The Cornish Camel Trail – Short Guide

It’s a blowy Thursday morning, with clouds that threaten yet more rain, and there we were all kitted up ready to go cycling along the Camel Trail.

As part of our trip to Cornwall in September, we decided to head up to Padstow and tackle part of the Camel Trail. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this neck of the woods, the Camel Trail is a 17-mile cycle track along a resurfaced railway line that runs from Padstow to Wenford Bridge Driers. It is full of beautiful views with plenty of spots to stop and just take in the estuary setting. 

Camel Trail 2

The Camel Trail is a great family activity too, the trail is flat and easy to ride along so you can enjoy it at your own pace. There are plenty of stops along the trail to stop for refreshments including pasties in Wadebridge at the rough halfway point! For any bird watchers reading the stretch between Padstow and Wadebridge has plenty of bird life for you to watch and some dedicated bird watching huts too. When you get past Wadebridge and further inland you reach the woodland trails to cycle through.

Bike Hire

You don’t even need your own bikes either as you can hire them. At various points along the route, there are bike hire places, popular ones are in places like Padstow and Wadebridge.

cycling camel trail padstow cornwall travel adventure outdoor activities

We hired our bikes from Padstow Cycle Hire. They have a range of bikes and accessories  available to hire including electric bikes, tandems and trailers for kids to sit in. Joe and I hired a pair of hybrid bikes at £16 each for the day. This includes a puncture repair kit for those oops moments. Also Padstow Cycle Hire work closely with the bike hire in Wadebridge so if the bike broke they would be able to help sort it, this is reassuring for those serious oops moments.

Hoiday Travelling Boat Estuary blue skies cycle track adventure

Let’s Get Cycling

Kitted out with our new transport we headed for the trail. Deciding that we would do the most popular stretch of the Camel Trail which was from Padstow to Wadebridge and back.

The views were amazing. The tide was on its way out but the water that was left was this lovely blue colour that stood out lovely against the green countryside that makes up the Cornish coastlines.

There are loads of things to look out for while cycling along the trail. They can be very easily missed if you don’t have an eagle eye for spotting interesting things. On our way to Wadebridge about halfway in I spotted a boat that was looking like it had seen better days. So we pulled over and took a closer look at this rundown vessel.

Boat Abandoned Shipwreck Came Trail Cycling Adventure Cornwall Padstow Holiday Exploring Outdoors Cycle path

Halfway Point

Onwards we went and we made it to Wadebridge our halfway point on our Camel Trail round trip. Stopping for a water break and a debate on whether to keep our coats on or not (it was one of those weird weather days, one-second windy and chilly the next sunny and hot!). We then set off back to Padstow.

On the route back the wind was against us so our journey was a bit slower and much harder work! You don’t realise until you start facing the wind how much it was pushing you along. However Joe spotted one of the bird watching huts. So we pulled over took a break and hid from the wind for a second.

cycling Camel Trail Cornwall Padstow Sea view Blue skies Outdoors Activities Cycle pathWe returned to Padstow in plenty of time to have a wander around the shops and get a good ol’ Cornish pasty. The grand total was 11 miles to Wadebridge and back. It took us around 2.5 hours with all our breaks.

It is a great day out no matter your age and cycling ability. Don’t forget the exercise you do that doesn’t even feel like exercise. Next time I plan to do the whole Camel Trail. Start early and try to get as far as we can.

cycling camel trail Cornwall Padstow outdoor activities

Who else has successfully completed the whole Camel Trail or even part of the trail? Share your stories in the comments.

See you next time and happy adventuring!

Jo x

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  1. 28/10/2017 / 7:51 am

    Looks like a nice day. In some ways, a dismantled railway is an ideal way to see the Cornish countryside as it’s probably one of the few places you won’t encounter too many hills! Why is it called the Camel Trail?

    • 28/10/2017 / 7:22 pm

      Oh yes! The route is lovely and flat, I find cycling are not the best of friends, also it allows you to take in more of the scenery. The Camel Trail gets it name from the Camel River that the whole route runs alongside.

  2. 28/10/2017 / 9:24 am

    Sounds an interesting stretch, might have to add it to my list of walks I want to complete 🙂

    • 28/10/2017 / 7:24 pm

      It is a beautiful walk Ashley, really flat and easy to walk/cycle on, full of wildlife and amazing scenery to take in 🙂

    • Jo
      07/06/2018 / 10:18 am

      It makes the trip much more peaceful without the rushing feel of traffic surrounding you. It is a beautiful area to cycle around, I hope you do get a chance to explore this section of Cornwall one day. Thank you for reading.

      Jo x

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