The Smuggler's Way
The Smugglers' Way is a 37-mile (58 kilometres) long route through unspoilt countryside across Cornwall linking two harbours renowned for their smuggling connections, the picturesque harbours of Boscastle on the Atlantic Coast and Looe on the English Channel.
Created and developed by Cornishman Frank Squibb in the spring of 1994 this is Cornwall's best and most challenging coast to coast walking route.
The Way traverses the rugged landscape of Bodmin Moor, passes the world-famous Jamaica Inn, and follows scenic paths beside the rivers Valency, Fowey and West Looe and takes its walkers down forgotten drove roads and ancient lanes mixed with testing sections of wild and open moorland walking.
The route can be divided into three sections: North of the Moor, Bodmin Moor, and South of the Moor:-North of the Moor
Commencing at Boscastle Harbour and along the scenic Valency Valley to the edge of Bodmin Moor, the route follows public footpaths and bridleways, along with some road walking.Bodmin Moor
Passes over the rocky expanse of Bodmin Moor and encompassing the wild and and imposing peaks of Rough Tor at 1,313 feet (400 metres) and Brown Willy, which at 1,378 feet (420 metres), is the highest point of Bodmin Moor and of Cornwall, with some excellent views of the moor.
The route passes the famous Jamaica Inn at the moorland village of Bolventor, once notorious as a smuggler's den and the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier's novel, the inn offers accommodation and serves excellent food. The Museum of Smuggling is situated in the main coaching house and holds a varied collection of smuggling artifacts.
The Smuggler's Way goes on by legendary Dozmary Pool which has the most persistent of the claims to be the residence of the mysterious Lady of the Lake of Arthurian legend. Following the fierce battle with his rival Mordred, believed to have been fought at Slaughterbridge, King Arthur is reputed to have died on the shores of Dozmary Pool, the pool is also reputed to be haunted haunted by the ghost of Jan Tregeagle.
This part of the trail ends at the village of St. Neot with its historic granite Church of St. Anietus which has no less than five ancient crosses (right) in its churchyard and the Holy Well of St. Neot, an ancient site of much historical interest, which lies a short walk from the churchyard by the River Loveny .The village offers a range of accommodation.
With the exception of one short section the route crosses areas designated 'open country' under the Countryside and Rights of Way ( Act of 2000. The excluded section is Ten Acre Lane between Dozmary Pool and Brown Gelly. However, the landowner has given verbal permission for use to continue.South of the Moor
The route passes through the West Looe Valley with its woodland and river sections, to end at the Banjo Pier at the seaside resort of Looe, picturesque hamlets along the way include Scawn, Herodsfoot and Churchbridge.
This part of the route follows public footpaths and bridleways, with some road walking. A section through Forestry Commission land south of Herodsfoot, although not designated as public access, has been approved by Forest Enterprise.Caution
The route is not National Trail waymarked, and the ability to navigate with a compass is essential. Sections around the Bodmin Moor Tors can be challenging walking on open moorland with no facilities or even footpaths in some sections. Bodmin Moor is noted for its mists and changeable weather. Always check the weather forecast before commencing your journey and wear appropriate footwear and clothing.