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Bude to Bodmin

The Cornish Way starts at Bude, a pretty resort town with an attractive harbour – and immediately splits into two.

You can take an inland route south on more rural lanes, mildly hilly, endearingly quiet, and fairly direct; or you can follow the coastal route past cliffs and beaches. The latter has spectacular views, but the hills are truly gruelling. A fit rider on a light bike will have no hesitation in plumping for the coast; everyone else should weigh their decision (and their panniers) carefully. 

It begins innocently with a quiet ride along the coast, but Widemouth Bay marks the first of three crazily steep climbs on the tiny, winding lane. The scenery is magnificent, and you’ll have plenty of time to appreciate it as you push your bike up the hills. Just tell yourself that you’re taking a morning to walk the South West Coast Path.

The inland route from Marhamchurch (above Bude) is more moderate, though far from pancake-flat. This is an isolated rural ride with few facilities: your best chance is by taking a short detour to Camelford, after the two routes have rejoined.

By now, the coast has been left behind and moorland scenery has taken over. Bodmin Moor’s twisting, narrow lanes are as attractive as the coast route in their own way, though the road across the old airfield at Davidstow is hard work if the wind catches you in the wrong direction. To minimise visual clutter, cycle route signs are painted on the road here, so keep a close eye out and follow your map.

Finally the route descends to the famous Camel Trail, an off-road route which attracts thousands of novice cyclists every holiday. These first five miles are more subdued – the crowds really only throng the trail as it approaches the coast – but as ever, ride slowly past dog walkers and family groups. A fork in the trail gives you two options: left to Bodmin, or right to Wadebridge and Padstow. The main Cornish Way goes via Bodmin, but Padstow is a delightful detour both for its well-heeled daytripper vibe and the stunning waterside railway path that leads there.

Hotels

Advent

from £0Dovecote
from £130Drovers
from £87The Old Mill
from £0The Smithy

Blisland

Bodmin

from £45Barn cottage
from £75Bedknobs
from £64Chark Farm
from £97Dairy Cottage
from £84Holly Lodge
from £2000Ivy Cottage
from £80Penno Cottage
from £2000St. Benets Abbey
from £107Sunnywell 50159
from £98The Stables

Bodmin Cornwall

Bodmin, Cornwall

Boscastle

from £72The Bull Pen
from £75The Cowshed
from £63The Hen House

Boscastle

from £106Ostlers 38652

Bude

from £80An Mor
from £100An Mor Hotel
from £75Base4you
from £2000Beach House
from £2000Bosvean House
from £38Brendon Arms
from £246Bude
from £86By the Byre
from £105Casamia
from £80Hebasca
from £110Hebasca Hotel
from £2000Ocean Breeze
from £115One4two
from £47Sunny Bank
from £105Sunnyside
from £76Surf Haven
from £88The Beach
from £2000The Bude Haven
from £71The Byre
from £0The Edgcumbe
from £95The Grosvenor
from £71The Linhay
from £224The Nook
from £69Thistledown
from £95Tommy Jacks
from £60Tommy Jacks
from £2000Upton Cross
from £2000the edgcumbe

Bude, Cornwall

from £110Ocean Breeze

Bugle

from £55The Bugle Inn

Camelford

from £122Cobbetts 81127
from £54Greenacres
from £2000Melorne Farm
from £70Melorne Farm
from £84Primrose
from £75Silvermoon
from £61The Granary

Camelford, Cornwall

Canworthy Water

from £509Penderrow

Cardinham Bodmin

from £67Cobble
from £66Nuthatch
from £73Tawnawood

Colquite Washaway

Cornwall

from £110Costislost

Davidston

from £90Inny Vale

Fletchers Bridge Bodmin

from £58Oak Dene

Fowey

Helland Bodmin

Hellandbridge

Hellandbridge

Helstone Camelford

from £52Gumburnville

Hersham

from £93The Gilberts

Holsworthy

from £148Omar Heron 6
from £118Omar Linnet 10
from £148Omar Linnet 8
from £259Summit 1
from £259Summit 3
from £259Summit 34

