Great cycle paths in Cornwall

Published: Thursday 4th Sep 2014

Written by: Becky

Cycle paths in Cornwall have something to offer everyone. From children with stabilisers to lycra-clad, saddle-hardened yellow-jersey racers. We offer steep hills and challenging coastal roads, or you can spend hours cycling on the level in Cornwall too, pedalling along on old railway lines and canal tow paths. It’s a wonderful way to relax on holiday and move at a slower pace.

The Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is the bike trail known best on the North Coast of Cornwall. Most cyclists make a return trip between Padstow and Wadebridge, although the cycle route continues inland to Bodmin through wonderful moorland. The Padstow to Wadebridge section is an ideal family-friendly bike ride. It’s level, with plenty of views to distract children and adults alike.Cycling in Padstow on the Camel Trail

Cycling around Padstow, just one of the many places in Cornwall where you can cycle by the sea.

You can hire bikes for this popular trail from numerous bike hire companies at Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Many also stock bike add-ons, such as child carriers, tow-alongs, buggies, panniers and even tandems for extra fun. Take your pick from Bridge Bike Hire, Camel Trail Bike Hire, Trail Bike Hire… there are many more to choose from too. It takes less than an hour at constant pedal, or as long as you want if you stop to watch the shore birds from the hide, or picnic by the water on benches.

Cycling along the old railway track on a wide, flat surface, you are rewarded with beautiful views of the Camel Estuary and over the waters to the gentle rolling green fields of North Cornwall. Wadebridge or Padstow both make great places to stop for lunch, with plenty of pubs, fish and chip shops, cafes and places to picnic. At Padstow you can padlock your bike to the harbour railings and make your way across to the beaches to ease muscles that might not be looking forward to the journey home!

South West Lakes Trust and Cardinham Woods Cycle TrailsCycle trails also abound at inland destinations in Cornwall. The South West Lakes Trust encourages cyclists to explore on wheels and they offer varied terrain for cycling. Or you can swap your bike for a Segway and get around on different wheels.

Cardinham Woods near Bodmin, just twenty minutes inland from the coast is always popular with cyclists. It offers family-friendly bike trails and is also home to The Bodmin Beast, a 12km ride through challenging mountain bike terrain. Each weekend the car park is full of bikes and mud spattered faces. The little café here does great cream teas too, so you can add back the calories you burn off you cycling. Sustrans Cycle Trails Cycle tracks and trails are really encouraged in Cornwall. Here are some more with maps and terrain descriptions.John O Groats to Lands End Cycling

Each year we see hundreds of brave cyclists peddling at one end or other of the Lands End to John O’Groats cycle trek. If you are cycling through on this epic journey be sure to carry a sign on your bike and all the motorists will support you with a friendly honk. Recently Samuel Jennings, a local boy cycled from John O Groats to Lands End, raising money for the Bude Sea Pool, so if you’re thinking of doing something similar, come on down and receive a great welcome in Cornwall!

If you want to spend a lot of time in the bike-saddle, try meeting up with a local cycling club.  They can advise you on the secret routes that we keep off the maps. Gentle green free-wheeling down deep forgotten lanes, or challenging mountain biking over our moors and wild open spaces. Here are some Cornwall cycling club links. One and All Cycling, Truro Cycling, St Austell Wheelers, PZ Wheelers

Bike shops are in each major town. So if you carry your bikes with you on holiday you can always find a friendly expert to help you out with punctures and running repairs.Repairing bikes, no problem in Cornwall!

Running repairs are available from bike shops in most towns in Cornwall.

So what’s to stop you? Come on down and enjoy a cycling experience in beautiful pedal-friendly Cornwall on our great cycle paths. If you are keen to cycle as part of an eco-approach to your holiday, have a look at our special eco pages to see other ways you can reduce your impact on our wonderful county.



Portfolio Development Manager

Cornish Horizons - We know holidays, we know Cornwall


Return to blog article index