Self-guided Cornwall Cycling Tour
At a Glance
Cycle Cornwall on this 6 Day Self-Guided Adventure
Embark on a stunning week-long tour of Cornwall, immersing yourself in England’s breath-taking South West with this self-guided cycling holiday. Traversing off-road tracks and converted rail-to-trail paths, bike through the romantic wilds that inspired Poldark, upon historic mineral tramways and into stunning coastal villages. Cycle along rugged cliffs and over picturesque beachfronts, taking in some of Cornwall’s most incredible landmarks along the way. Visit Land’s End, England’s most westerly point and explore the famous seaside haven of St Ives.
A challenging ride that’s best-suited to more experienced cyclists, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with incredible views, welcoming pubs and delicious local cuisine, all while travelling at your own pace. Join us in the South West, and let Active England will take you on a Cornish adventure you’ll never forget.
Arriving from 2pm into Bodmin Parkway railway station, our friendly local guides will help you with your luggage, set you up with your bike and introduce you to the area, taking the time to answer any questions you may have. With all the equipment and guidance you’ll need for a great week’s cycling, set off from the station straight onto the trails. It’s a gentle start, with limited climbing and a visit on route to Llanhydrock National Trust Gardens, a magnificent Victorian country house set within beautiful gardens. Pedalling through Llanhydrock’s wooded estate, continue south toward Carlyon Bay and the gorgeous harbour at Charlestown, where you’ll finish the first day of your tour with your feet in the sea and a drink in your hand.
Cycle toward the magical Lost Gardens of Heligan, taking the opportunity to explore and enjoy a cup of coffee. From here, continue along the coast to the port of Mevagissey for lunch. While you’ll find no shortage of places to eat, we recommend The King’s Arms, famous for its incredible local lobster. Refreshed, spend the afternoon biking down the coast to the small fishing village of St Mawes, enjoying unparalleled panoramic views as you pedal across the headland. Finally, finish your day by catching the ferry to Falmouth, a bustling town that’s home to one of the world’s largest natural harbours.
Set out from Falmouth, riding along the intricate tramways of Cornwall’s tin mines toward Portreath. Historically a thriving port, you’ll stop here for coffee or an early lunch at the seaside café and bike shop, before continuing to the port town of Penzance. With excellent restaurants, friendly pubs and plenty of quirky independent shops and galleries, you’ll stay here for the next few nights.
Riding out from Penzance, follow the quiet Cornish roads to St Ives, before moving on to Land’s End. A world-famous landmark and England’s most westerly point, you’ll see the Isles of Scilly from the towering 200ft-high granite cliffs, and beyond that, across the Atlantic Ocean toward North America. Alternatively, for a shorter ride, you’ll have the option to skip Land’s End by cycling back to Penzance from the nearby town of St Just. Whichever route you choose, you’re certain to be enchanted by this wild corner of Cornwall.
Today’s ride will take you from Penzance toward Newquay, a thriving location on Cornwall’s North Coast that’s officially been voted one of the nation’s favourite seaside towns. With the route taking you inland, immerse yourself in Cornwall’s green countryside, passing rugged tors and lush woodland. On arrival, spend the remainder of the day resting your weary legs on Newquay’s sandy beaches or in its lively harbour.
After a relaxed breakfast, set out along the north coast toward the stunning seaside town of Padstow, where you’ll join the legendary Camel Trail. With spectacular views over the Camel Estuary, this final stretch brings the tour to an end in the traditional Cornish town of Wadebridge. From here, a short taxi journey will return you to Bodmin Parkway railway station for your onward travel. Alternatively, if you would prefer to stay in Cornwall a little longer, our Active England guides will be more than happy to help arrange an extra night’s accommodation in Wadebridge.
Rashleigh Arms, Charlestown
Award-winning bed and breakfast situated in the iconic fishing village of Charlestown, a stunning coastal destination that has been featured in a variety of films and TV series, including the Cornish favourite, Poldark. Pop in for a pint of award-winning ale or get cosy with a bite to eat from the delicious menu that champions local produce.
Chain Locker, Falmouth
Forming part of the historic quayside, the Chain Locker is believed to be one of Falmouth’s oldest buildings. Today, this 16th-century pub offers stylish and contemporary dining, with beautiful boutique rooms overlooking the Carrick Roads sailing waters. Sit outside beside the harbour or sink into a window seat on the first floor – where cantilevered balconies await.