Jacobstow

from £93Meadow Barn

Jacobstow Bude

from £174Church View
from £0Copperbeech

Kilkhampton

Lanivet

from £0Hoopers Oak

Lanlivery

Lanlivery

from £446Bracken Lodge

Lanteglos

Launcells

Launceston

from £2000Wheatley Farm

Lostwithiel

from £446Crocus Lodge
from £2000King s Arms
from £2000Penrose B&B
from £60Royal Oak Inn
from £65Rudge Cottage
from £70The Globe Inn
from £2000Tremont

Luxulyan

Marhamchurch

from £0Allybere
from £134Salt Box

Marhamchurch

from £153Birchwood

Marhamchurch Bude

Michaelstow

Millpool

from £82Praze Cottage

Nanstallon

from £71Orchards
from £66Valley View

North Cornwall

Otterham

from £0Tradewinds

Par

Polbrock Washaway

from £101The Old Chapel

Poughill Bude

Poundstock Bude

from £73Cider Barn
from £71Homeleigh
from £70Millers Rest

Poundstock

from £94aalsmeer

Saint Mabyn

St Austell

from £2000The Bugle Inn
from £0Vine Cottage

St Blazey

St Blazey

from £105The Wagon House

St Breward

from £83Cross Cottage
from £73High View

St Breward, Bodmin Moor

from £373Trippet Cottage

St Gennys Bude

from £91The Shippon

St Mabyn

from £76Chy-An-Eglos

St. Breward Nr. Bodmin

from £91The Roost

Starapark

from £60Hilltop

Stibb

from £61Little Ashton

Stratton

from £63Pollards Way

Stratton Bude

from £91Duck House
from £73The Granary

Stratton Bude.

from £223Trew House

Stratton Near Bude

from £0Jalna

Tramagenna

from £0Well Barn

Tregoodwell Camelford

from £263Polmear Barn

Tregreenwell St Teath

from £0Springfields

Trelash

Tremabyn

from £0Trekara

Trewassa Nr. Camelford

from £77Skiber Spar

Valley Truckle

Washaway

Washaway

Week St Mary

from £286Hayescott
from £75Pennacott

Week St Mary Nr. Bude

Wenford Bridge

from £0Wenford Hall

Widemouth Bay

from £154Ky-Lin

Widemouth Bay Bude

Widemouth Bay

from £50Elements
2

Bodmin to Truro

Bodmin is a little down-at-heel, but has a useful supermarket and a handful of cafés where you can refuel. You might hear the occasional toot from a steam train: the Bodmin & Wenford Railway uses those lengths of trackbed that the Camel Trail hasn’t laid claim to. There’s a useful mainline railway station at Bodmin Parkway, four miles out of town on a fully signposted route (if hilly).

Forgotten lanes along a closely wooded valley slowly deliver you to one of the highlights of the route: the Eden Project. This space-age celebration of the natural world needs no introduction, and most Cornish Way cyclists will make time for a visit. Don’t forget to mention you arrived by bike for a discount on admission; the project appears to bear no ill-will to cyclists even though Sustrans beat them to a £50m lottery grant!

Mid-Cornwall has an intricate network of cycle routes on former quarry railways, and you’ll see signs for the first of them here. NCN 3 continues to the warrenlike town of St Austell, an unpretentious place perhaps best known for its brewery – St Austell ales are inescapable in Cornwall.

For all St Austell’s workaday qualities, Mevagissey – seven miles on, along a lovely traffic-free path – is absolutely picture perfect. This harbour village has long been sought after by London visitors, and it’s the route’s first taste of holiday Cornwall. It also marks a return to the steep coastal lanes, though mercifully, none as taxing as the Bude section. Not to worry: there’s always a St Austell pub whenever you need a rest. Portloe, right on the coast, is a particularly pleasant lunch lunch stop.

