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Liskeard offers a useful overnight stop location for those splitting the long first day of the Smugglers Way OR for those looking to take the dramatic Bodmin Moor Ten Tors route option through the remotest parts of the moor to rejoin the Smugglers Way at Jamaica Inn.


An ancient stannary and market town, Liskeard (population c. 9000) is off the main tourist trail and retains its authenticity as a result of this. The Cattle Market still operates here and this was until recently the administrative centre for the surrounding district of Caradon. The dramatic Tors of Bodmin Moor lie a short distance to the north, whilst the town itself has excellent transport connections on both the main London to Penzance railway as well as the stunning scenic Looe Valley Branch line to Looe.


As a bustling market town, it has a good selection of unusual and independent shops in its centre, many still housed in the old Victorian shop fronts of yesteryear.  Well worth a browse, there are quality local food, arts & crafts, clothes and book shops, as well as more general outlets that will provide for anything the passing walker needs to source.


There is a reasonable range of accommodation for The Smugglers Way walker, from B&B's, Guest Houses and small Hotels through to a Country House option on the outskirts of the town in lavish grounds. There are a handful of pubs and several popular restaurants giving a choice for evening meals before you head off for the remote moorland stops.


Listed in the Doomsday Book, the major expansion of the town came through the nearby copper, lead and silver mining on Bodmin Moor during the 19th century.  The grand buildings in the centre of the town hark back to that industrial era, including The Guildhall, Town Council Hall and Foresters Hall. The town is unusual in that there are no fewer than 6 Masonic bodies still meeting at the Masonic Hall in The Parade


The Stuart House a well preserved late medieval town house, now an Art and Heritage Centre which is free to visit.  It got its name after being taken over by King Charles 1st as he brought his army here during the Civil War. Visitors will find the garden to the rear of the House has been laid out as an intriguing 17th century Gentlemen’s Garden. The impressive 15th century Church of St Martins is also well worth a visit and in keeping with the rest of the towns impressive architecture this is the second largest Parish Church in Cornwall. Nearby is the ancient Pipe Well, an old stone well fed by four springs which have never run dry, and said to give miracle cures for ‘weak eyes’. The town has a short heritage trail that links all these sites and makes for an interesting pre dinner stroll. The Town Museum is free and is worth checking out if you want to find out more about the history and culture of Bodmin Moor and its mining heritage prior to walking through it on The Smugglers Way route.

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