Earlier this month, we took a trip down to Cornwall in south west England. This was partly because we made a decision to start exploring parts of the UK we have never visited before, but mostly because I’m writing a new paranormal series based in the area and wanted to get a real feel for the place.
We’d visited Cornwall once before when we were much younger, but I’d never really appreciated it then and this time I was stunned by the beauty of the area. We based ourselves in Bodmin, a town on the edge of the hauntingly beautiful Bodmin Moor. Having expected a largely barren vista, I was surprised that the moor’s landscape is so diverse. At eighty square miles, we only scraped the surface. For starters, we decided to follow The Copper Trail, a sixty mile circular walk along footpaths and tracks which take you through the remains of the hard rock mining industry and 5000 year old prehistoric monuments.
We began by driving to Golitha Falls, a nature reserve on the southern edge of the moor which is home to otters, great spotted woodpeckers and grey wagtails. So lush, and incredibly peaceful. Just the sound of birds, water and our gasps of awe at the beauty to be found there. Moving onward, we visited the Minions, an area dotted with old copper mine engine houses and tors, which are weathered granite rock towers. Then onto the Bronze Age monument, The Hurlers, a group of three great stone circles. The name derives from a legend in which men were playing a Cornish game called ‘hurling’ on a Sunday. As punishment they were magically transformed into stones.
On our way home, which took us straight through the middle of the moor, we made a stop off for morning coffee at Jamaica Inn, the place where Daphne du Maurier set her famous novel. She is said to have been riding on the moor and sought refuge at the inn when a thick fog set in. While she was there, she was entertained with smuggling tales and ghost stories, which obviously provided much inspiration for her novel. Built in 1750, Jamaica Inn was originally a coaching inn and a staging post for changing horses. It is said to be one of the UKs most haunted places, and during the year several ghost hunting weekends take place there.
We had a really great time during our first trip to Bodmin, and are already planning a return trip this summer. There is so much to explore. Oh, and Daphne du Maurier wasn’t the only one inspired to write while on Bodmin Moor. I came back with ideas buzzing, not only for the current series I’m writing but a future one too. I can’t imagine anyone visiting this beautifully eerie, rugged and intriguing place without having their imagination fired.
I’m with you in seeing the inspiration in the area. As having the opportunity of previewing you’re novels set in Bodmin I’m astounded at how well you paint the area. I could almost see the characters as I looked at the pictures. I hope you write many more books from this area as I love the stories, and now more than ever where they take place.
Thanks for the lovely compliment, Lavada. I’ve come back brimming with ideas to keep the series going 🙂 It’s not hard to be inspired by such an intriguing area of the UK.
I LOVE it when a place inspires you like this. That’s what happened to me in Alaska. I fell in love with the area. Bodmin sounds VERY intriguing and like a GREAT place for a series.
I can tell you fell in love with Alaska, Laurie, and Northern Lights is testimony to the fact. Loved that book. I really enjoy getting the juices flowing with ideas, especially when surrounded by such amazing and inspiring surroundings.
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I love Cornwall. Haven’t been there for years so perhaps it’s time to venture down there again. Truly inspiring landscape for your series, Tricia. Can’t wait to hear and read more. x
Get yourself down there, Kit. You’ll love it 🙂
wow. Sounds very inspiring. I have always, always wanted to go to Cornwall having read many stories based there. One day I’m going to make it there. Jillian
You’d enjoy it, Jillian, especially the Courtroom Experience which focuses on a Victorian murder trail which is the subject of my next blog.
ooooh. COOL! I would love that. Can’t wait for the post. 🙂
I love it when an area just gets my imagination buzzing with book ideas! Your pictures are excellent, and I love the lore of the men turning to stone for playing on a Sunday! 😛
Thanks, Valerie. I love hearing about legends attached to places I visit, it certainly makes things more interesting!