Kit Hill Country Park is situated in Kelly Bray, Callington. It’s part of the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The country park was given to the people of Cornwall by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1985. Now it’s part of the Cornwall and West Devon World Heritage site. With its 400 acres and 333m summit, Kit Hill offers breathtaking, uninterrupted panoramic views stretching from Dartmoor in Devon, right across to Bodmin Moor on a clear day. Approaching the Country Park, you’d be mistaken for thinking it was fairly unimposing a space at first. However once you’ve discovered it, you’ll see just how prominent a landmark it is on your drives throughout east Cornwall and west Devon!
I think Kit Hill is a great introductory moorland walk for those looking to add a bit of ruggedness to a dog walk. It’s a fairly easy space to navigate without a map, as there is clear fencing and plenty of granite way-markers you can follow. The whole area has good phone signal too if you do get into trouble and there’s a Rangers Office to the north of the park. There are also two very distinct features in the landscape that will help you navigate if you do get lost – more on those later!
There are four car parks scattered across Kit Hill. We usually park in the first car park, near the main entrance, in order to make the hike to the summit as long as possible. There is a car park right at the top though, which is great, as it helps make Kit Hill more accessible to families with buggies, older people and those who can’t walk too far in one go. Parking at Kit Hill is also free!
It’s important to note that there are sometimes livestock grazing on this walk. They help with conservation and keeping the grass short throughout the country park. The surrounding areas are also comprised of working farms. When we’ve visited we’ve stumbled across both horses and sheep on separate occasions. Horse riders are also permitted on some of the paths here. So it’s important to keep your dog under control or on lead if necessary. Saying that, most of the time you’ll be able to see if there is livestock about. It has a habit of accumulating conveniently at the main entrance!
Regardless, please remember to put your dogs on lead around livestock, in order to keep both yourself, your dog and livestock safe. Dogs are also required to be on lead or under close control (defined at the main entrance as not straying from the main paths) during ground nesting bird season. This is between February/March and August each year.
The paths here are fairly rugged and rocky in places. You’ll also need to take care when negotiating the gorse in summer time! In August and September the area is full of blackberries – something Cally is absolutely thrilled about. We pointed out one blackberry bush when she was still a puppy… She’s been absolutely obsessed since then. It’s safe to say walks take double as long with Cally during blackberry season!
Historically Kit Hill was mined and quarried, thanks to its archaeological and geological diversity. Tin, copper and tungsten were all mined here. There are remnants of the area’s mining past scattered throughout the country park. Most prominent are the two mining stacks. However there are also a number of disused shafts and quarries here! It’s an absolutely fascinating space to explore. Especially if you’re interested in Cornish heritage. There are plenty of signposts dotted throughout that help you uncover and reconnect with the area’s past!
I’ll save the view from the top for you to discover yourselves (or via my video below.) I assure you it’s absolutely stunning though – especially on a clear day! Thankfully there are plaques showing all the prominent features in the surrounding landscape. Everything from High Willhays (the tallest point on Devon) to Plymouth City and Brown Willy (the tallest point in Cornwall!)
All in all the walk from the main entrance car park up to the summit and back down takes us about 45 mins to 1hr. Depending on our route and how lost we get of course! It’s important to note that there are no toilets at Kit Hill. However there are a few poo bins dotted in each car park. Nevertheless the summit makes for a perfect picnic spot on dry days, as it’s a fairly large, flat, grassy area.
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