Muddy Socks and Showers – Our Trip To Beautiful Rough Tor

Stream running through Bodmin Moor, photographed by Emma of Little Bird Creative

Our Trip to Rough Tor

There are many ways to spend a drizzly, Sunday afternoon.  You might want to curl up with a cuppa and a good book.  Perhaps it’s time to finally binge that show all your friends have been nagging you to watch.  Or maybe   you’re looking for more of an adventure…

As luck would have it, Little Bird HQ is just a stone’s throw from the wild and beautiful Rough Tor, arguably one of Bodmin Moor’s most iconic landmarks.  Swapping our home comforts for rain coats, we headed out to explore the stunning landscape.

The car park is located on Poldue Downs. “Poldue” (or “poldhu”), means “black pool.” The name here is almost certainly a reference to the muddy marshland found in patches all over Bodmin Moor.  Of course on arrival, we had no clue what the word meant and there was little to suggest that we’d become rather too well-acquainted with said marshland before long…

Rough Tor summit, photographed by Emma of Little Bird Creative

The Walk

Crunching down the gravelly path, we were excited to be somewhere so vast and magnificent.  From the moment we stepped onto the moor, there was a strong sense of having left the “real world” behind.  There’s something magical about knowing you’re walking on land that has existed for thousands of years.  Indeed, only a short walk from the car park, we stumbled upon a collection of rocks and boulders. We later discovered that these were the remnants of a settlement likely to date back to the Bronze Age.

Rough Tor itself loomed ahead. The craggy summit stands 400m above sea-level, making it Bodmin Moor’s second-highest point.  Despite our keenness to reach the top, as we glanced towards Crowdy Reservoir, the urge to stray from the beaten track grew stronger.

There are plenty of words to describe the Little Bird duo, but “outdoorsy” probably wouldn’t feature all that highly.  So it’s no surprise that our decision to try “wandering towards the reservoir” was not the best plan ever devised.

wringing out socks

It didn’t take long before “Poldue Downs” really proved its name.  With so much beauty around us, we were too distracted by the sights and sounds to notice that the ground was getting distinctly boggy.  My choice of white trainers for this particular adventure was, as it turned out, a spectacularly bad one.  The sound of bleating sheep was soon replaced by an ominous squelching as our feet sank deeper into the marshland.  Our hike was abandoned in favour of finding a rock to perch on, whilst we wrung out our socks…

At this point, the drizzle became a shower and we realised our time on the moor had come to a premature – and soggy – end.

If you’re looking for a scenic walk, we’d absolutely recommend adding Rough Tor to your “to do” list.  We’ll definitely be back – but next time, we’ll wear wellies!

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