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33


CARDINHAM WOODS Bodmin Pushing the boundaries here but if we always hung out “By the Dart” then we’d probably not appreciate our surroundings for what they are and this is very do-able as a day trip if the A38 is not too long a haul for you. We in fact stumbled across this family haven on the way back from a few days’ break at Watergate Bay in Cornwall (I say “break”, I mean “flipping hectic/more tired than when I left/someone please take my son off my hands for at least an hour/experience” – but it was good in its own way). We were looking to break our journey and the woods were sign-posted from the roundabout near Bodmin Parkway. TripAdvisor also rated the café top notch – aptly named Woods café – no prizes for inventiveness there I’m afraid – but we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The drive down to the woods is scenic and we parked


in the spacious car park and headed over to the café for lunch. The car park isn’t free but you can’t really complain about £3 for a whole day’s parking – and there’s no risk of reversing into a pillar here, which I do fairly frequently given half the chance. We didn’t make the café initially, because right


Introducing the new Spring ranges


next door is a fab play area; climbing frames/walls built out of the natural timber of the woods and shaped like woodland creatures. Rafa was in and our of tunnels and trying to throw himself to his death within seconds. I left the boys to it and went to order our lunch. Woods café is a gorgeous old woodman’s cottage, warm and welcoming, with books and toys to keep the kids entertained. Nick and Rafa joined me fifteen minutes later – still in one piece – and were greeted by a veritable feast of homemade parsnip soup, frittata, pulled pork baps and hot chocolate laced with something alcoholic – not in Rafa’s obviously, although I am sometimes sorely tempted. It was very good value and we enjoyed it immensely; more so, it would appear, than the lady sitting on the sofa by the fire, whose coffee and walnut cake fell victim to the tongue of another customer’s Bassett hound. We made a speedy exit to avoid the ensuing drama. The woods are full of both


cycling and walking tracks and you can hire bikes if you don’t have your own/can’t be bothered to put them in the car. The tracks are wide and clearly mapped with distance and difficulty indicators. Feeling refreshed by our lunch and ready for some crisp winter air, we decided to tackle a walk that climbed up to an old tin mine. The trees are huge and impressive and we walked along by a beautiful river. Feeling very at one with nature, we forgot for a moment that we had a little creature, snoring gently in the back pack and the holiday feeling finally kicked in. We drove home contented,


Sally Brown 3 UNION ST • DARTMOUTH • 01803 832028


refreshed and ready for another hot chocolate. This time in a Nkuku Indigo Drop mug no less. After all, who needs alcohol when you have expensive china? Further info on the woods


and activities available, including woodcraft activities for children, can be found via www.forestry.gov. uk.•


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