On my way down to Cornwall I stopped for a walk north of Bodmin, an area I only really know for the famous Blisland Inn, former national pub of the year and home of a friendly lizard when I was last there.
Altarnun is just off the A30 but the pace slows as you get lost in the characteristic high hedged lanes, with their occasional views towards the well-known coast at Boscastle.
The village of Altarnun is a gem, with its streams and gulleys alongside attractive cottages, lacking only a village pub. The Rising Sun is within the parish but a robust if pleasant 20 minute walk, rewarded by a gorgeously kitted-out and average home brew (Penpont St. Nonnas – NBSS 2.5).
Away from the honeypots of Boscastle and Tintagel, Camelford looks a nightmare, choked by the A39 and devoid of feature, but as always, exploration throws up a couple of gems. Enfield Park follows the course of the Camel and gives superb views over Davidstow Moors.
The beauty in the Masons Arms is more of an acquired taste, the two rooms stuffed with the sort of artefacts (tat) I thought the preserve of the Yew Tree in Cauldon and the Sheppey. The overall effect was wonderful, and worth the price of a half just to see it.
A half of Proper Job (NBSS 4) also confirmed this as my favourite beer from the South West, served flat as the best Bass.
Camelford folk were some of the friendliest I’ve met anywhere. I was even offered an old pub sign for free – in the interest of my marriage I declined.