- Start: Roadside parking near Altarnun Church, grid ref SX223814
- End: Roadside parking near Altarnun Church, grid ref SX223814
- Country: England
- County: Cornwall
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: Kings Head at Five Lanes, Rising Sun near Treween
- Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger 201 or Explorer 109
- Difficulty: Medium
Starting from Altarnun, one of Cornwall's prettiest villages, this route includes a great deal of interest and fine views south to Bodmin Moor, writes Robert Hesketh
Starting from Altarnun, one of Cornwalls prettiest villages, this route includes a great deal of interest and fine views south to Bodmin Moor, writes Robert Hesketh
Distance: 10.5 km (612 miles) Time: 314 hours Exertion: Moderate
BOOTS ON? LET'S GO!
1 Cross the packhorse bridge to the church. Dedicated to St Nonna, mother of St David, it has a remarkably tall tower (109ft/33m) and a fascinating array of 79 bench ends, displaying religious images and 16th-century people. Turn left out of the churchyard. Follow the lane north out of the village via Penhallow Manor (now a private residence), which Daphne du Maurier featured in Jamaica Inn. Continue uphill and take the first tarred lane right. Continue for 600m to a Y-junction. There are two footpaths ahead. Do not take the footpath directly in front of you. Turn left and almost immediately right to cross a granite stile onto a second signed public footpath. Follow the direction markers carefully via fields and stiles to a metalled lane. Cross the lane and take the signed public footpath. Continue to Higher Tregunnon Farm.
2 Just beyond the farmhouse, turn left at the public footpath sign on a barn post and cross the field to a stile. Ahead is the wind farm at Napps Moor, strikingly modern in this ancient landscape of small fields and isolated hamlets. Cross the next field and follow the steep path downhill to a stile (damaged at the time of writing). Cross over and continue steeply downhill to a lane. Turn right and follow the lane over the River Inny with its small waterfall.
3 Continue to Laneast church, noted for its wagon roof, ancient bench ends and the pulpit where John Wesley preached. Follow the lane for a further 100m to a sharp bend and turn right at the footpath sign. Walk through the farmyard by a series of gates and stiles as signed. Cross the field ahead. Aim for the bottom left-hand corner of the next field. Cross the brook by a stone bridge. The well-marked path goes ahead over a series of stiles and fields to the lane at Trespearne. Turn right and follow the lane downhill to Gimbletts Mill. Note the old millstone set in a wall.
4 Cross the six-span stone bridge and continue for 100m. Turn left at the public footpath sign and walk on to a stile. Continue to another stile and then cut half diagonally right across a field to a further stile. Follow the direction arrows across the next field to a green lane and walk on to Trethinna.
5 Turn right onto the lane at Trethinna and left at the T-junction. After 20m, turn right into a signed public footpath. Continue for 300m to a waymark just before Trerithick Farm. Turn sharp right up the lane as signed to a field gate. The well-marked path continues to Trenarrett over a series of fields divided by high Cornish hedgebanks. Some are crossed by gates, others by stiles. A green lane leads into Trenarrett.
6 Turn left at the second waymark post at Trenarrett (this had fallen over at the time of writing). Turn left at the second post 50m ahead. Follow the path downhill to the bridge over Penpont Water. Walk ahead towards Oldhay. Skirting to the right of the farm, continue uphill to a field gate. Turn right here as signed. Continue ahead following the marker arrows over fields, including two stiles. At the second stile cut diagonally left across the field ahead to Tresmaine. Walk through the farmyard and take the public footpath signed Altarnun . Continue as signed across fields and stiles to Altarnun.
Points of interest
Altarnun church, with its 16th-century carved bench ends, Norman font and Celtic cross
Altarnuns 15th-century packhorse bridge
Views south to Bodmin Moor
Laneast church, where John Wesley preached
The six-span stone bridge (1847) at Gimbletts Mill
Start: Roadside parking near Altarnun Church, grid ref SX223814
Terrain: Footpaths, bridlepaths and country lanes, generally well marked, but attention needed to direction signs and map. Occasionally steep; muddy and wet in parts after rain
Maps: OS Landranger 201 or Explorer 109
Child/dog friendly: Suitable for older children; dogs must be on leads. A lot of stiles, some high, to negotiate
Refreshments: Kings Head at Five Lanes, Rising Sun near Treween
Public transport: Limited services from Launceston. Check on 0871 200 2233
Photos by Robert Hesketh