WALKS FOR COUPLES
A short walk from Minions to Stowe Hill is rewarded with a rich slice of Cornwall’s prehistoric past and recent industrial history. It could be accomplished in well under two hours, but is worth taking time over. Head north past the Hurlers, three Bronze Age stone circles. According to legend, these are men turned to stone as a punishment for hurling on the Sabbath.
Continue across the trackbed of the Liskeard and Caradon Railway (1844– 1917) to the iconic 6m tall Cheesewring on Stowe Hill. So-called from its resemblance to a cheese press, the Cheesewring is a superb granite pile sculpted by nature. Nearby is Gumb’s Cave, where self-taught astronomer Daniel Gumb (1703–73) lived with his wife and nine children – though room must have been tight! Although Cheesewring Quarry, which supplied stone for London’s Westminster and Tower Bridges as well as many local buildings, took a massive chunk out of Stowe Hill the Neolithic enclosures (c4000–3,500 BC) on the summit survive and are worth exploring.
Follow the track south from Cheesewring Quarry for fine views to Phoenix United Mine, with the patchwork fields beyond stretching to the Tamar Valley, and Dartmoor on the horizon. Finally, call at Houseman’s Engine House (the Minions Heritage Centre), with its fascinating historical and geological displays and finds.
Terrain: Tracks, footpaths and open moor. Some rocks to clamber over. Please take car.
Maps: Ordnance Survey Explorer 109 ; Landranger 20
Refreshments: Cheesewring Hotel, 01579 362321; Hurler’s Halt 01579 363056 and Minions Shop/Tearoom 01579 228652.
Public Toilets: Minions
Public Transport: 236 Launceston/ Liskeard route stops Upton Cross, 2km (1 ¼ mile) from Minions, weekdays 0871 2002233 www.travelinesw.com