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Where to find the best cycling routes in Cornwall holiday cottages

Where to find the best cycling routes in Cornwall

Sarah P 10 March 2021

Many visitors to Cornwall arrive with bikes strapped to their cars or head off in search of rental facilities, all keen to explore on two wheels. 

With a plethora of cycling routes in Cornwall, there are plenty of opportunities for cyclists of all abilities including easy, traffic-free trails, thrilling mountain-bike tracks and long-distance cycling routes across the county. 

Discover some fantastic days out and ways to explore Cornwall on two wheels.

The Camel Trail 

This 18-mile cycle path in Cornwall is probably the best-known in the county, stretching from Padstow via Wadebridge and on to Bodmin Moor. Mostly flat with some hilly sections as you reach Bodmin, the Camel Trail takes in enchanting woodlands and makes use of a traffic-free former railway along the banks of the Camel Estuary. Birdwatchers will love stopping off at various hides to catch a glimpse of wading birds on the mudflats, while families will love how easy the route is for little ones.

  • 18 miles
  • Mostly moderate with some hilly sections
  • Padstow to Bodmin Moor via Wadebridge

The Goss Moor Trail

Image credit: will.h.p.runsonplants via Instagram

 

Once the main route in and out of the county and famed for causing hours of delays to motorists’ journeys, this easy cycle route in Cornwall is now a multi-use, mostly traffic-free circular trail that offers visitors the chance to explore the rich industrial heritage of Goss Moor National Nature Reserve. This gentle route is popular with cyclists, walkers, and horse riders alike, and offers excellent easy cycling for families with young children who are still building their confidence.

  • 7 miles
  • Easy
  • There are a number of car parks along the circular route

The National Trust, Lanhydrock Bike Trail

Image credit: cornwallmtb via Instagram

 

A variety of trails for all skills and abilities make for a fantastic addition to any visit to the Lanhydrock Estate. Families and beginners can take a gentle ride through the English woodland on the green grade trail (easy) or choose from four blue grade trails (moderate) for something a little more challenging but manageable. There is also a red grade trail (difficult) for those who enjoy a more thrilling cycle route. Ranging from 1 to 3 miles, a few hours spent exploring the variety of routes at Lanhydrock will keep everyone entertained.

  • Ranging from 1 to 3 miles
  • Easy, moderate, and difficult
  • Set within the confines of Lanhydrock Estate

The Bodmin Beast cycle trail

Image credit: cornwallmtb via Instagram

Not for the faint-hearted, this mountain bike trail in Cornwall is suitable for intermediate cyclists or keen mountain bikers who are used to off-road cycling. The single-track trail is set in Cardinham Woods and features a range of technical climbs, descents, tight corners, and steep unfenced side slopes, all of which take a little more skill to negotiate. Real thrill-seekers can also head off the main Bodmin Beast and take on the two sections of red grade trail. This Bodmin cycle trail offers a thrilling day out for adventurers who are looking to get the adrenaline pumping.

  • 7.4 miles
  • Difficult
  • Set in Cardinham Woods, Bodmin Moor

The Cornish Way 


Forming part of the National Cycle Route, this long-distance cycling route in Cornwall links Land’s End with Bude, making up a lengthy 180 miles with two options either through Padstow on the north coast or St Austell on the south coast. Avoiding major routes, the Cornish Way heads through historic towns, charming fishing villages and stunning Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, also taking in some of the other bike trails in Cornwall such as the Camel Trail and the Mineral Tramway.

  • 180 miles
  • Difficult
  • Linking Land’s End with Bude with two alternative routes

The Clay Trails 

Image credit: amer_rides_bikes via Instagram

 

This network of bike trails in Cornwall is located close to St Austell on the south coast. Once the centre of the China clay industry, the scenery has been shaped by its history and heritage with beautiful turquoise lakes that were once clay pits and spoil heaps now miniature mountains. Head through the beautiful countryside past China clay workings, along former railways and catch a glimpse of the coast too! The interlinking trails offer a variety of easy routes perfect for family cycling in Cornwall.

