Bodmin is 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, and the name means "aode of the monks".
It was originally the county town in Cornwall and the site of a Cornish Stannary. Then, it was the home of the County Assize until the 1980s. With the rise of the railway in the 19th century, Truro became the county town, and in 1870, it was given city status with the opeing of it cathedral. Some may say that it is a more apt location for a county town.
In the 1970s, the London used Bodmin, along with 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.
- The public buildings in the centre of town have been nicely restored and on a sunny day passes muster.
- A small military museum, if this is your bag, is opposite the steam railway.
- Bodmin Jail, described as a holiday attraction, this may not be everyone's cup of tea. It 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.
- Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway - Bodmin is the starting point of about 20 mi 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.
- The 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.
- St Petroc's Church, Church Square. 15th century church building. Largest parish church in Cornwall. See the 11th century granite font with carved celtic design and the 12th century bone reliquary for remains of St Petroc edit
The shops are average.