The Camel Trail leaving Padstow
Cycling in Cornwall -Nice Bike Rides. Whether you fancy an off-road cycle with all the family on the very popular Camel Trail, or a ride along a quiet country lane or on the Moors, or along the 180 miles of the Cornish Way Cornwall offers many nice cycle routes. Here are a few suggestions.
The Camel Trail Padstow is at one end of the very popular Camel Trail, a cycle path much of which follows the line of a disused railway. The Camel Trail runs along the beautiful Camel Estuary from Padstow the 6 miles to Wadebridge, and on for the more adventurous, another 8 miles to Bodmin.
Pentewan Valley Trail Pentewan near Mevagissey. A shorter version of the Camel Trail, traffic free and level, hence particularly suitable for families. Nearly 3 miles long, past the sluice ponds, through ancient oak woodland and alongside the River. Car parking at both ends. Cycle hire available. Pentewan used to be an important Port. Though the Harbour entrance is now blocked by sand, the Harbour Basin with its wooden sluice gates, like the sleepy village itself is a delight to explore.
Pentewan beach is broad and sandy, popular with sailors, home to a thriving local sailing club. From the end of the Trail Heligan Gardens is only a short cycle ride away. Happily (some may say) the Pentewan Trail is far less popular than Camel Trail. NB Photo here taken from main road out of village.
Whitewashed daymark known locally as the Pepperpot overlooks the harbour.
Great view down onto the beach from Western Hill. Walks north along the Coast to St Agnes
Great Flat Lode Trail nr Redruth. Part of the Mineral Tramways network of three linking mainly off road trails following the route of now disused mining tracks- meandering through the former tin and copper mining belt around Redruth and Camborne. Though not as level as the Camel or Pentewan Trails, the slight gradients of the Great Flat Lode Trail add to the interest. Great views up to Carn Brea and on a clear day as far as the North Coast. In spring the hedgerows are a mass of wildflowers - thrift commonly found growing on the Cornish Cliffs, is a blaze of pink on many of the ore dumps. How many engine houses can you count? (At least ten if you are standing in one particular spot by Wheal Basset behind Carnkie.) Some are in fact winding houses but it would take an expert to know the difference. Numerous car parks and a Visitors Centre. Little used at present
The Coast to Coast - 15 miles from Portreath to Devoran on the South Coast Part of the Minerals Tramways Project, taking in some of the beauty of Cornwall's industrial past. Starting from Portreath on the North Coast along the bed of the Portreath Tramroad, to Devoran and Restronguet Creek on the River Fal. Following the course of the Redruth to Chasewater Railway down the Bissoe Valley. Past Brunel's Stumps (all that remains of the arsenic works), under the Viaduct and on to Devoran.
It is hard to imagine the hustle and bustle that was Portreath a hundred and fifty years ago or more. Ore wagons being winched down to the harbour, coasters bringing in coal and timber for the mines. The Portreath Tramroad was in fact opened early in the 19th Century, with horses providing the power not steam, to serve the Copper mines around Chasewater. The Redruth - Chasewater Railway was opened 1826, further aiding the growth of mining in the area.
Mount Wellington Mine one of the last to close in Cornwall, late in the 20th century Within 15 years of the opening of the tramroad the mines were approaching their heyday, employing tens of thousands of men women and children. However there then followed severe decline after the 1860 slump in the price of copper
Many lengths of the Cornish Coast to Coast are still rough track, some may say only suited for mountain bikes, or tourers with caution, such as seen in these images near Bissoe. But ideal for anyone that wants a quiet bike ride. Other sections have been made up, suitable for bikes of all kinds, particularly at the Portreath end and are well sign posted and proving particularly popular. Need photo of visually imposing Killifreth Mine. Cycles can be hired in the Bissoe Valley and from Elm Farm near Portreath, tel: 01209 891498 quoting ref "Cornishlight".
Bike hire in Cornwall. From outlets in Padstow, Wadebridge, Penzance, Pentewan, and Bugle to name a few.
4 and a half miles of mainly level off road cycling in Forestry Commission owned woods through the Glynn Valley near Bodmin. Particularly suited for families. Other trails within the Woods are open for walkers, horse riders and experienced cycle riders. Even picnic tables and refreshments available when its time for a break. And a barbecue area too.
The Cornishway., 180 miles, some off road, stretching from Lands End to Bude on the County Border. Though mostly on road, much of the Cornishway follows country lanes, through some of the most attractive scenery Cornwall has to offer. Cycling in Cornwall.
Three interlinked trails through the stark beauty that is China Clay Country- silver grey spoil heaps, flooded worked out pits often an amazing turqouise blue colour, pit sites often now reclaimed by nature- and so now wooded. Though largely gravel suitable for cycling, walking, horse-riding and wheelchair accessible. (I) Par to St Blazey 3 miles, (II) Bugle to Eden 4 miles, and (III) Wheal Martyn to Eden 5 miles each way. Inland the latter the Wheal Martin Trail offers, on a clear day, wide ranging views across St Austell Bay. Work has begun (2006) on an additional forth trail linking to St Austell town.
Click on thumbnail images for larger view © Cornishlight
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