I wanted to post some pictures from a recent yomp up to the top of Roughtor on Bodmin Moor, taking in Showery Tor because it’s on the way up anyway. Let’s get pronunciation sorted out for Roughtor first though. It’s apparently not rough, as in not smooth, or a ruff around an Elizabethans neck, it’s rough to rhyme with cow. Or Slough. Yep, I appreciate that’s all very confusing and I don’t know why it is either. In England though, we can have a row with our next door neighbour over a row of hedging, especially if it’s a bit rough.

And then there’s Roughtor or Rough Tor?

The Ordnance Survey map has it as Rough Tor, but you approach it by Roughtor Road, a long and straight single track lane with a hugely dramatic deep dip in it, which my kids enjoy screaming like they’re riding a roller coaster as we drive through it. Then the Forestry Commission sign announces, when you get to the car park entrance, that you have reached Roughtor. So I’m going with Roughtor. Anyway, some pictures.

On the way up the hill towards the Tors I was buzzed by a low flying Hercules. By the time I got to the ridge and could then see the rest of Bodmin Moor, stretching off towards the distant china clay mountains of St Austell, I could see the speck of now faraway plane turning and heading back towards me for a return flyover. I scurried up to the top of Showery Tor in time to get my camera set up for a continuous burst of shots as the drone of the plane engines got steadily louder.



I followed it over my shoulder until it was over the local landmark of the Dairy Crest factory at Davidstow, visible from many places around North Cornwall. In fact it’s often a glinting beacon that gets my bearings sorted if I am a little lost, which still happens even after nearly a year of living nearby.

This was the only bit of blue in the sky, in every other direction it was a bit cloudy and grey up here and it was breezy with it, so I didn’t hang about too long. I traversed the ridge over to Little Roughtor (which I think the rough bit still rhymes with cow even if it’s little) and spent a few minutes on the summit of Roughtor itself to take in the view. The North Cornwall coastline can be made out in the distance, looking roughly (that’s proper rough, not Roughtor rough) west. Distant views rarely photograph well by themselves so the full visual splendour of the full 360° from up there is just one of those things best seen and experienced rather than trying to squeeze into a few megapixels.

Of course that didn’t stop me trying a couple of shots up there, so, regardless of pretty flat lighting on this particular day here are a few attempts to show off the magnificently moody Tors. Whatever they’re called.


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