Brown Willy (possibly from Cornish Bronn Ewhella meaning “highest hill”. But it could also come from the Cornish Bronn Wennili meaning “hill of swallows”
The last time I walked to the top of Brown Willy I was 17 (young and fit) and as I remember it was hard going then, but now at nearly 60 I wanted to do it again.
Brown Willy is Cornwall’s highest hill, with a summit reaching 1,378 feet (420 meters) above sea level. Located among the rocky outcrops and desolate reaches of Bodmin Moor,
We parked at Rough Tor car park and walked down into the valley and across one of the tributaries of the river Camel, then up over Rough Tor Moor to the top of Rough Tor, Cornwalls second highest peak, from here we could see Brown Willy and from this height it didn’t look that hard of a climb..… We then walked down into the valley and across the De Lank river and started our climb to the top. It was hard going and we had a few stops on the way.
Upon reaching the summit, a trig point can be found located next to a cairn. The cairns located nearby are believed to date back to the early Bronze Age; it has been considered a sacred place for centuries. The cairns have never been excavated and folklore speculates that an ancient Cornish King may even be buried underneath one of them.
The views are magnificent and although it wasn’t the clearest of days we could still see the expanse of Bodmin Moor all the way to Park Head and beyond.