The route descends to the Fal estuary at King Harry Ferry, where the busy car ferry (small fee) takes you over to the west bank and a steep climb up to a secluded wooded path; you may be lucky enough to see peregrines here. Two routes are signposted, one through Truro and another which bypasses the compact cathedral city. For overnight accommodation, one enjoyable option is to take the train from Truro to Falmouth, an enjoyable harbour town with good pubs and restaurants, and B&Bs aplenty.

Hotels

Biscovey

Blisland

Bodelva

Bodmin

from £45Barn cottage
from £75Bedknobs
from £64Chark Farm
from £97Dairy Cottage
from £84Holly Lodge
from £2000Ivy Cottage
from £80Penno Cottage
from £2000St. Benets Abbey
from £107Sunnywell 50159
from £98The Stables

Bodmin Cornwall

Bodmin, Cornwall

Bugle

from £55The Bugle Inn

Caerhays

from £117Grain Store 1
from £117Grain Store 2

Cardinham Bodmin

from £67Cobble
from £66Nuthatch
from £73Tawnawood

Carlyon Bay

Carlyon Bay

Carnon Downs

from £144Haven
from £151Haven II
from £151Haven III
from £151Haven IV
from £151Haven V
from £151Valley Gallery
from £151Villa Gallery
from £151Villa Gallery
from £151Villa Gallery

Carnon Downs

from £151Villa Gallery

Chacewater

from £0Owls Cry

Charlestown

from £72Trevose

Charlestown St Austell

from £141Gwel An Porth
from £84Gwelmor

Charlestown Nr. St Austell

from £0Lily Cottage

Colquite Washaway

Cornwall

from £110Costislost
from £69County Arms
from £89Norway Inn

Crowsmeneggus

from £0Crougy Barn

Duporth

from £204Serenity

Duporth Nr. Charlestown

from £0Aneth Mor

Falmouth

Feock

from £0Cherry Trees

Fletchers Bridge Bodmin

from £58Oak Dene

Fowey

Gorran Haven

from £85Seacharm
from £0Seaview
from £105The Gables
from £48The Homestead

Gorran Haven St Austell

from £76Sea Haven

Gorran Haven St. Austell

from £109Zion Cottage

Gorran

Helland Bodmin

Hellandbridge

Hellandbridge

Lanivet

from £0Hoopers Oak

Lanlivery

Lanlivery

from £446Bracken Lodge

Lostwithiel

from £446Crocus Lodge
from £2000King s Arms
from £2000Penrose B&B
from £60Royal Oak Inn
from £65Rudge Cottage
from £70The Globe Inn
from £2000Tremont

Luxulyan

Mevagissey

from £85Anneth Lowen
from £67Penty Rosen

Mevagissey

from £24853 Polkirt Hill
from £0Bacchus
from £58Blue Harbour
from £0Bosprennis
from £100Cove Brooke
from £129Dune
from £74Jetty Cottage
from £0Linton
from £121Lowen
from £0Lowenek
from £0Mandalay B&B
from £103Pentillie
from £70Pippins
from £90Polly'S
from £45The Net Lofts
from £99The Sea Hoss
from £2000The Ship Inn
from £93Tranquility
from £195Tregoney House

