A Guide to Exploring Cornwall’s Top Bike Trails

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There are many beautiful places in the UK that are great to explore on a bike but there’s nowhere better than the charming county of Cornwall. Whether you plan on tackling the trails alone, with a partner, in a group or with your children, there are trails to suit all experience levels. You can choose to take it easy and go on a family-friendly cycle trail that is flat and easy to navigate or head off-road on a pathway that is only suitable for really experienced mountain bikers.

There are lots of different environments to explore in Cornwall, from the pretty coastline through to the quaint villages and one of the first things that you will need to think about before you go on your cycling trip is whether you want to take your own bike or hire one from a rental shop – of which there are plenty. You will also need to go shopping for some cycling gear and you can find specialist cycling shorts online for very affordable prices. It is well worth investing in some specialist gear, as cycle clothing is not only really comfortable to wear while you ride but it is designed to let your skinbreathe.

specialist cycling shorts

Ensure you are Visible

Cycling gear is also often brightly coloured so as to ensure that you are clearly visible while you cycle and this is a good idea in terms of ensuring that you are visible to other cyclists but also for the following reasons:

  • So that drivers on the roads can clearly see you
  • To make it easy for your group to see you (important when you are cycling with children)
  • To make you more visible in inclement weather conditions

Even if you decide to visit Cornwall in the summer, you may still get a few rain showers and when you cycle in the rain without the correct gear; it is easy to become invisible and this can be very dangerous.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best family-friendly cycling trails Cornwall has to offer:

  • The Camel Trail

This cycle trail goes from just outside Bodmin to Padstow and is great for anyone with children as the terrain is easy to tackle as it is mainly flat all the way. It follows an old railway track and runs for 18 miles, offering views of everything from harbours to woodland. Always make sure that you and your children wear safety gear and it is often a good idea to invest in some proper cycling outfits to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while you cycle.

  • Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock is owned and run by the National Trust and it offers a selection of trails that suit children of all ages. The trail runs through the estate and winds its way through dense woodland and there is even a playground close to the car park that is great if you have children with endless energy to burn off.

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Now let’s check out some of the most popular trails for nature-lovers:

  • Seaton Valley

Located close to Looe, the Seaton Valley Countryside Park offers a circular trail that goes through different scenery as you cycle on everything from river banks to the back of a long sandy beach. Kingfishers, otters and butterflies are among some of the wildlife that are easy to spot on this trail and you will feel a lot more comfortable cycling this trail in specialist cycling shoes rather than regular trainers.

  • Goss Moor

This is one of the most popular cycle trails in the whole of Cornwall and it is great for nature enthusiasts who want to cycle past rare plants and animals. Set predominantly off-road, the going is fairly easy as the track is flat and this circular trail runs for 12kms through a nature reserve that is great for spotting different species of flora and fauna.

Lastly, which trails should you use if you want to discover Cornwall’s heritage?

  • St Michael’s Way

St Michael’s Way runs from Marazion to Lelant on a trail that lasts 19.5 kms and offers spectacular views of the iconic St Michaels Mount.

  • The Great Flat Lode

If you want to explore Cornwall’s heritage then look no further than this fascinating cycle route that passes through the historical Redruth area. Famous for being a former mining district, this trail runs past old engine houses and the last tin smelter found in Carnkie. You can even get off the bike and hike up Carn Brea to admire the view from the peak that looks out onto Cornwall’s last working tin mine called South Wheal Crofty.

Experienced mountain bikers should head off on the challenging Bodmin Beast Trail, while anyone looking for some adventure should cycle the Tamar Trails.

Cycling Gear

Whether you are an experienced cyclist or you just fancy exploring a trail with your kids on your holiday, you should invest in some proper cycling gear. This will help to keep you safe and comfortable and it is easy to shop around online for good quality jerseys and shorts.

Below are a few ideas of the different things you might want to buy before your cycling holiday:

  • Shorts
  • Bibs
  • Jerseys
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Helmet
  • Bike lights
  • Reflectors
  • Tights

You will need to think about what sizes you need and which colours you want your gear to be and if you are travelling in a group, it might be a good idea to get the same outfits so it is easy to spot others in your group at a quick glance. Some of the bike trails – especially in the height of summer – can get busy in Cornwall and being able to spot people in your group is a good idea in terms of safety as well as convenience.

Whether you want to explore Cornwall’s beaches, woodland, estuaries, villages, harbours, coastline, cliffs or fields; cycling around the famous sights and attractions in the right cycling gear is by far the best way to ensure you have a memorable holiday for all of the right reasons.

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