The Camel Trail, available free 365 days of the year, winds through some of Cornwall's most beautiful and little-known countryside. And while not within cycling distance of Houndapitt, it is one of the most spectacular routes in the county. Cornwall County Council converted 11 miles of disused railway beside the River Camel from track bed to trail, linking the towns of Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. An extension follows the river towards Camelford.
It isn't a road, it isn't a path, and vehicles are banned. There are many visitors to the Trail each year; some use it daily for jogging or birdwatching, others for an occasional day out walking or cycling. Why not join them? Travel along the Camel Trail and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Camel Valley.
Being an old railway track, the Trail is virtually level all the way. Although not a tarmac surface. it is mainly smooth, ideal for wheelchair users, pram and buggy pushers and people who have difficulty in walking on uneven surfaces. The Trail provides safe and easy access to unspoilt countryside for those people unable to use woodland and coastal paths.
Bude to Week St Mary Circular
Week St Mary is a quiet inland village, full of historical interest, set amongst rolling wooded hills, the route takes in canal and coast as well as the quiet hamlet of Poundstock.
Length in route (miles) : 15
Length of route (km) : 24.14
Start point : Bude
End point : Bude
Level : Easy / Moderate
Time: 3 hours
Bude, Widemouth Bay and Holsworthy
From the popular surfing town of Bude near the North Cornwall border, this route takes the coast road to Widemouth Bay, with glorious views over the Atlantic. Narrow country lanes through this pleasant undeveloped farming countryside, are in sharp contrast to the coast road as you approach the Saxon market town of Holsworthy, four miles into Devon. From here quiet lanes take you seaward once more on your return journey to Bude.
Length in route (miles) : 39.5
Length of route (km) : 63.5
Start point : Bude
End point : Bude
Level : Moderate
Time: 4/7 hours
Coast to Coast Trail
The Coast to Coast Trail links the harbour town of Portreath on Cornwall's Atlantic coast with the harbour of Devoran on Restronguet Creek, a picturesque inland waterway which flows into The Carrick Roads and onto the Port of Falmouth. This 11 mile(17.5km) trail takes you on a tour through one of Cornwall's famous historic mining disticts which was at the heart of Cornwall's copper production in the 19th century.
Many of the large granite and stone constructed engine houses can still be seen - a longlasting tribute to Cornwall's Industrial Heritage. Much of the trail follows the route of two mineral tramways - the Portreath Tramroad and the Redruth and Chasewater Railway - which were built for the transportation of copper ore.
The main trail is easily manageable by anyone of average fitness and does not require the use of specialist cycles but an optional additional route is available for those mountain bikers who enjoy the challenge of a more demanding terrain. The trail is clearly signposted along the whole of its route.
Great Flat Lode Trail
The Great Flat Lode Trail is a 7.5 mile (12km) circular trail in the heart of the historic Camborne-Redruth mining district. Centred on the impressive hill of Carn Brea this trail is named after the ore vein which was the centre of the tin mining activity here.
Information boards at the mining sites close to the trail provide further information on the history and working of the mines which were famous for their tin and copper production. For those wishing to make a small detour from the trail, the top of Carn Brea offers fine views of Cornwall's Atlantic coast and it is possible to explore the slopes where the remains of Neolithic and Iron Age occupation have been found. Most of the trail is off-road and it is advisable to use a mountain bike.
Other Trails Include
Note: For further information on any of these routes including bike hire, public transport and car parking, contact the local Tourist Information Centre or the Cornwall Tourist Board (01872 322900).
The Tamar Valley
Lopwell Dam Cycle Link - 4.5 miles joins Bere Peninsula, Lopwell Dam and the Plym Valley. The Tamar and Tavy estuaries accessible between February and September allow the cyclist to enjoy some amazing views. An area of outstanding natural beauty worth exploring.
The Pentewan Leisure Trails
An ideal family trail running for 2.5 miles along the Woodland Trust Land offering children exciting wetlands and bridges to cross en route. Respect should be given to horseriders and walkers also using this trail.
Tehidy Country Park
Located near to Cambourne and covering more than 200 acres providing 9 miles of enjoyment for all the family with lakes and woodland to explore.
The St. Pirans Trail
From Truro this trail passes ornate villages along coutry roads to Newquay before heading towards the fishing village of Padstow with the famous Rick Stein Fish and Chip restaurant (please note you must book months in advance to dine in the restaurant). From the Camel Estuary the trail joins onto the popular Camel Trail where its passes easy terrain for all the family to Badmin.
The Clay Trails
Consisting of three different trails; The Bugle Trail, The Wheal Martyn and The Par Beach Trail. Ideally situated for the Eden Project and The Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum. Together the trails connect St. Austell and Par offering some amazing landscape.
The First and Last Trail
Starting in Lands End combining coastlines and coutryside this trail passes through the Cornish fishing Villages of Sennen, Lamorna and Mousehole. This trail is well situated for numerous tourist attractions including the Newlyn Art Gallery and St. Michaels Mount at Marazion, leaving them on the South Coast the trail turns to the North Coast with rougher terrain. As its description as 'a jewel in the crown of the Cornish Way' suggests this route is well worth the effort.
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