Mevagissey Cornwall

Mevagissey St Austell

Mevagissey St. Austell

from £0Holm

Mevagissey, St Austell

Mevagissey. St Austell. Cornwall

from £0Pebble House

Millpool

from £82Praze Cottage

Mylor Bridge

from £116Whim Cottage

Mylor Churchtown Falmouth

Nanscawen St Blazey

from £105Tabbs Cottage

Nanstallon

from £71Orchards
from £66Valley View

North Cornwall

Par

from £75Emms Cottage

Penelewey Nr. Truro

Pentewan

from £125Isolde Cottage

Philleigh

Philleigh-in-Roseland

from £0The Granary

Polbrock Washaway

from £101The Old Chapel

Polgooth St Austell

from £49Sweet's Close

Polmear Nr. Par

from £0Sand Dunes

Port Mellon

from £150The Gallery

Porthpean

Porthscatho

from £600Chywartha
from £371Farfield

Porthtowan

from £0Porhellik

Portloe

from £111Bay Cottage

Portmellon

from £82Puffin Burrow
from £140Rock Cottage

Portmellon

from £80Dawn Cottage

Portmellon Mevagissey

from £81Chy Rani

Portscatho

from £215Driftwood
from £235The Rosevine

Portscathro

from £249Tantallon 25063

Prideaux St Blazey

from £99The Linney

Roseweek St Austell

from £46Cowslip

Roundwood Old Kea Nr. Truro

from £0Quay Cottage

Ruan Lanihorne

from £116Toadstools

Saint Austell

from £2000Duke of Cornwall
from £2000Kernow Homes
from £2000Providence Farm
from £166Seahorses

Saint Ewe

Saint Just in Roseland

from £495April Cottage

Saint Mabyn

St Austell

from £36Arches B&B
from £2000Boscundle Manor
from £2000Bradleigh Lodge
from £0Clay Cottage
from £2000Cooperage
from £0Dolphin Rock
from £70Gunnado
from £2000Langdale House
from £85Liskey House
from £45Mountview
from £78Neptunes Rest
from £66Polgreen Farm
from £76Poppy Cottage
from £225Seahorses
from £67Summer Breeze
from £0Sunny Skies
from £64Sunrise
from £61Sunset
from £140The Bothy
from £2000The Bugle Inn
from £42The Elms
from £80The Gables
from £45The Royal Inn
from £170The Studio
from £0The Vean
from £519Tregolfva
from £2000Trenoweth
from £0Vine Cottage

St Austell, Cornwall

St Blazey

from £107The Linhay

St Blazey

from £105The Wagon House

St Breward

from £83Cross Cottage
from £73High View

St Breward, Bodmin Moor

from £373Trippet Cottage

St Clement Nr. Truro

St Ewe

from £106Heligan Cottage

St Mabyn

from £76Chy-An-Eglos

St. Austell

from £50Cooperage
from £85The Grange

St. Breward Nr. Bodmin

from £91The Roost

St.Austell

Tregony

Tregony Nr. Truro

from £102Ash Cottage
from £78Beech Cottage
from £83Oak Cottage

Tregorrick

Tregrehan

from £70Invergarry
from £0Riverside

Trelowth Nr Mevagissey

from £69Avalen

Tremabyn

from £0Trekara

Trevarrick

from £135Highcote

Truro

from £74Ashby Villa
from £105Bos Eglos
from £60Chycara
from £2000Chycara
from £89County Arms
from £0Demelza
from £250Driftwood
from £94Little Thatch
from £2000Monterey House
from £50Pecks B&B
from £53The Alverton
from £70The City Inn
from £65The Fieldings
from £157The Mowhay
from £2000The Old Vicarage
from £0The Sleepery
from £2000The Victoria Inn
from £125The cabin

Twelveheads Truro Nr. Redruth

Tywardreath

from £0Greenhaven
from £40May Cottage
from £78Rashliegh'S

Tywardreath

Tywardreath Nr. Fowey

from £117Tegen
from £116The Pool House

Veryan

from £543The Hut

Veryan Truro

Washaway

Washaway

Wenford Bridge

from £0Wenford Hall
3

Truro to Land's End

After Truro, the route makes great use of the mineral tramways that once served Cornish industry. Much of the first section is on the old tramway route from Perranwell to Portreath, now the shortest signposted coast-to-coast cycle route in Britain!

Redruth and Camborne run into each other, former industrial towns that have yet to attract many tourists. After a brief flirtation with the busy streets around Redruth station, the route climbs to the slopes of Carn Brea for a fascinating short stretch past the old mines. (There’s a five-mile circular route here if you have time for a diversion.)

NCN 3 enjoys its own coast-to-coast swerve from Hayle, on the north coast, to Marazion in the south – just six miles on winding, low-lying lanes. You can stop at St Erth for an excursion by train to nearby St Ives, Cornwall’s finest resort whose narrow streets are home to art galleries, boutique clothes shops, and Cornish pasty sellers alike. Marazion is much smaller but certainly worth the half-mile detour off the route, particularly for the views across to St Michael’s Mount – the twin of Mont-St-Michel, with regular boats from the village.

