Traverse City Record-Eagle


Cornwall and Bodmin Moor, Dramatic Settings — Part II

By Evelyn WeliverPelting rain greeted us this morning as we leave our B&B in Lostwithiel for our drive south to the town of Fowey (Foy) on the coast. The Fowey River begins on Bodmin Moor and comes into this cove. The roads down into town are steep and narrow with only designated bus traffic permitted. We catch the small bus at a “park and display” lot above town. There are only two inches of clearance in places between the bus and buildings.


Fowey Harbor. Daphne du Maurier lived just a few miles from Fowey (1907-1989)

Our walk is brief because we are getting very wet and cold — truly miserable weather! We walk uphill to a hotel for cream tea (Del) and dessert (me). Yes, we need comfort food. Del has a map of the town on his GPS unit and he finds a shortcut back to our car.

Cream tea

Del's cream tea — scone, clotted cream, strawberry jam.

Pear dessert

My pear and chocolate dessert.

Uphill Fowey

We walk uphill in Fowey and then return to our B&B.


The main street in Lostwithiel, where our B&B is, has interesting shops.

Fowey river

The flooded Fowey River barely squeezes under the 13th century bridge.

We duck into a shop to avoid some hail and then find a fish and chips place for supper. It advertises that it uses good beef drippings for frying!


The menu. Notice the last line.

The next day we return to Cambridge by way of Jamaica Inn, Bodmin Moor.

Jamaica Inn sign

Hail and wind greet us at Jamaica Inn, high on the moor.


A bright fire is taking the chill out of the cold, dark interior. There is a piano next to the fireplace. Our hot pasties are delicious.


The simple tables are black. Hand hewn wooden beams support the ceiling.

The staff is friendly and the innkeeper does not roar at us as in Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Jamaica Inn.

Sunny Jamaica Inn

After lunch we see some sunshine in the courtyard; the wind continues to blow.

Across the road is a sign to Dozmary Pool, out on the moor. Legend has it that King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, was thrown into the pool after his death. Tennyson wrote much about King Arthur including a poem about his death and the sword,  Mort d’Arthur. Some say it referred to a different pool, but now it is thought to refer to Dozmary Pool.    Complete poem

A verse from the poem in public domain.

Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran,
And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged
Among the bulrush-beds, and clutch’d the sword,
And strongly wheel’d and threw it. The great brand
Made lightnings in the splendour of the moon,
And flashing round and round, and whirl’d in an arch,
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock
By night, with noises of the northern sea.
So flash’d and fell the brand Excalibur:
But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
And caught him by the hilt, and brandish’d him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.
And lightly went the other to the King.

We decide to see Dozmary Pool and start down the one lane road into the depths of Bodmin Moor.

Riders on Bodmin Moor

Riders cross a bridge while we wait for them. The horses hooves and the wind are the only sound.

Dozmary Pool

Dozmary Pool, Bodmin Moor, place of legends. It is fed from underground streams and is deep.

Cornwall is full of history and beauty. Although warmer weather and balmy days would be very nice a little later in the year, our stormy vacation has been enriching. The sense of place in books and history is so important.

Return road

The road leads us through the moor, returning to the highway.

Photographs copyright Evelyn and Del Weliver

Some links to books:

Books set in Cornwall

Cornish writers

Trip planning possibilities:

We rented our car through

We picked our car up at Heathrow, but you could rent within Cornwall.

Journey planning in Cornwall with transport information

The best road route planning was It tells you what road is coming next and gives pictures, like a car GPS does.

Tourist information offices have detailed A-Z maps that show the little grey roads.

Our B&B in Lostwithiel was Penrose:


  • CathyStripeLester

    Evelyn, I’m sorry you got rained on mercilessly in Fowey! Like most seaside towns, it is beautiful when the sun’s out. One of my ex’s relatives used to race sailboats out of Fowey. He had one anecdote about the narrow streets (typical of a lot of Cornish towns, by the way).

    “A delightful part of the Regatta in those days was the fair on the Town quay for the duration of the Regatta. There was two-way traffic through the town at that time (that was long ago!) and eventually the dodgems, or some other large load, got irretrievably jammed trying to negotiate the “S” bend where North street leads into Fore Street. All traffic through the town was blocked for hours, and at Regatta time, too. It was probably the following year that the fair was moved up to Park Road.”

    Knowing those narrow streets I have to laugh when I think of even attempting to get a long trailer through them…!

  • Evelyn

    Cathy, thanks for this image of a fair in Fowey. Yes, it must be lovely in the summer!

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