For a while now I’ve been convinced that there must be a decent walk that links Roche Rock, St Dennis Church and Castel-an-Dinas. It would be a big walk, around 10 miles I think, so it’s one to build up in stages. Of course all three sites can be linked by roads but where is the fun in that? Especially when all three sites sit on the edge of the wonderful Goss Moor.
Day One. Have a quick mooch around Goss Moor, see if I can incorporate the Fritillary Trail and the source of the River Fal, into the walk. Took the dogs as it was finally overcast, hadn’t planned on a big walk, given that I was only in flip flops. Four miles later, I was left wondering if my flips were going to survive the walk. I just wanted to see if i could find the footpath off the moor and up to St Dennis. Eventually I found it, it was down a track which suddenly wound around towards a caravan and a house. In the middle of nowhere. A proper Hansel and Gretel moment. Walking through the overgrown junkyard, keeping an eye out for Baba Yaga, I found the kissing gate and decided that that was as far I would go today. I’d explore that path another day, as it was, the dogs were beginning to finally run a bit slower. Heading back we came across a herd of wild ponies which were all very chilled about the dogs.
Back in the car we drove over to Roche Rock to have another bit of an explore. Wow. Love Roche Rock. What a oddity. Wanted to climb up the metal ladder leading up to the hermitage but dogs and flip flops said otherwise. Anyway, back in the car determined to add it to the route.
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Day Two. Walking boots and no dogs. Today I was looking for a route across the railway line and the A30 to get to Castel-an-Dinas. Parked in the same place as yesterday. Need to find a proper place to park. This spot is too small and hidden. Set off onto the moor trying to find a route to the railway line. Found loads of butterflies, lots of friendly cows, took lots of lovely snaps of butterflies drinking cowshit. Charming, and then found the path I wanted with a gate that was padlocked. Very frustrating. This is pubic access land, meaning there is a right to roam all over it. Now this is very annoying as just beyond it is a level crossing point heading straight towards Castle -an-Dinas. Bugger. There was no going any further day so I wandered back into the Moor to see what else I could discover. I often right rights of way blocked or deliberately restricted and whilst it’s incredibly frustrating I usually let it go. After all, if someone is deliberately trying to deter walks, me recommending the walk to others could make for a miserable experience for the walkers. My books about having an enjoyable day out not campaigning for access.
Anyway I turned around and continued to explore, and was treated to a huge lake with swallows dipping all over it in a swarm. Paused for a while and just watched their antics. I continued along the track until it opened up on to a wide open section of the moor and realised that the track had dwindled down into a tiny trail and was now pretty much gone. I was really tempted to continue but the last thing I wanted to do was get lost in a moor, the path was disappearing towards trees which also suggested water. Lost on a boggy moor. Nope. Time to retrace all those miles. Damn. Back pass the swarming swallows, back pass the locked gate, back pass the friendly cows, back pass the butterflies, swishy swooshy, swishy swooshy. Back along the boardwalk. I love the boardwalk, the boardwalk has to be part of the route. And back to the car which was surrounded by yesterday’s ponies. Said hello again. Drove over to Castle-an-Dinas, to see if it is really worth the effort.
So lovely up here, this Iron Age Hill fort sits on the other side of Goss Moor, from the top you look across to the north coast, east towards Bodmin Moor and down over Goss Moor and across to the Clay country. I suppose I can knock it out of the walk but it’s so still and serene up here. It’s not Maiden Castle or Badbury Rings but it’s still lovely. Will have to investigate further.