The cycle path to Penzance just ekes out a space between the beach and the Great Western Railway. Don’t be surprised if you’re overtaken by a High Speed Train completing its long trek from London Paddington – after all, it might be your transport home. The town has few ambitions to serve as a resort and is all the better for it, with many local shops and a fine range of pubs. Tie up by the station and walk up the oddly named Market Jew Street to Causeway Road, the heart of the town.

The route clings to the coast past the fine fishing village of Newlyn, where you’ll see Stevensons trawlers returning with their latest catch; you can buy direct from their shop here, or in the smaller outlet in Penzance. An excellent coastal path carries onto Mousehole (pronounced “Mow-zull”, the first syllable rhyming with “how”). With its harbour and pubs, this is just what you’d expect a Cornish fishing village to look like.

The climb out of Mousehole is laughably steep and few would begrudge you pushing up it. There’s another such hill at Lamorna, but otherwise, the last 11 miles to Land’s End are relaxing, rolling riding.

A sandy bike path bypasses the notorious A30 on the final stretch, going via Sennen Cove which is, truth be told, altogether nicer than the slightly tacky mess of Land’s End itself. But you haven’t cycled all this way for the destination; the journey is its own reward.

Bike shops

Campsites

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Hotels

Angarrack

Bosorne St Just

Camborne

Camborne

from £39Lowenac Hotel
from £45Tyacks Hotel
from £59Tyacks Hotel

Cape Cornwall

from £71Atlantic View

Carbis Bay

from £295Glenside House

Carbis Bay

from £218Invercloy

Carbis Bay, St Ives

Carn Brea Redruth

Carnkie

Carnkie Redruth

from £0Carn Brea
from £62Crofty
from £62Wheal Basset

Carnon Downs

from £144Haven
from £151Haven II
from £151Haven III
from £151Haven IV
from £151Haven V
from £151Valley Gallery
from £151Villa Gallery
from £151Villa Gallery
from £151Villa Gallery

Carnon Downs

from £151Villa Gallery

Chacewater

from £0Owls Cry

Cockwells

Connor Downs Nr. Hayle

from £704 Seasons

Cornwall

from £69County Arms
from £89Norway Inn
from £17YHA Penzance

Crowsmeneggus

from £0Crougy Barn

Falmouth

Feock

from £0Cherry Trees

Four Lanes

Goldsithney

from £126Grove Lodge

Grumbla Sancreed

Gulval

from £0Old Court

Gulval Penzance

from £112Valley Cottage

Gwithian

Gwithian Nr. Hayle

Gwithian, Hayle

Hayle

from £351Trelawn

Hayle

from £0Bostrase B&B
from £45Estuary View
from £397Orchard View
from £2000Star Inn
from £108Tolroy Road

Heamoor Penzance

Heamoor Nr. Penzance

from £129Richmond St

Illogan

Kerrow Farm Sennen

from £0Robins Nest

Lamorna

Lelant Downs Hayle

from £49The Barn

Lelant

from £0Gracelands

Lelant. Nr St Ives

Lower Boscaswell Pendeen

from £98Bowjy Coth

Lower Treave

Ludgvan Nr Marazion Penzance

from £0Yaffar

Madron

from £84Chy-Vean

Marazion

from £0The Gazebo

Marazion

from £0Bay View
from £0Blue Horizon
from £61Chy Lowenna
from £0Denham House
from £100Godolphin Arms
from £125Marazion Hotel
from £0Mount View
from £45Rosario

