The Camel Trail was originally the railway line that connected Bodmin and Padstow and stretches 18 miles alongside the Camel Estuary. We know people who can still remember taking the train to school! It is now enjoyed by people of all ages as a cycle trail that passes by many beautiful and picturesque spots, easily accessed from Padstow, Wadebridge and Bodmin. Grab your bike and take a ride along the trail, no lycra required!
The scenery along the Camel Estuary is second to none and a haven for all kinds of wildlife, from birds to butterflies. The river and surrounding banks that they call home runs through rolling hills, farms, woodland and alongside small beaches. The trail follows the estuary all the way to the sea and passes through spots bathed in sunlight and stretches sheltered by overhanging branches and creeping plants. If you fancy a rest their are plenty of places to lay down your bike and your head, soak in the sunshine and gently doze the day away.
Whether the sun is shining, it’s blowing a gale and pounding with rain or the light is low at dawn or dusk, the Camel Trail is always open! You can take on the trail whatever the weather and at any time of day or night. It’s even a great rainy day activity, pop on your waterproofs and encourage splashing through puddles, just be prepared for seriously soaked wellies when you get home! Some people even cycle the trail as a commute to and from work – which certainly beats sitting in traffic in our opinion.
The Camel Trail is nearly completely flat as it used to be a working railway. This means it’s an easy cycle for all, even little kiddies. There are plenty of bike hire shops in Padstow, Wadebridge and Bodmin so don’t worry about bringing your own bike if it’s a faff. You can even rent trikes, tandems and carts for doggos! The trail isn’t even just for cycling – you’ll find many people walking dogs, jogging, horse riding and fishing from the river banks, as the Camel Trail accommodates for all.
No matter your age or athletic ability, the trail is suitable for all. Padstow to Wadebridge is around 5 and a half miles of pretty much flat terrain and stunning views, and to continue to Bodmin is only another 5.5 miles – just remember you’ll have to cycle all the way back! There are many little detours to take along the way, amble down to Wenford Bridge, wander around Wadebridge or if you’re really up for a mission you could venture all the way to Lanhydrock, a beautiful late Victorian mansion surrounded by stunning gardens and woodland.