  • Pentewan Trail (2.5 miles) – Near Mevagissey to St Austell along a former railway
  • The Green Corridor (2 miles) – St Austell to Wheal Martyn
  • Wheal Martyn Trail (5 miles) – Wheal Martyn to the Eden Project
  • Bugle to Eden Trails (4 miles) – The village of Bugle to the Eden Project
  • St Blazey Trail (3 miles) – The village of St Blazey to Par Beach

The Mineral Tramways Trails


Offering excellent off-road cycling in Cornwall, this network of traffic-free bike trails takes cyclists through the heart of Cornwall’s historic mining region. The 37.5-mile route around the Camborne and Redruth area is a combination of smaller trails from the 11-mile Coast to Coast trail to the Tehidy Trail which, at 2.5 miles through Tehidy Country Park, is a popular choice with families. The Mineral Tramways give you a chance to experience ancient engine houses - the main transport routes of the mining era - disused tin and copper mines, and fantastic coast and countryside scenery.

  • 37.5-mile network of smaller trails
  • Coast to Coast Trail (11 miles) – Portreath on the north coast to Devoran on the south
  • Great Flat Lode Trail (7.5 miles) – Circles Carn Brea Hill behind Camborne and Redruth
  • The Tehidy Trail (2.5 miles) – Within the confines of Tehidy Country Park

The Engine House Trail 

Set off from Hayle


This is another fantastic cycling route in Cornwall that offers the opportunity to explore Cornwall’s industrial heritage. Starting off in Hayle, the Engine House Trail follows minor roads to Camborne, along parts of the largely traffic-free Mineral Tramway to Redruth, through the old mining village of Carharrack and on to further tramway routes to Truro. Once home to hundreds of engine houses, you’ll spot hints of these and disused tramways dotted throughout the countryside along the way. This also forms part of the long-distance Cornish Way.
  • 24 miles
  • Moderate
  • Hayle to Truro using minor roads and some traffic-free tramways

Seaton Valley Countryside Park

Seaton Countryside Park is situated between Hessenford and the coastal village of Seaton. 


Located in a steep-sided wooded valley, Seaton Valley Countryside Park is a fabulous destination for family days out, offering an easy cycling route near Looe. A short 2-mile cycle route takes you along the banks of the River Seaton among wonderful wildlife, flora, and fauna. This easy route is a superb choice for children and less confident riders, and it’s the ideal destination to combine activity, with a few restful picnic spots along the way. Other facilities include a picnic area with benches, toilets, a sensory garden, and an outdoor gym.
  • 2 miles
  • Easy
  • Within the confines of Seaton Valley Countryside Park

The Coast and Clay Trail

The harbour at Pentewan


Although there are some easier sections, this trail - which forms part of the Cornish Way - is definitely a Cornwall cycle trail for a more experienced road cyclist. Heading off from the cathedral city of Truro, the route takes in the awe-inspiring scenery of the Roseland Peninsula, before heading towards the coast near Mevagissey. The varied Coast and Clay Trail offers a variety of coast and countryside, rolling farmland, wooded creeks, sheltered coves and charming fishing villages, as well as an insight into Cornwall’s China clay industry.
  • 40 miles
  • Moderate
  • Truro to St Austell using a combination of roads and traffic-free routes

Book a cottage in Cornwall

Whether you’re keen to challenge yourself to a long-distance cycling route in Cornwall, or you fancy something a little easier and family-friendly, this fantastic range of bike trails in Cornwall offers something for everyone. The great thing is that they’re all located close to some of Cornwall’s most popular holiday destinations. Base yourself in one of our Cornwall cottages that offer the perfect blend of outdoor adventures and space to relax and rejuvenate.

Are you more of a walker? We’ve written about walking holidays in Cornwall too including the best pub walks and South West Coast Path walks


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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