De Lank Valley and Jubilee Rock. 4.5 miles
4.5 miles. Great views. Unusual sights. Hard work.
The Importance of Food
I did this walk last year as a Sunday walk lunch and then returned with the girls for a girls walk. The Blisland Inn is one of those wonderful real ale pubs with a fabulous location, but their food is very much an afterthought. So this time I packed a picnic. As you can see, my picnic was pretty paltry. One of the girls had been at a charity supper the night before and came laden with lush canapes. Her pistachio and parmesan snaps were a welcome diversion from my hard-boiled eggs. Another had just returned from skiing and brought loads of Swiss chocolate, so my leftover cold salmon and beans snack was much sweetened.
Now my walks don’t always feature food so heavily, but these were rather delicious picnics and worthy of a mention.
But let’s march on towards an absolutely fabulous walk. The first section is on small moorland lanes that gradually get smaller until you head through a gate and into the fields and moorland beyond. Very quickly, the path headed downhill at such an alarming angle we graded it a black run, and everyone agreed it would be challenging after heavy rain. The path levelled out onto the floor of the De Lank valley, to one side cowered moss-covered oaks and bowlers, to the other the valley opened up to glorious views.
Met by Goats
For a while we walked along the De Lank river, and all agreed it looked a fabulous spot to swim. Heading out of the valley was an uphill slog and then across moorland until we were overlooking the massive De Lank Quarry. This is a working granite quarry and the footpath walks through the middle of it. Health and Safety must hate it, but we were met by friendly goats and a quarryman waved us towards the footpath with a smile. As we pondered left or right, having crossed the floor of the quarry, another worker leant out a window and helped point us in the right direction. Rather than be annoyed to have a group of walkers chatting and laughing heading through their place of work, they couldn’t have been nicer. The goats incidentally come from a neighbouring farm. Apparently they tend to escape and come and visit the quarrymen.
The Importance of Knowing Where You Are
Then it was uphill again onto Blisland Common, a wild area of Bodmin Moor. It’s very easy to get onto the wrong path up here, so good map reading and an active GPS signal on your phone is essential. Eventually we found the Jubilee Rock and stopped for lunch, where, as I mentioned early, I enjoyed the offerings of others more than my own. The Jubilee Rock really is a fabulous piece of carving on one of the giant granite boulders that populate the moor.
Passing wild ponies, we headed off the moor with Monty leading the way, as we gradually came down through fields and back into the village.
All in all, a top-notch walk. Lots of steep ups and downs, and probably wretched after continuous rain. A great beer pub rather than food pub.