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Bodmin (Cornish: Bosvena) a small town of around 15,000 people in the middle of Cornwall to the south west of Bodmin Moor. It was the major religious and administrative centre for Cornwall throughout the Middle Ages from the late Saxon period onwards (Bodmin = abode of the monks). Originally the county town in Cornwall and the site of a Cornish Stannary then the home of the County Assize until 1980s. With the rise of the railway in the 19th century, Truro became the county town and in 1870 was given city status with the opening of its cathedral. Some may say this a more apt location for county town.

This page also covers the nearby town of Lostwithiel (Cornish: Lostwydhyel).


In the 1970s, the Greater London Council used Bodmin, and many other towns, to relocate its council tenants, creating several estates around the town.

It would be very easy to write Bodmin off but there are good points.

Get in

By train

  • 1 Bodmin Parkway railway station. Served approximately hourly by trains west to Penzance and east to Plymouth. Past Plymouth, a number of trains connect to or from London Paddington, and a few to Bristol, the north of England, and Scotland. BlueFlash 11A buses connect the station to Bodmin town centre (the station is about 4 miles outside of town and not easily walkable). (updated Jun 2018)
  • Lostwithiel railway station. Served approximately every two hours by trains in each direction. The same services pass through this station as Bodmin Parkway, but only around half make a stop at Lostwithiel. (updated Jun 2018)

Get around



  • The public buildings in the centre of town have been nicely restored and on a sunny day passes muster.
  • 1 Cornwall's Regimental Museum, The Keep, Victoria Barracks, PL31 1EG (opposite the steam railway), ☏ +44 1208 72810. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM, M closed. A small military museum, if this is your bag. (updated Jun 2018)
  • 2 Bodmin Jail, Berrycoombe Road, PL31 2NR, ☏ +44 1208 76292. Described as a holiday attraction, may not be everyone's cup of tea. The gaol dates from the 1770s and is rather large, with many ghost and scare stories to go with it. The Beast of Bodmin legend may have arisen to scare any prisoners thinking of escaping across the Moor.  
  • Lanhydrock, PL30 5AD (2 miles south of Bodmin), ☏ +44 1208 265950, ✉ lanhydrock@nationaltrust.org.uk.  


  • 4 Restormel Castle, Nr Restormel Rd, PL22 0EE (6 miles south of Bodmin), ☏ +44 1208 872687. A ruined castle run by English Heritage, notable for being almost completely cylindrical. You can walk around most of the castle's walls circumference by climbing the stairs on either side of the castle's former gatehouse. There are a few signs detailing the castle's history, but they are worn and in need of replacement. Adults £3.60, children £2.20, concessions £3.20.  
  • Lostwithiel Museum, 16 Fore St, PL22 0BW. Volunteer-run museum. Small exhibition in the window for when the museum is closed. (updated Jan 2018)


  • Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway, PL31 1AG, ☏ +44 1208 73555, ✉ enquiries@bodminrailway.co.uk. Bodmin is the starting point of 20-odd miles of enthusiast-run and -owned steam line that links with the main London to Penzance line at Bodmin Parkway. Give it a look see fun for all the family especially those into steam....they have murder-mystery night and food days too!  
  • 1 Camel Trail. A lovely walk and cycle ride way, converted from an old railway runs close to the centre of the town. The Trail runs from Padstow to high on Bodmin Moor. Experienced bike riders should avoid the trail on summer weekends, as it is full of families with young children all over the path. It is level with a gentle slope west to east.  
  • 2 St Petroc's Church, Church Square. 15th-century church building. Largest parish church in Cornwall. See 11th-century granite font with carved celtic design and 12th-century bone reliquary for remains of St Petroc.  
  • 3 Cardinham Woods, PL30 4AL (A30 to Carminnow Cross junction then follow brown signs to Cardinham Woods). Walk through the forestry commision's Cardinham Woods site which offers various trails through the deep cut valley including past the overgrown remains of the engine house of the former lead and silver mine at Wheal Glynn. (updated Jul 2020)


The shops in Bodmin are average, and there are lots of Polish shops.



  • 1 Green Cart Farm Gin Distillery, Lostwithiel PL22 0HY. Small farm gin distillery, which offers masterclases in gin production. Also three cottages for rent, and a perfume and candle business. (updated May 2018)


  • 1 The Globe Inn, 3 North StreetLostwithiel, PL22 0EG, ☏ +44 1208 872501, ✉ willerwin6@gmail.com. Also does food and drink. £70. (updated Apr 2016)
  • 2 The Royal Oak Inn, Duke St., Lostwithiel, ☏ +44 1208 872552, ✉ enquiries@royaloakcornwall.com. Also does food and drink. £75. (updated Apr 2016)
  • 3 St Tudy Inn, St Tudy PL30 3NN (10 miles north of Bodmin), ☏ +44 1208 850656. Gastropub with four rooms in a picture-perfect village. B&B double £210. (updated Jun 2020)

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