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Jamaica Inn on a stunning misty Bodmin Moor

David Powell stops off at Jamaica Inn, the setting for the Daphne Du Maurier classic novel about murderous wreckers, on Bodmin Moor and finds hospitality much more congenial today.

jamaica inn exterior

Situated high on the wild and beautiful Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall, overlooking the A30, stands Jamaica Inn. Made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, the Inn was built in 1750 as a coaching Inn and was extended to include a coach house, stables and tack room creating the main part of the building as it is today.

According to local tales’ gangs of smugglers operated along the Cornish coast in the early 19th Century. They enticed ships to the coastline with beacon lights and once the ships foundered on the rocks they were looted. Gangs of smugglers used the Inn to hide away contraband such as rum, brandy and tea which    carried very high excise duties. Jamaica Inn was remote and    isolated – an ideal stopping place whilst moving contraband to Devon and beyond.

jamaica inn

Daphne du Maurier was inspired to write her novel in 1930 after she and a friend became hopelessly lost in fog whilst riding on the moors. Luckily she found safety at Jamaica Inn.

En-route to a family staycation in Padstow my wife and I stayed at Jamaica Inn overnight. Arriving at about 4pm we checked into our room in the hotel adjacent and connected to the original building. A very well-appointed room on the ground floor with super views over Bodmin Moor across the A30, and a patio area with chairs outside. We unwound with drinks on the main forecourt of the Inn. Dinner booked that evening and the service and food was excellent with a good choice and wine list. After retiring to bed I was up at about 4.30am and looked outside, mist enveloped the moor as the sun started to rise, what a sight!

Mist on Bodmin Moor - Jamaica Inn
Eerie, misty early morning view of Bodmin Moor.

After a perfect cooked breakfast with all the trimmings we popped into the Daphne du Maurier Museum which also encompasses smuggling and the fascinating ways over the years people have tried to conceal contraband and drugs. Next a visit to the shop, which had a great range of souvenirs, and the adjacent farm shop, both well worth visiting.

We enjoyed our stay so much we booked dinner with all the family for later in the week. We all enjoyed a sumptuous family meal in the main restaurant. Allen Jackson, the owner, dropped by our table to check everything was ok, and at my request enthralled my 9 year-old grandson with tales of ghosts that allegedly haunt the Inn, especially the one about a lone traveller who many years ago left his drink on the bar one dark winter’s night and went outside on the moor and was never seen again! Since then, he has apparently returned many times and has been ‘seen’ sitting on a wall outside the entrance to the Inn.

Jamaica Inn

For more information visit the Jamaica Inn website.

For more things to do and see in Cornwall, see Visit Cornwall.

If you enjoyed David’s review of Jamaica Inn, why not follow his cruise holiday along the Rhine on MS Lafayette.

Tags: , , Last modified: November 19, 2021

Written by 1:24 pm Around The UK, Travel

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