Warwick House, Penzance
A charming Regency period Guest House built in Penzance in the 1830’s and now a listed building with superb views of Mount’s Bay. Enjoying an enviable position in Penzance with the promenade in front, whilst the quaint inns and restaurants of historic Chapel Street lie behind.
What our guides say...
This is a tough ride but it’s so beautiful and there’s plenty of tasty local food and drink to reward your efforts!
- All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
- All breakfasts
- Mechanical support for major breakdowns
- We expect all guests to be able to undertake basic maintenance including changing a tyre
- GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
- All baggage transportation
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
We have handpicked the best family run, independent and country hotels, pubs and guest houses. Cosy and with informal dining, these country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales. Our handpicked accommodation is 3* with the option to upgrade to 4* for an additional cost.
This tour is rated hard, requiring guests to be competent cyclists with the ability to consistently bike 30 miles with decent elevation. There are hills to climb, but you’ll be well-rewarded with some truly wonderful descents.
- Bikes (road / hybrid / e-bike (with supplement)
- Phone mounts
- Bike accessories
- Guests are free to bring their own pedals / saddles which we will fit to the bikes
Pick-up location: Bodmin Parkway railway station. Our cycling holidays are designed to be completely relaxing, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Tiverton Parkway, a direct 4-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Bodmin Parkway.
Where is Devon and Cornwall?
Cornwall is in the far South West of England, bordered by the famous English Channel and Celtic Sea. Known for its natural beauty, rugged coastline, idyllic coastal villages, beaches and walking and cycling trails, Cornwall is an outdoor enthusiast’s ideal playground!
Devon is Cornwall’s wild neighbour, with craggy coasts to the North and South and ancient hills on Dartmoor! It has inspired authors and painters from afar and is a beautiful area in all weathers.
What is the best way to get to Devon and Cornwall?
The best way out of London and into Devon and Cornwall is by train. From Paddington direct to Exeter St David’s or Tiverton Parkway in around 2 hours, or continue to Bodmin Parkway in 4 hours. The South West is also easily accessible from Bristol and the Midlands by train. If you prefer to drive, there is station parking available at all train stations.
To get a bit deeper into both counties it is easy to get a taxi from the train station.
Are the roads safe to cycle on in Devon & Cornwall?
Our carefully curated routes try to stick to quiet country roads, off-road gravel paths or dedicated cycle trails.
How hilly is Devon & Cornwall?
There are hills, but with hills come great views and it means you feel like you’ve earned your fish & chips, cream tea or Cornish pasty!
You can also choose an electric bike if you’d prefer to have a boost!
What to pack for a cycling holiday?
A sense of adventure! We’ll provide bicycles and helmets but you are welcome to bring your own saddle and pedals which we’ll fit to our bikes for you.
Which holiday should I choose?
Guided or self-guided…
Our guides are the beating heart of our tours and can make all the difference to the enjoyment of your holiday – so we make sure to choose them VERY carefully! They are driven, knowledgeable, know how to have A LOT of fun and importantly will do their best to make your trip magical and memorable.
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the independent traveller or groups of travellers; those who wish to explore at their own pace and speed. With Ride With GPS and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Cycle at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is always on standby.
The choice is yours, but choosing Devon & Cornwall is a great start!
How fit and active do I need to be to go on a cycling tour?
Our trips have different length route options for those wishing to travel further or faster, and for those looking for a more leisurely ride. Daily route options vary from 30-50 miles on average. You can always upgrade to an e-bike if you prefer!
What’s the weather like in Devon & Cornwall?
Changeable! Devon & Cornwall has a much more tropical climate than the rest of England so it is often warmer and wetter – it’s not uncommon to have sunshine and showers in the same day, or even the same hour! It’s generally very pleasant and settled during the summer.
Want to extend your trip?
Start your trip with a tour of London or stay in Cornwall a few extra nights for more exploring. Chat to the team to find out more.
What’s the Number?
Nearly everything has a carbon footprint. Together with ecollective, we’ve measured the carbon impact of not only every tour we operate but our entire business. We’ve taken into account greenhouse gas emissions across the business including office, travel, website, vehicles, accommodation, activities, food, suppliers…
What does the number mean?
We’re going to improve this by measuring and reducing our footprint each year. That means working with our suppliers to make changes that have a more positive impact on us and the planet. What does this look like in reality?
- Redesign trips to reduce our carbon impact
- Working closely with all our suppliers across England to join us on our decarbonisation journey
- Switching up our vehicle fleet to electric
- Investing in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for any emissions that remain.
We’ve got a long way to go but we’re on our way to net-zero
We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future. We’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.
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