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More than meets the eye...
Bodmin in General
Member Name: nikkisly
Bodmin in General
Date: 29/01/01, updated on 29/01/01 (152 review reads)
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At first glance, Bodmin may look like a town with very little to offer the visitor. True, there are few shops, most of which are located on the one main street, (although don't forget to check the alleyways leading off!) Apart from a small branch of both Boots and Woolworths, the majority of the shops are of the small, local, friendly variety...
But, then, Bodmin isn't about shopping. At the bottom of the main street, for example, a short walk away from the town's large pay and display car park, is the recently refurbished museum. This tells the history of the town up until the end of the second World War. It recently hosted a Charlotte Diamond exhibition, commemorating a servant girl who was brutally murdered at nearby Rough Tor (pronounced row - as in argument).This featured an 'actual' court room scene with live actors. Admission to the museum is free - opening hours vary according to the season, but are usually between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm (closed Sundays). There is also a second museum devoted to the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry. This is open all year from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm on weekdays only. Admission is £1 with reductions for children.
If you're still wallowing in yesteryear, the Bodmin and Wenford Steam railway is within walking distance. Again, opening hours vary according to the season. (Tel 01208 73666). The railway links with the long distance foot/cycle path known as the Camel Trail which runs through the Camel Valley and beyond. You can hire cycles at various points along the trail - or just walk and enjoy the scenery.
A visit to the eery Bodmin Jail is a must for those who are brave enough. It dates back to 1776, and visitors can walk through the dungeons or pose for photographs in the stocks or at the site of the old gallows. There are a variety of exhibitions and tableaux depicting justice at the former county jail. The prison is open every day from 10.00 am (11.00 am on Saturdays) until 6.00
pm. There is free parking, a tea room and, of course, the obligatory souvenir shop! (Tel 01208 76292)
Whilst on the subject of the jail, visit the Hole in the Wall pub in Bodmin - not only will you get a good meal, but, at the end of the garden, is a wall plaque giving the names of all those who were hanged at the jail and their crimes.
If you are tiring of historical Bodmin, visit the Dragon Leisure Centre which has a swimming pool with flume, squash courts, indoor tennis courts and health and fitness suites with sauna, steam room and jaccuzzi. The centre is open every day, although times vary (Tel 01208 75715)
Within easy driving distance of Bodmin are Pencarrow and Lanhydrock - stately homes and gardens which are open to the public. Both have large collections of magnolias, camelias and rhododendrons, so are particularly beautiful in Spring. At nearby Lanivet, you can pamper yourself with a visit to the Lakeview Beauty Spa which offers a variety of beauty treatments to non- members from eyelash dyeing to manicures and leg waxing to wraps (Tel 01208 831808). Also at Lanivet, the atmospheric St Benet's Abbey Restaurant, although this is not really suited for children - more of an adult treat!
Further information about Bodmin and the surrounding area can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre (Tel 01208 76616). This gives details not only of attractions but of accommodation and also of organised walks in the beautiful surrounding countryside...tell them Nikki sent you.
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