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Cardinham Woods

cycling at cardinham woods

Enjoy Forest Family Fun in Cardinham Woods

Situated in a sheltered valley near Bodmin, beautiful Cardinham Woods encompasses over 400 acres of woodland trails perfect for a family day immersed in nature. The tranquil site is managed sustainably by Forestry England and offers cycling, walking, play zones plus seasonal highlights like gorgeous bluebells in spring.

Here’s everything you need to plan a family day full of forest fun and discovery at beautiful Cardinham Woods in Cornwall.

cardinham woods trees

Getting There

Cardinham Woods is just north of the village of Glynn, around 2.5 miles from Bodmin off the A389 road. Well signed from the main road, it has a free car and bicycle park for visitors.

If you are using sat nav, put in the post code – PL30 4AL

Bodmin Parkway train station is 4 miles away while the 76 bus runs hourly from Bodmin, stopping at Glynn Valley.

Opening Times and Entry

Open daily from dawn until dusk, visitors are welcome to explore Cardinham’s public forest areas and walking trails year round. The play trail and Art cabin facilities have more limited hours, generally 9.30am – 4pm daily.

The Ranger’s Hut is open 9.30am-3.30pm weekends and bank holidays, and 9.30am-11.30am on weekdays.

Entry is free to roam the woods with no admission costs. Pay-and-display charges apply for parking.

cardinham clapper bridge

Top Trails and Activities

Must-try family activities amongst the forest’s trails include:

  • Cycling – over 4 miles of waymarked mountain biking loop trails plus a skills zone for honing techniques. Bikes can be hired on site.
  • Walking – meander through lush woodlands and cross babbling streams on 6 miles of colour coded walking routes filled with seasonal nature.
  • Orienteering – borrow an all-weather map from the ranger cabin and try your hand at navigating the trails to locate the marker posts.
  • Play Zone – the huge timber play area has elevated walkways, balance beams, pole climbers, slides and viewing platforms nestled into the forest. Next to an open recreation space. They currently have a Zog Activity trail, which looks like a lot of fun.
  • Art Cabin – get creative in the community art cabin using materials found across the estate like pebbles or wildflowers to make natural sculptures.

Seasonal Highlights

As well as its permanent playgrounds and trails, Cardinham Woods hosts fun seasonal happenings:

  • Bluebell Spectacular – an April carpet of vivid bluebells floods the ancient woodland floor in a truly magical spring spectacle.
  • Forest School Activities – at weekends and holidays, kids can try crafts like den building using natural materials found in the woods.
  • Mason Bee Watch – in early summer, the ranger team set up telescopes so families can safely spot these important pollinators nesting in the dead wood habitats.
  • Fungi Forays – guided autumnal walks help kids discover magical mushrooms and fabulous fungi.


The Woods Cafe offers hot meals and tempting cake alongside hot drinks. Vending machines provide snacks too.

The cafe is open 7 days a week, 10.30am until 4pm. They have a fantastic selection of hot and cold meals, including (obviously in this part of the world) Cornish cream teas.

Park toilets and a baby change facility are located next to the cafe and bicycle hire centre which stocks cycle safety equipment.

With enchanting nature, adventurous trails and outdoor play for all ages, Cardinham Woods is ideal for an active family day surrounded by forest splendour.

cafe at cardinham

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Cardinham Woods? – Yes, dogs are welcome. They shouldbe kept on leads in the cafe and the play areas, but will enjoy running free in the woods.

How big is Cardinham Woods? – They have 4 miles of trails and the area covers 650 acres of woodland.

What trees are at Cardinham Woods? – Various conifers like scots pine and Douglas Fir as well as native broadleaves like oack, beech, birch, rowan, hazel and holly.

cardinham forest

Nearby places to go

Try to get along to see some of these nearby places too:

  • Eden Project – Massive educational botanical gardens housed in biomes containing thousands of plant species from around the world. A fascinating day out.
  • Bodmin Jail – Imposing former prison transformed into an immersive museum offering tours showcasing tales of notorious inmates along with Cornish history.
  • Lanhydrock House – Impressive Victorian country house with expansive gardens, parkland and scenic trails to explore. National Trust property.
  • Jamaica Inn – Historic smugglers inn made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel set on windswept Bodmin Moor. Museum and accommodation available.
  • Golitha Falls – Picturesque walk through woodland leading down to the stunning waterfall on the River Fowey. Perfect for a picnic.
  • Camel Valley Vineyard – Scenic Cornish vineyard near Bodmin offering tours and tutored tastings of its quality English sparkling wines.
  • Trethorne Leisure Park – All weather family entertainment complex with activities from golf driving range to archery, go karting and outdoor laser combat.
  • Colliford Lake – Beautiful 500 acre reservoir nestled on Bodmin Moor, perfect for walking, cycling, fishing and watersports within tranquil wooded surroundings.

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