous Jamaica Inn, which was the inspiration for and is featured in Daphne du Maurier’s smuggling novel of the same name.
Bodmin Moor has been farmed for 4,000 years since the Bronze Age. Prehistoric remains are spread across the Moor. The most impressive is Stripple Stones, a circle of standing stones on the south-east slopes of Hawks Tor. Siblyback Lake is a popular location for inland water sports, where tuition is available. It is next to Dozmary Pool, a bleak pond, where some believe King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, was deposited. Legends abound on Bodmin Moor. There have been countless reports of the sighting of the Beast of Bodmin Moor, a black panther-like creature, which attacks livestock in the dead of night.
As with much of Cornwall, Bodmin Moor was heavily mined and quarried in the 19th century. There are ruins of the De Lank granite quarries and tin and copper mines. At Phoenix Limited Mine in Minions, there is a Visitor Centre.