Hello everyone. It’s Vicky here (Mike’s girlfriend). I’ve popped up in quite a few articles recently, so thought it was about time I wrote something for you all from a girl’s perspective. So, here is goes: this afternoon Mike and I decided to hike up to Brown Willy. He’s lived in Cornwall his whole life and hadn’t yet been to this well known “landmark”. So today was the day.
We parked in the allocated car park for Rough Tor (pronounced Row-Tor), got out our rucksacks and popped on our boots. I have just got a new pair of Quechua hiking boots and wanted to wear them in on a shortish hike, and this was the perfect opportunity.
Bags ready and boots on, we headed down through the car park to the gate. It’s a great view from here up to the first set of tors. I was super excited to reach the top and see Brown Willy as you actually can’t see it from the car park.
We crossed the bridge over a small stream then followed the track up the hill. The tors are easy to spot, so as long as you walk up the hill towards them, you’re basically going to the right way. We walked up the hill towards a rocky patch. On our map it showed that we were heading between “Little Rough Tor” (the 2nd Tor from the left on the skyline) and the stack of rocks to the right of it. On the way up the hill you pass some remains of settlements, which apparently consist of 120 hut circles, fragments of field systems and small enclosures dating from the Bronze Age. Sadly, we didn’t find any ancient treasures but the settlement remains were still very cool. It’s always awesome to think that one time there were people living there and these remains were actually buildings.
The further you go up, the more you notice the reeds lining the slopes on the lefthand side. We followed these reeds up the slope leading us to a spring called Rough Tor Holy Well. Pagan Celtic people used to worship these natural “wonders” as they believed this water had healing properties.
We continued trekking up the hill to the rock stacks. There are 3 Tors on the top of Rough Tor (Logan Rock, Little Rough Tor and Showery Tor), all really easy to spot from the map. We climbed up Logan Rock and the view of Brown Willy in the distance was epic. It was like something from Lord of the Rings. Rough Tor is the second highest peak on Bodmin Moor (the highest is Brown Willy).
Once we reached Showery Tor, we walked to the opposite side of it, turned right along the rock stacks and headed diagonally down the hill towards the valley. In the valley there is a stream and a bridge to cross. This was super exciting as we were about to ascend Brown Willy. We climbed the stile and hiked up the path. It’s quite bumpy terrain. Luckily, my new boots were really suitable for walking around the rugged Cornish landscape as they have really good grip and excellent traction. I didn’t slip and felt safe when walking on the rocks.
The walk up to Brown Willy is pretty long and steep, but it is a good hike. There are a few trees dotted up the hill, and you can tell by the fact they are stunted and leaning right over, that the wind can be really strong here. Fortunately, it was a calm and sunny day, so the wind wasn’t any issue at all. The peak is actually 420m above sea level (20m taller that Rough Tor), so the views from the top are awesome. The name Brown Willy comes from the Cornish “Bronn Wennili” meaning “Hill of Swallows”.
After about one and a half hours of walking we finally reach the summit so we climbed the cairns (rock piles) for a while. It was such a beautiful day, and everything just seemed really calm and peaceful, the perfect place for cuppa (prior to the journey we had filled our Klean Kanteen bottle with some tea and brought a couple of mugs too). We sat and enjoyed the view across the moors and towards Rough Tor. Just spectacular and so barren, there was no one else there except us and the livestock grazing on the moorland – it made me feel very lucky to live in Cornwall.
My new boots are the Quechua Forclaz 500 High Women’s Walking Boots. What attracted me to these boots to begin with was the bright Colour. I’m always one for choosing something with strong, vibrant colours and this particular style of boot just seemed fantastic for the type of walking and hiking we do on a regular basis, so I thought I’d give them a try.
They really are super comfy to wear as they have an EVA sock lining in each boot which increases comfort. As I walked, it felt as if there is a sort of built in “suspension”, a type of cushioning, which makes them great to wear on all day hikes (and stops me moaning that my feet hurt an hour into the walk).
Some hiking shoes feel slightly tight in places, however, I found that these boots have a well-fitting shape and room inside so were extremely comfortable to wear for the whole day, no rubbing or pressure points – meaning no blisters! Being made from modern, technical fabrics, makes them extremely light which stops your legs from aching anywhere near as much as a pair of old fashioned heavy boots. Woop woop!
The Quechua Forclaz 500s felt very secure and, as they are high-tops, my ankles felt really supported. The laces tie right up to the top, so I could make them as tight as I needed them to be. Overall, I felt very confident in these boots and will be wearing them on a very regular basis due to the comfort factor, the excellent grip and the fact they are extremely waterproof. Two thumbs up from me! I hope you’ve enjoyed my first ever blog post and that Mike will let me loose on his site again in the future (fingers crossed).