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Walking picks with Emma: A circular walk around Restormel Castle and Lostwithiel

At the best of times, the British obsession with the weather is ingrained in our culture, but the summer of 2023 took it to another level, and making plans during a predicted dry hour or so in the weather forecast became an art form!

A dry, but overcast afternoon was forecast, so with the prospect of (possibly!) not getting a drenching as has so often been the case of late, we hurried out in our walking boots and were prepared for mud! We’d chosen a circular walk from Restormel Castle, along the valley to Lostwithiel and set off on the 3.7 mile route in very humid air.


Following the lane uphill and past the Norman castle, we were treated to peeks of the battlements of the perfectly circular keep. Upwards through a field of wheat, and on into very overgrown woodland (courtesy of the wet and warm weather!), the route took us on past the old mine workings of Restormel Royal Mine, now walled-off for safety as it’s a huge chasm surrounded by trees, with a dramatic drop! Brambles dripping with blackberries lined our route in the more wooded areas, but on leaving the woods we found hedgerows filled with hydrangeas lining the lanes.

Gradually, our route took us through farmland, then along Montbretia-flanked narrow alleys into the mediaeval capital of the county, nestled at the head of the estuary of the River Fowey. Our route then wound us around the pretty town filled with antique shops and welcoming cafes, before taking us through the 14th century churchyard. From here, we made our way back up Restormel Lane, through shaded wooded areas, running uphill alongside the Fowey valley (designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and past the town’s Bowling Club before arriving back at the car.

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