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About the Author

From bicycle touring to backpacking, watercolour painting to clay modelling, the exploration journal captures my journey through many different interests and travel adventures.

I love to find those out of the way places that whisk you away from the concerns of everyday life. Whether this is by wading through an overgrown river or trying new paint techniques is up to you!

Golitha Falls and Cheesewring

Golitha Falls and Cheesewring

I recently started a project to visit all the waterfalls on Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor, which is quite the undertaking! Fortunately Bodmin Moor is easy as there are only two – the main one at Golitha Falls that everybody knows about, and then there is the complete opposite at Cascade Woods, a secret spot that isn’t talked about much and mostly unvisited.

Golitha Falls

Golitha Falls is one of the most visited and well known spots on Bodmin Moor. The River Fowey forms a series of tumbling cascades and larger waterfalls as it flows through Draynes Wood, an ancient oak woodland with steep gorge-like sides. The walk is mostly over uneven ground though is suitable for families without pushchairs, it takes about five minutes to get from a large carpark to the main waterfall (pictured above).

One of the items on my ‘to-do’ list is to follow the Fowey further down beyond Golitha falls and onto unbeaten paths. So keep an eye here for updates!

The Minions and Cheesewring

Cheesewring is the name of a tor on Bodmin Moor, about 4 miles up the road from Golitha Falls. It is a stack of naturally formed granite slabs stacked upon each other by weathering. The name comes from a device used to make cheese… back when confusing cheese wringing devices were required.

I was reading the Cheesewring article on Wikipedia and found a quote from Wilkie Collins (1860’s author of the Moonstone) describing it. It sums up the formation so perfectly that I copied it in here to share:

If a man dreams of a great pile of stones in a nightmare, he would dream of such a pile as the Cheesewring. All the heaviest and largest of the seven thick slabs of which it is composed are at the top ; all the lightest and smallest at the bottom. It rises perpendicularly to a height of thirty-two feet, without lateral support of any kind. The fifth and sixth rocks are of immense size and thickness, and overhang fearfully all round the four lower rocks which support them. All are perfectly irregular; the projections of one do not fit into the interstices of another; they are heaped up loosely in their extraordinary top-heavy form on slanting ground, halfway down a steep hill.

There is a lovely view from the top of the surrounding countryside.

A short walk from the tor is Gold Diggings Quarry, a tranquil spot when not populated by picnic-ers and dive-bombers. The confident can leap from the outcrop on the right (spot the chap in a black wetsuit), and everyone else can descend to the grassy shoreline and slowly paddle in. Quarry water is freezing even mid-summer due to the depth, so be careful when jumping in for the first time.

If you are looking for a local walk in the area, I would suggest parking at Minions/Cheesewring and walking up to the top, then across to the quarry and then on to Twelve Men’s Moor. Withey Brook Bog is not something to be scoffed at and gives most Dartmoor bogs a run for their money so walk around. Going through is a big, big mistake unless you are a bog diver.

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