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Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

Discover History and Intrigue at Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor

On a remote windswept heath between Launceston and Bodmin stands Jamaica Inn, once famed hideaway of 18th century Cornish smugglers. Immortalised in Daphne Du Maurier’s vivid novel, today this historic coaching inn welcomes families seeking smugglers adventures and moorland hospitality.

With atmospheric dining, museum exhibits explaining its dubious past and scenic walking trails to explore, it makes an evocative day out on Bodmin Moor. Here’s everything families need to know for an intriguing visit.

jamaica inn

Getting There

Jamaica Inn is situated 12 miles from both Launceston and Bodmin just off the A30 main road. Well signposted, its secluded location has a large car and coach park for visitors.

While public transport doesn’t stop right outside, the inn runs a free pickup service from both Launceston and Bodmin Parkway train station. Just book 24 hours ahead.

Opening Times

The inn, bar and restaurant opening times are:

  • Daily from 7.30am – 10pm, with food served 7.30am to 8pm

The Jamaica Inn museum is open daily from 8am – 9pm with free entry for dining guests.

The museum costs £3.95 for adults and £2.95 for children.

jamaica inn bodmin moor

Inn Facilities and Prices

Jamaica Inn offers warming hospitality from its wood-beamed bars and dining rooms serving generous country fayre – perfect after adventures on the moor!

Mains like ale-battered fish or honey roasted ham cost around £16 with Cornish cream teas for £7. Well-behaved dogs receive doggy treats too.

Overnight accommodation is available in quaint rooms if you wish to really immerse yourself in the smugglers’ tale!

inside jamaica inn

Smuggling Museum and Jamaica Inn history

Jamaica Inn’s museum tells the absorbing history of Cornwall’s 18th century ‘Free Traders’ who smuggled brandy and tobacco to avoid steep taxes.

Exhibits like concealed pouches and hidden weaponry explain smuggling schemes while models depict secret routes across Bodmin Moor trafficked under moonlight.

Costumed guided tours run Monday, Thursday and Fridays at 4pm to vividly bring adventures to life.

Constructed in 1750, the inn originally served as a coaching stop for travelers traversing the rugged terrain. However, it was during the 18th and 19th centuries that Jamaica Inn earned notoriety for its involvement in smuggling activities.

The inn’s remote location made it an ideal hub for clandestine operations, with its labyrinthine corridors and hidden passages providing the perfect cover for smugglers evading authorities. Rumors abound of secret tunnels linking the inn to the nearby coast, facilitating the illegal transport of contraband such as tea, brandy, and tobacco. This illicit trade flourished amidst the moody landscape, fostering a sense of intrigue and danger that would later inspire Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel.

The inn’s association with smuggling persisted until the early 19th century when increased law enforcement cracked down on these activities.

jamaica inn

Staying at the Jamaica Inn hotel

Staying at Jamaica Inn is a captivating experience that immerses guests in the rich history and unique charm of Cornwall. The hotel blends its storied past with modern comforts, creating an unforgettable retreat.

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by the picturesque surroundings and the distinctive architecture of Jamaica Inn. The accommodation options cater to various preferences, from cozy rooms with classic decor to more spacious suites, each offering a comfortable haven for relaxation. The rooms are thoughtfully designed, featuring modern amenities while retaining the inn’s traditional character.

For those eager to explore the inn’s history, a visit to the museum is a must. Stepping into the museum is like stepping back in time, with exhibits that vividly recount the inn’s smuggling past and its connections to Daphne du Maurier’s literary works. As noted earlier, the guided tours provide additional insights, making the stay not just a getaway but a cultural immersion.

jamaica inn hotel

You can find out more about staying at the hotel and make a booking here.

Nearby Walking Trails

After uncovering Jamaica Inn’s smuggling heritage, stretch legs on the wild expanse of Bodmin Moor:

  • Join the circular walk to Brown Willy – Cornwall’s highest point at 1,375 ft.
  • Hike across Rough Tor’s geology to see bizarre rock formations and abandoned medal mines.
  • Seek out the mysterious but enchanting Dozmary Pool – said to be where King Arthur rowed to Avalon.
  • Follow quiet lanes past stone circles and Neolithic ruins.

Just be sure to have sturdy footwear for uneven ground and a map compass in case Bodmin Moor’s notorious mists descend…

“Jamaica Inn” by Daphne Du Maurier

“Jamaica Inn” by Daphne du Maurier is a gripping and atmospheric novel that weaves a tale of mystery, suspense, and romance set against the backdrop of the desolate Cornish moors. Published in 1936, the story follows the journey of Mary Yellan, a young and resilient heroine, as she navigates a world of darkness and intrigue.

jamaica inn book

Mary Yellan uncovers dark secrets at her uncle’s Jamaica Inn, entangling herself in smuggling intrigue. The novel’s gothic atmosphere, mysterious characters, and unexpected twists create a timeless classic of suspense, betrayal, and redemption.

Buy Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jamaica Inn wheelchair accessible? -Yes, the have facilities and ramps in place to ensure accessibility for visitors with mobility challenges.

Do you need to book ahead for a meal? – It is possible to turn up and have a meal, but if you are coming in a busy period like a weekend or in the holidays, booking ahead is advisible. You can book here.

Nearby Attractions

Combine a visit with nearby family adventures like:

  • Eden Project – Massive educational botanical gardens housed in biomes containing thousands of plant species from around the world. An intriguing day out.
  • Bodmin Jail – Imposing former prison transformed into an immersive museum offering tours showcasing tales of notorious inmates along with Cornish history.
  • Bodmin Moor – Wild stretch of moorland scattered with ancient sites including the Hurlers stone circles and Rillaton barrow. Stunning scenery.
  • 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 explaining the winemaking process and tutored tastings of their quality sparkling wines.
  • Lanhydrock House – Impressive Victorian country house with expansive gardens, scenic trails and rooms to explore. National Trust property.
  • Colliford Lake – Beautiful 500 acre reservoir nestled on Bodmin Moor, perfect for walking, cycling, fishing and watersports within its wooded tranquil surrounds.
  • Launceston Steam Railway – ride heritage steam trains from Launceston station
  • Cardinham Woods – forest playgrounds and mountain biking trails

For an authentic taste of Cornwall’s folklore and heritage, Jamaica Inn promises a day full of drama, intrigue and exploration amidst Bodmin Moor’s striking landscapes.

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