The Cornish Way
The Cornish Way is a 180 mile (288 km) cycle route which forms part of the National Cycle Network. It runs from Land's End, at the western tip of Cornwall, all the way to Bude on the Devon border. Here it links to the West Country Way which continues to Bath and Bristol.
As you may have noticed the 180 miles length far exceeds the distance from Land's End to Bude. This is because there are two alternative routes, one going through Padstow on the North Cornish coast, the other through St Austell on the South coast.
The National Cycle Network is a series of signed cycle routes across the UK stretching nearly 15,000 miles (21,000km). The criteria are that 50% of these miles should be off road and all sections should be 'suitable for an unsupervised 12 year old'. The Cornish Way falls someway short of this with around 29 miles being traffic free.
The route the Cornish Way takes was designed to avoid major roads and take in as many of Cornwall's assets as possible. This involves routes through historic towns, fishing villages, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, open moor and Cornwall's historic mining heartland. The route also incorporates some other trails such as the Camel Trail and the Engine House Trail which is part of the Mineral Tramway Trails.
There are six individual trails that make up the Cornish Way and these are listed below:
The First and Last Trail
From Lands End to Hayle
Iconic Land's End seems lice a logical starting point for any great journey and has the added bonus of being easy to find! From here the route heads across the rugged landscape of West Cornwall, an area rich in ancient sites, to the picturesque fishing village of Mousehole and historic town of Penzance beyond. The route passes through Marazion, past St Micheal's Mount and heads cross country to Hayle on the North Coast.
Download The First and Last Trail leaflet
The Engine House Trail
Part of the Mineral Tramway Trails from Hayle to Truro
The trail continues from Hayle, once an important foundry town, via quiet country lanes towards the old industrial heartland of Camborne where it picks up the largely traffic free Redruth & Chacewater Railway Trail. It is from this section that the trail gets its name with an abundance of old mine workings forming part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.
Download The Engine House Trail leaflet
The Coast and Clay Trail
Truro to Bodmin via St Austell
Heading out of the cathedral city of Truro the trail passes the National Trust gardens at Trelissick and across the King Harry Ferry to the Roseland Peninsula. The trail hits the coast at the pretty fishing village of Portloe and follows it towards the harbour town of Mevagissey and then on past the 'Lost Gardens of Heligan'. From here the route leaves the roads heading into St Austell and then back onto quiet country lanes through China Clay Country towards the Eden Project. The trail heads north from Eden on to the National Trust's Lanhydrock House were an off-road section to Bodmin is picked up.
Download The Coast and Clay Trail leaflet
The North Cornwall Trail
Bodmin to Devon border near Bude
The first stage of this trail takes you up to the charming village of Blisland on Bodmin Moor. The quiet country lanes lead up and down through valleys and over the exposed moortowards the North Cornwall coast. From here it is just a short way to the resort town of Bude and the Devon border beyond
Download The North Cornwall Trail leaflet
The St Piran Trail
Truro to Bodmin via Newquay
The St Piran trail is an alternative route to the St Austell section, heading instead to the North Coast. It cuts through the coutnryside to the bustling holiday resort of Newquay. Instead of taking the busy coastal road the trail heads inland from here to the old market town of St Columb Major and then on to the popular harbour town of Padstow. At this point it picks up the Camel Trail which runs alongside the River Camel to Wadebridge and then the old county town of Bodmin.
Download The St Piran Trail leaflet
The Camel Trail
This traffic free section leads from Padstow to Bodmin. For more information visit our Camel Trail page.