When we were in Cornwall last year we saw Cardinham Woods from our steam train ride on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. We said then, that we really must visit the woods in the future. So on our recent trip I’d pencilled in a day to do just that. The weather hadn’t quite agreed with my plans and we ended up with a walk through Cardinham Woods in the rain. But we’re all-weather adventurers so the pouring rain we drove through to get there wasn’t going to put us off.
There’s a large Pay and Display car park as you arrive at Cardinham Woods (£3 covers you for the whole day), and everything is well signposted. It was absolutely pouring down when we arrived so we thought for the purposes of research we should grab a cup of coffee in the Woods Cafe. There were some lovely homemade treats on offer and we were sorely tempted to try them. Once we’d all had a drink it was time for a walk through Cardinham Woods in the rain. Luckily by this time, the rain had subsided enough to make the walk a little more pleasurable. Looking at the photos it doesn’t look as if it was raining at all, but it really was.
There are a number of cycling and walking trails within the woods and if we hadn’t got plans for later in the day I’d have been more vocal in suggesting one of the longer walks. The menfolk decided that the Lady Vale Walk was for them, so off we went.
This is an easy walk, and the first woodland walk I think we’ve ever done that was totally suitable for buggy’s and prams. That part did feel a little strange. But with the weather, and the fact that Monkey’s feet had clearly outgrown his wellies in the holidays, muddy walks were best left for another day! Although I think Monkey was missing that element to be honest.
It was lovely to be somewhere new and see so many ferns. Our more local woods are very much tree only domains really. Cardinham Woods has a number of streams running through it and this adds another lovely element to any walk there. Monkey was tasked with stream spotting as we walked along.
Monkey’s very much like his mother, he does love a map, I hadn’t printed one out before we left home for Cornwall. But with the path being so defined he was happy to just take the lead anyway.
Whilst it clearly wasn’t the weather that was going to attract butterflies we did find one rather lovely beetle on a walk through Cardinham Woods in the rain.
It was a good spot and Monkey was rather pleased with it. He also had fun finding the various Stick Man trail signs, as well as ones talking about nature and even how to train your dog. We didn’t have any paper for the brass rubbing opportunities we found, so did finger tracing instead. Monkey loves Stick Man, let’s face it, he loves sticks, so he was never going to pass on a Stick Man making task.
The scenery was beautiful, so many beautiful trees surrounding us as we followed the babbling brook on our walk. There were sticks to be discovered of varying sizes.
We looked for unusual colours and textures, Monkey loved the idea of the moss covering the tree, feeling like a carpet. I thought that was rather a good description.
Lady Vale Bridge is towards the end of this particular trail and gave us a few moments to admire the stream and navigate our way across (there is a pathway round too) and even to find a few animals lurking in the undergrowth.
We’d completed a walk through Cardinham Woods in the rain and I have to honest I was champing at the bit to go on the longer Wheal Glynn trail. This one includes the remnants of an old tin and silver mine. But that’s going to keep for our next trip to Cornwall. It’s an area we definitely want to revisit and explore in more detail.
Have you been before? If not, may be pin it for a future adventure? There are so many Forestry Commission sites scattered around the country, there’s always a new one to explore.
disclosure: we were given a free parking pass for our visit in exchange for an honest review. To be frank, we’d have written about Cardinham Woods anyway, we do love our woodland and forest walks.