Cornwall-Camel Trail

The Camel Trail

Cornwall’s most popular cycling adventure, the 18-mile Camel Trail links Padstow, Wadebridge, Bodmin and Wenfordbridge via a largely traffic-free route that follows an old railway track alongside the River Camel.
The trail is divided into three main sections: Padstow to Wadebridge, five miles, flat all the way; Wadebridge to Bodmin, six miles, with a small climb to Bodmin; and, finally, the slightly more challenging seven-mile sector between Bodmin and Wenfordbridge. You could also try a circular route to Rock and catch the ferry back to Padstow.

Allow 45 minutes each way for the estuary-side pedal between Padstow and Wadebridge. You can hire bikes at either town (see box right). This often busy section (used by walkers and birdwatchers as well as cyclists) follows the south bank of the estuary, crossing the old iron bridge over Little Petherick Creek and ducking under the A39 bypass before reaching Wadebridge. Stop en route for a picnic or encourage tired legs with the promise of Granny Wobbly’s fudge in Wadebridge or ice cream at Stein’s Deli if you’re Padstow-bound.

Intrepid cyclists can push on past Wadebridge to Bodmin, where the Camel Trail delves into beautiful riverside woodland. For refreshments, stop at the Camel Valley Vineyard or Camel Trail Tea Gardens near Nanstallon or make for the picnic tables at Grogley Halt, where there’s access to the river. Look out for a steam train at Boscarne Junction, the western terminus of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

From Dunmere (near Bodmin), the Camel Trail loops north towards Poley’s Bridge and Wenfordbridge. This is the quietest section of the trail, climbing gently through beech woodland with views of the river below. There is a seasonal tea room at Tresarrett, while the Blisland Inn makes a worthwhile one-mile detour off the trail.

Bike hire
Bike Smart
Eddystone Rd, Wadebridge, PL27 7AL, tel: 01208-814545. Daily from 0900.

Bridge Bike Hire
Wadebridge, PL27 7AL, tel: 01208-813050. Daily 0900-1700.

Padstow Cycle Hire
South Quay, Padstow, PL28 8BL, tel: 01841-533533. Daily 0900-1700, plus evening hire mid July-end Aug.

Trail Bike Hire
South Quay, Padstow, PL28 8BL, tel: 01841-532594. Daily 0900-1800.

For all of the above, expect to pay: Adult bike £9-14, adult tricycle £10-12, tandem £18-24, child seat £1-3, bike and tag-a-long £14-18, trailer £6-7, dog trailer £6, junior 24-in bike £6-8, junior 20-in bike £5-6, junior 16-in bike £4-5. Helmets, locks, pump, toolkit and map supplied free of charge.