Cape Cornwall to St Ives: The Cousin Jack Classic Trail Run.

Distance: 17 miles.

Elevation: 3384 feet.

Duration: 4 hours.

Difficulty: Extreme.

Map: OS Explorer 102 (1:25,000): Land’s End, Penzance & St Ives. Waterproof version available (bit more expensive but will take more punishment!)

There cant be many wilder more remote sections of the South West Coast Path than the section between Cape Cornwall and St Ives. Stunning scenery, pot marked with mine shafts and crisscrossed with fossilized field systems laid out in the Bronze Age.

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On Location with Poldark: Trail Running & Walking in Poldark Country Botallack Cornwall.

Cameras and sound equipment next to 'Ross Poldarks' mine.

Cameras and sound equipment next to ‘Ross Poldarks’ mine.

The airing of the new adaptation of Winston Graham’s Poldark reminded me that I still had photos to upload from my summer trail running around West Cornwall (OS Map 102 Land’s End). The South West Coast Path around West Cornwall is fantastic any time of year. But in summer with the wild flowers out last year it was exceptional. The icing on the cake was stumbling across the set of the BBC’s latest adaptation of Poldark.

Props for the Poldark set being stored ready for use in a field near Botallack.

Props for the Poldark set being stored ready for use in a field near Botallack.

When I arrived they were on a break from filming and the security guard sunbathing against a Cornish hedge was more than happy for me to have a look around as long as I didn’t disturb him.

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‘Fell’ running fun in Cornwall: Roughtor and Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor. Walk or Run.

Brown Willy Downs looking up at the south side of Brown Willy tor.

Brown Willy Downs looking up at the south side of Brown Willy tor.

There aren’t many mountains in the South West of England but Brown Willy and Roughtor are about as close as you can get without leaving Cornwall.

Brown Willy view towards Colliford Lake.

Brown Willy and the view towards Colliford Lake.

Windswept barren bog and grassland, inter-spaced with hard granite tors, a challenging environment for a run or walk; but also surprisingly a place of real beauty and of contrast. No wonder this landscape has inspired authors and poets for centuries. The most famous of which has to be Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. Anyone who has read this book will be able to experience the menacing foul mood of the moor in bad weather described in the book. Wet, muddy, dark. But also when the sun comes out from behind the mizzle; a landscape of colour. Reds, creams, and browns against a dazzling blue sky.

If you want to explore Bodmin Moor OS map 109 is a must. If you know the moors at all then you might want to consider the waterprooof version!

Sun, blue sky and vivid colours over the moors.

Sun, blue sky and vivid colours over the moors.

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Top 5 trail running places in Mid & West Cornwall

Top 5 trail running places in Cornwall

Cornwall is home to some great trail and ultra running races due to its dramatic scenery, changeable weather and abundant trails.

With so many great running spots we couldn’t cover them all in a ‘top 5’. So if your favourite spot doesn’t get a mention, please leave a comment below and we can review it for a future blog post.

Here is our top 5 list of the best trails in Cornwall to run.

Runner up – The Bissoe Trail
Being an old mine tramway this trail is mostly flat and wide enough to cycle 4 abreast. It also barely passes the trail running test of “if you can push a pushchair along it, it’s not a trail”. That said you do get a 22 mile round trip, off road, from coast to coast. Ideal.

Map: OS Explorer 104 Redruth and St Agnes.

5th place
5. North coast – Godreathy-Portreath-St Agnes

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