Bodmin, Cornwall is a historic town which was once the county town of Cornwall. Although it doesn’t lie on the main tourist trail, the town isn’t short of things to do. There are unique attractions, historic houses, and vast stretches of countryside to explore. Bodmin is quite centrally located, so it’s a great base to explore the rest of Cornwall.
There are two museums to visit in Bodmin. The Town Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the town, all the way back to prehistoric times. As well as artefacts from the Stone and Bronze Ages, there are more recent items like an 18th century fire engine. There are some interesting displays which bring to life typical scenes in Cornish history, including a blacksmith’s forge and a common Cornish kitchen. If you’re more interested in warfare, the Bodmin Keep is an authentic Victorian Army Keep and former home of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Check out the impressive collection of historic weaponry, stained glass windows and Cold War era Regimental cells.
One of the most popular attractions in Bodmin, this historic jail dates back to the 18th century. It operated for 150 years and saw over 50 public hangings during this time. It is also noted as Britain’s first jail to put prisoners in individual cells. The jail itself was built by prisoners who brought 20,000 tons of granite from the Cuckoo Quarry in Bodmin. There is plenty to do as you wander through the corridors and discover the displays showing what life was like as a prisoner in Victorian Cornwall. Don’t miss the Execution Shed, a fully restored Victorian hanging pit and the only remaining one in the UK. Learn about the jail’s unique architecture, design, and engineering, from the heating and cooling systems to the carved wood panelling. Find out more.
Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway
Running between Bodmin Parkway to Boscarne Junction, the Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway runs for six miles through scenic Cornish countryside. At Bodmin General, you can visit the workshop viewing area, where restoration and repair work is carried out on locomotives and rolling stock. Stop at any of the stations, which are all great spots to wander round and head off on a countryside walk. Operating between February and December, the trains also have special events throughout the season including ‘Steam Beer & Jazz trains’, ‘Murder Mystery Evenings’ and the festive Santa by Steam trains. Read moor.
Bodmin is situated in a great place to head outdoors and into nature. Bodmin Moor is one of Cornwall’s AONBs – a granite moorland stretching over 208 square kilometres. There are plenty of remains of prehistoric settlements to discover, including high granite tors, prehistoric hut circles and standing stones, and the more modern remains of mining and quarrying. Find out more.