Discovering the Duchy on pedals: a Cornish Cycling Guide
With the glooms of winter now a distant memory and the warmth of summer just around the corner, the coming months are a glorious period to be enjoying your cottage getaways. As the temperatures are pleasant without being overly hot, it’s a great time of the year to get out and enjoy this stunning countryside by bike. With this in mind, here’s our guide on how best to explore this fantastic part of Britain by pedals.
Hiring a bike?
While you could bring your own set of wheels down from home, the wealth of hire companies found across the county means that it’s an effort that isn’t necessary – unless of course you can’t be without your perfect bike. Here are some of the best names to look out for during your stay.
Lands End Cycle Hire
If you are holidaying in the most westerly point of Cornwall, Lands End Cycle Hire are the perfect company to help you explore the region by bike. As well as offering all types of bike from their store in Long Rock near Marazion, they will also deliver and collect bikes to areas across the region; from St Ives and St Just to Penzance and Porthcurno, they have you completely covered.
Whether you’re choosing to hire a road bike, hybrid, mountain bike or even a tandem, Lands End Cycle Hire will also provide helmets to ensure maximum safety for all the family.
We got in touch with Lands End Cycle Hire and asked them what their favourite cycling route, and here’s what they had to say:
“West Cornwall is where the main cycle route through Cornwall (Sustrans Number 3), begins and ends. The 'First and Last Trail' section from Hayle to Land’s End is mainly on quiet roads and tracks and takes in the whole of Mount’s Bay, from Marazion to Mousehole. On this section cyclists are always next to the sea with spectacular views of St Michael's Mount. This section is flat and suitable for everyone. Beyond Mousehole, the hills kick in, but if you are up for the challenge, the route takes you all the way to Land’s End.
“West Cornwall has many quiet country lanes to cycle on, we can bring your bike to you wherever you are staying, or if you want to come to our base at Long Rock, near St Michaels Mount, we have free parking right next to the beach route between Marazion and Penzance.”
If you’re staying in one of our cottages nearer to Redruth, Explorer Cycle Hire are the people to help you with all your cycling needs. They offer a stunning collection of cycles for the whole family to use, all of which are taken through an extensive safety check before they are hired out to provide complete peace of mind for the customer. As well as adults and children’s bikes, they also stock tag-along bikes and baby seats – meaning the whole family can join in on the fun.
Go By Cycle
Serving those staying in North Cornwall, Go By Cycle are able to deliver bikes to areas all over the county at a respective price, so won’t even have to visit their Wadebridge-based store. They offer bikes depending on specification, and from beginner to expert they will have the perfect bike for you.
We also asked Go By Cycle about which routes they would recommend, with Bodmin Moor to Padstow being a firm favourite of theirs: “Bodmin Moor to Padstow is a very easy trip on mostly level terrain (some downhill) taking in some spectacular views.
“Cornwall is a really popular place for cyclists. The terrain, with its exceptional scenery, is known worldwide. There are routes for everyone, a number of challenging hills for the accomplished cyclist, long winding country lanes, miles of off-road cycling and the ability to cycle from coast to coast exploring all the beautiful villages and beaches along the way. Cornwall offers cycling for all levels, our bikes allow our customer to make the most of every level.”
Planning on taking your own bike?
As we’ve already shown, there are plenty of places to hire a bike in the region. However, if you are really attached to your bike and can’t bear to sit on another saddle during your Cornish holiday, taking your own bike is just as easy. If you are planning on taking your own bike on a tour of the Duchy, here are a few things you may wish to consider to make the experience more enjoyable.
Get a bike carrier for your car
While you will be able to fit your bike in your car, its awkward shape means that either your luggage or other members of your family won’t be able to fit in as well – not ideal! To provide a more comfortable experience for the whole family, why not use the Mont Blanc Universal Rear 3 Bike Carrier from Argos? Fitting securely to the majority of vehicles and capable of transporting up to three bikes safely, it’s a great choice for a family holiday.
Get kitted out in the right clothing
If cycling is your thing, you will know all about the importance of getting the clothing for you to look good on the road. If you are distinctively lacking in the cycling/fashion department, the range of clothing from Wiggle is sure to cater for your needs. From cycling shorts and breathable t-shirts to helmets and specialist cycling glasses, the only problem is that people may mistake you for Bradley Wiggins as you pedal the roads of the Duchy.