There’s a great variety of cycle trails in Cornwall. Whether you’re looking for a family day out or something more challenging, there are plenty of cycle trails to choose from.
We’ve put a list together of some of our favourite Cornish cycle routes (including the top spots for refreshments, of course…!).
This is a network of paths around St Austell’s China Clay country. There’s a choice of nine trails, which are mostly off-road, and are suitable for cycling, horse riding or walking. Stop off at the St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre for food and drink en route. Try the Pentewan Cycle Trail, which passes close to The Cornwall.
This much-loved family trail runs from Padstow to Wenford Bridge, with a shorter (12 mile) route that stops at Bodmin. Because it runs along an old railway track, it’s lovely and flat. The views are fantastic, and there are refreshments at both ends (aim for a hearty helping of fish and chips in Padstow!).
Try this popular trail, and you can say that you cycled across Cornwall! It runs from Portreath to Devoran (about 14 miles). It’s along a former tramway, so like the Camel Trail, it’s a flat and pleasant surface to cycle along. There’s a choice of cafes and pubs along the way for those essential pit stops.
Cycle through the beautiful woods and countryside of this National Trust estate near Bodmin. There’s a choice of rails, from easy to off-road, so it’s the perfect place for cyclists of all abilities. Didn’t bring your bike to Cornwall? Don’t worry: you can hire a bike at Lanhydrock (pre-booking essential). This being the National Trust, you know there’ll be a decent loos and a fantastic tea room when you’ve finished your ride…
Don’t put that National Trust card away yet, as this is another great estate for a fun family cycle ride. This wooded estate near Helston has a network of cycle paths that lead through the trees towards Loe Bar. The Stable Cafe is a great place for a refuel, and if you haven’t brought your bike, there's a good cycle hire shop in Helston, Lakeside Cycles.
Again, this is a lovely wooded area, dotted with a series of fantastic cycle trails. There are some really nice paths for novices and younger cyclists, while serious mountain bikers can head for the infamous Beast of Bodmin trail. The Woods Cafe is a popular spot for a post-cycle hot chocolate or snack.
This circular, seven-mile trail covers some challenging terrain. This is the heart of old mining territory, and part of the route is along the Bassett Mine Tramway. If you’re interested in industrial heritage, this is a fascinating trail to take. For incredible views across the mining landscape, take a break from the route to walk up Carn Brea.
And the daddy of them all… The famous 180-mile long cycle trail runs from Lands End to Bude in Devon, passing through glorious Cornish countryside. Unless this is the main focus of your holiday, most people choose one section of the trail and enjoy a pleasant afternoon’s ride, rather than powering along the full 180 miles. Take a look at the Sustrans website to find out the route of the Cornish Way.
Does this sound like your idea of a great day out? We love cycling through the Cornish countryside, and it’s a lovely way to get from A to B. If you’d rather not bring your bikes down the A30 with you, or if you’re coming to St Austell by train, you can rent a bicycle for your holiday from Pentewan Valley Cycle Hire, which many of our guests recommend. Happy cycling!