This summer more than any other, holidaymakers are staying in the UK. We don’t need to explain why – you know why. The Coronavirus pandemic.
But just because you can’t go on that cycling holiday to France or Italy, doesn’t necessarily mean missing out on some epic bike rides on home shores.
Your first thought when it comes to Cornwall may be beaches, surf, cream teas and wetter-than-expected family holidays. But did you know it’s a great place to cycle too? Yes, it may be hilly, but the quiet lanes, beautiful views, and magnificent coastline more than make up for it.
Here are five of the best cycling routes in Cornwall.
1 The Camel Trail
The Camel Trail is a popular, car-free, and family friendly cycling and walking path which runs from Bodmin to Padstow via Wadebridge.
It’s largely flat from Wadebridge to Padstow, and takes in the fantastic views of the Camel estuary. Because it is free from traffic, it’s suitable for all ages and abilities. Wadebridge has plenty of cycle hire options, and stopping at Padstow is the perfect place for a pasty.
Distance: 19.5 kilometres
Full route available here.
2 The Cornish Way
From one extreme to the other, The Cornish Way takes in the breadth of Cornwall. From Bude to Land’s End, you can take your pick of National Cycle Network routes to plot your journey.
At Truro, the route provides two options. You could either take in the North coast and Padstow, or follow towards St. Austell. Both meet again at Bodmin. Either way expect quiet country lanes for the most part, and stunning scenery whichever route you take.
Distance: 314 kilometres
Route available here
3 Lanhydrock Bike Trails
Lanhydrock House is at the centre of a country estate close to Bodmin, Cornwall. The surrounding gardens and grounds are home to a well-kept and fun set of mountain biking trails.
Catering for all ability levels, you can hire bikes at the grounds and there’s a cafe, toilets, and car park all on site at the National Trust owned property. The house is well worth a visit too.
Trail options and difficulties available here.
4 Penzance/Land’s End Loop
Less of an official route, more of a popular suggestion, this loop takes in the pointy end of Cornwall. You can start at any point, but Penzance is most accessible. From there either go North or South and basically follow the coast around the Lizard, and then Land’s End.
Taking in St Michael’s mount, Zennor, the idyllic Mousehole, and more, it’s a great loop to take in some of Cornwall’s most popular sites.
Distance: ~70 kilometres
Suggested route available here.
5 West Kernow Way
The West Kernow Way is a brand new, largely off-road, multi-day bikepacking route devised by the people at Cycling UK. It promises to be an epic adventure, with the full GPX route set to be released to the public in September 2021.
The loop takes you past the Bronze Age Mên-an-Tol, the Lizard, and St. Michael’s Mount. With it being off-road, you’re sure to see many tin mines and Cornish wildlife too.
A word of warning here, the route takes in A LOT of elevation. Low gearing and possibly a mountain bike rather than a gravel bike are looking like the best options here.
Distance: 240 kilometers
Information on the upcoming route available here.