Last weekend we headed off for a mini-break away. It had always been Vee’s dream to visit the place of inspiration of the famous Daphne Du Maurier novel and stay in one of the most haunted places in Great Britain, so for her birthday I treated her to a stay in the famous Jamaica Inn. Built in 1750 the Inn became a popular place for smugglers to rest and stash their bounties, due to its remote location on the Bodmin Moor. Back in the day the smugglers and pirates would use the inn as a halfway house as they passed through the hundreds of secret routes from Cornwall’s coast across Bodmin Moor as they passed through with their contraband.
The Inn’s history then continues when Daphne Du Maurier wrote the famous novel ‘The Jamaica Inn’ based on the Inn itself. It’s said that Du Maurier was inspired to write her novel in 1930 after she became lost in thick fog whilst out horse riding on the moors, and sought refuge at the Inn. During her time at the inn, the local rector is said to have entertained her with ghost stories and tales of smuggling; he would later become the inspiration for the enigmatic character of the Vicar of Altarnun.
So, feeling weary after a long week at work and a 5 hour drive, we arrived at the Jamaica Inn. We decided to treat ourselves and booked one of the upgraded four poster rooms within the older, original part of the inn. When I had been researching the ghostly goings on in the hotel, everyone had mentioned Room 4. There were stories of a stocky male figure in a long green coat appearing in the night, so as we walked up the stairs to be shown our room a shudder passed over me as we went past that door, hoping and praying this wouldn’t be our room! Turns out we would be staying in the room opposite, Room 3! Just one corridor away from the ghost stories of the mysterious highwayman and bumps in the night… I was already feeling anxious at the thought, but on seeing our room, it didn’t disappoint! A huge gorgeous four poster bed (which was so comfortable!) in a spacious room with a large bathroom, bathtub (very exciting for us as we don’t have one at home) and a bottle of wine cooling on the side ready for us. We had arrived, and putting the ghost stories aside it was time to finally relax!
We spent our weekend exploring the Inn and the Daphne Du Maurier museum. Of course being in Cornwall we treated ourselves to a cream tea in the sunshine of the Inn gardens too. We didn’t want to do too much as the idea of getting away was to just relax and get away from it all. Annoyingly we both came down with colds (typical!) so we rested a lot, but after the last few hectic weeks – that was fine by me. I ran us a ‘romantic bath’ which turned out to be bright yellow, and I mean bright yellow… thanks to the Lush bathbomb I’d bought (oops, I’ll stick to The Comforter next time, I love that one). As it was a gorgeous sunny day, we had a lovely walk to the Golitha Waterfalls, through the autumn leaves. It was just so nice to enjoy the fresh air and peacefulness out on the moor.
The food at the Jamaica Inn was good old English pub food, which was nice enough. Although we did think for such a famous place they could do so much better with a slightly more upmarket menu. We sat over dinner plotting a ‘Brighton style’ gourmet pub menu, as if one day we would be taking over the place….We would make it amazing! After all that research into the ghostly goings on, we didn’t see or hear a peep out of the mysterious highwayman or his counterparts which was a little disappointing. Although during the night I was slightly on edge (at one point I was so nervous about the ghosts I didn’t want to stick my arm out of the quilt for my drink), but in reality the place has a warm, friendly atmosphere that didn’t feel ghostly at all. If anything our room was pretty noisy as being in the old part of the Inn we were right over the bar, so I’m pretty sure the drunk locals making a racket downstairs scared away the spirits away anyways!
Strange creatures can be found on the Bodmin Moor
We loved our stay at the Jamaica Inn, the place is filled with history, ghost stories and set in such a beautiful location. Getting away from it all was just what we needed and most importantly, Vee had a lovely birthday! If you are ever in Cornwall, I would recommend a stay at the Inn, or you can pop by for a cream tea and a nosey round the museum, it really is such a fantastic, interesting place.
Have you been to the Jamaica Inn or read the book?