Marazion Penzance

from £84Hobbits
from £0Spindrift

Mawla

from £0Beech Barn
from £74Maple Barn
from £77Oak Barn

Mawla Nr. Porthtowan

from £97Ash
from £0Elm
from £0Willow

Mount Hawke

from £61The Old Dairy

Mousehole

Mousehole

from £72Ty Cariad
from £135Withy Cottage

Mousehole Penzance

from £112Chapel Place
from £96Driftwood
from £94Oaken Cottage

Mylor Bridge

from £116Whim Cottage

Mylor Churchtown Falmouth

Nance

from £0The Loft

Nancledra

from £0Mount View

Nancledra

from £0The Dry B&B

Newlyn

from £81Pen Camneves

Newlyn

from £234The Fradgan

Newlyn Nr Penzance

Newlyn Nr. Penzance

from £85Bucca Cottage

Numphra Penzance

from £101The Bowji

Numphra Nr. St Just

from £0Dyji

Paul

from £73The Snug

Penelewey Nr. Truro

Penzance

from £0Burford
from £50Carnson House
from £2000Carnson House
from £63Cliff Hotel
from £2000Dolphin Tavern
from £0Dunroamin
from £110Ednovean Farm
from £0Ennys
from £0Estoril
from £0Glen Afton
from £2000Higher Faugan
from £2000Lugger Inn
from £0Marine Lodge
from £161Ocean Blue
from £35Penmorvah
from £34Pip's Cottage
from £100Rosalie Annexe
from £2000Sea Waves B&B
from £15Ship Inn
from £0Sophia's B&B
from £173St Mary'S House
from £2000The Coldstreamer
from £2000The Commercial
from £2000The Dock Inn
from £2000The Old Vicarage
from £65The Ship Inn
from £2000The Stanley
from £79The Yacht Inn
from £45Torwood House
from £65Union Hotel
from £55Warwick House
from £13YHA Penzance

Philleigh

Philleigh-in-Roseland

from £0The Granary

Porthreath

from £108Seagull Cottage

Porthscatho

from £600Chywartha
from £371Farfield

Porthtowan

from £0Porhellik

Porthtowan

Portreath

from £111Snapper 85218
from £452The Sand House
from £71Village Belle

Portscatho

from £215Driftwood
from £235The Rosevine

Portscathro

from £249Tantallon 25063

Praa Sands

Praze-An-Beeble Nr. Hayle

from £110High Lanes

Redruth

from £2000Collins Arms
from £2000Plume of Feathers
from £2000Portreath Arms
from £79Trickys

Rosudgeon

from £105Bluebell Barn
from £189Glenside
from £43The Loft
from £98The Stable

Roundwood Old Kea Nr. Truro

from £0Quay Cottage

Saint Just in Roseland

from £495April Cottage

Scorrier Redruth

from £0Allways

Sennen

from £105An Garth
from £75An Gwel
from £115Brogh Cottage

Sennen

from £113Ardmor
from £224Bishop Rock
from £95Longships
from £86Pen-Tewan
from £114Sevenstones
from £0Shark Fin
from £176The Bunker

Sennen Cove

Sennen Penzance

from £0Clidga

Sennen Nr. Penzance

from £327Cragford

South Cornwall

South Tehidy

from £134Pennard

St Buryan

St Buryan Nr. Penzance

from £94Hendra

St Clement Nr. Truro

St Day

from £2000The Cedars B&B

St Erth Hayle

from £0Manor House

St Ives

from £170The Gannet Inn

St Ives

from £0Beachcroft
from £81Happys
from £195Lamorna Lodge
from £2000Maristow
from £48Sea Skies

St Ives, Cornwall

from £65The Atlantic

St Just

from £111Furzeburrow
from £73Sunset

St Just Penzance

from £87Willoughby

St Just

from £63Thyme Cottage

St Just, Penzance

St. Agnes

St. Buryan

from £75The Wallow

St. Ives

from £70The Atlantic

St.Ives

from £36Cottage Hotel

Tehidy Park

from £1192 The Courtyard

Tregeseal

Trenwheal

Truro

from £105Bos Eglos
from £60Chycara
from £2000Chycara
from £89County Arms
from £0Demelza
from £250Driftwood
from £87Park Cottage
from £50Pecks B&B
from £53The Alverton
from £70The City Inn
from £65The Fieldings
from £2000The Kings Head
from £157The Mowhay
from £2000The Old Vicarage
from £0The Sleepery
from £2000The Victoria Inn
from £125The cabin

Twelveheads Truro Nr. Redruth