With summer in the air, our minds turn to the seaside. While there are untold beauties hidden all around the coast of Britain, the real seaside capital of the UK is Cornwall. This ancient Celtic kingdom has a continental feel, a relaxed seaside pace of life. However, there is so much more to Cornwall, SO much more and the best way to discover it all is by saddling up and getting on our Classic Cornwall Cycling trip.
Distance: 93 miles over five days of cycling. So while you have a couple of days that are just over 20 miles, there are some shorter 15-mile ones. This is ideal, as you get to spend a good few hours on the bike every day, but also get enough time to explore the glut of highlights that this trip offers.
Grading: This one is an Easy to Moderate trip. You will be cycling on cycle paths, quiet country roads, stretches of rolling coastal terrain and busier urban roads when approaching and departing towns and cities. The route is pretty flat all in, which is excellent and the navigation is incredibly easy as the route is loaded into our fabulous, free Macs App, so you will never get lost and can relax and enjoy the ride.
Cornwall is in the South West corner of the UK. It is where the country thins out to a point at Land’s End, and an added bonus to this trip is that you can claim you have cycled from coast to coast across England, even though it is one of the thinnest parts of the country you can cross. The trip starts inland at Bodmin before heading down to the South coast, cycling along towards Mevagissey. You then head north, back inland to Truro, before heading up to the north coast section, staying overnight in Newquay and Padstow, before returning to Bodmin where your trip will finish.
Honestly, there are few trips in the UK that pack in so many highlights and must visit places. This trip has the perfect balance of activity and sightseeing and rather than grouping them by subject; we thought we would list them as you find them on the route.
Starting off in Bodmin, home of the famous Bodmin Moor, full of sites of Arthurian lore, tales of the beast of Bodmin Moor and it happens to be a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. On the cycling, to Mevagissey, you will follow the Cornish way through the tranquil Luxulyan Valley woods. On this section, you will have the opportunity to visit two of the best sites in the whole region. Both are horticultural in nature, and both should not be missed. First up there is the retro-future biodomes of the Eden Project. This is a series of botanical gardens where over 1000 species of plants from around the world are collected and protected. There is so much diversity to their work and so much to see and do, that it is well worth spending some time here and exploring, not just the wonders of nature, but the wonders of sustainable technology that make the Eden Project run.
Then, on the other end of the scale, there is the Lost Gardens of Heligan. These vast, classic English gardens actually lost for decades, left to fend for themselves, becoming wild and overgrown. They were rediscovered 25 years ago and since then have become a rich horticultural wonderland. If you have a shred of green-fingeredness in your nature, then it would be a crime to miss out on a visit to Heligan.
The following day, on your cycle to Truro, you are again passing a site of horticultural excellence in Tressilick Gardens. These gardens are one of the most famous in England, bursting with exotic plants, beautifully laid out for a relaxing day’s exploring
Then you are on to the North Coast, where Surfing rules the waves. After a day cycling through tiny villages with thatched roofed houses, peppered with reminders of the silver mining industry that flourished in the area, you reach the thumping north coast, where waves pound the shore and surfers take to the water to conquer them. With the surf comes a laid-back vibe to Newquay and a town filled with great little places to eat and drink.
And we very much stay with gastronomy when heading up the coast to Padstow. This is the domain of Rick Stein, famous for his love of food, but of seafood in particular. here you will find a couple of his restaurants (and many other great places to eat) where you can feast on the fresh seafood that Cornwall is so famous for.
Add to all of this some simply fantastic cycling, through peaceful woodlands, and valleys, alongside a glittering sea hemmed in by rugged cliffs, and you have a dream cycling experience.
As our Classic Cornish Cycling trip is circular, you only need to think about how to get to Bodmin, and this couldn’t be easier. Bodmin Parkway Railway station is accessible with direct trains links with London Paddington (4hrs 30 mins) and Bristol Temple Meads (3hrs 30mins).
If you have any questions about cycling in England, get in touch with our team on [email protected], and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.