An Hens Camhayl (Bodmin to Padstow)
The Camel Trail is arguably the most successful recreational trail in the UK, providing access to the beautiful Cornish countryside along a disused railway line between Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. As the final leg of the Atlantic Coast Express journey from Waterloo, winding alongside the spectacular Camel Estuary, the line was immortalised in ‘Betjeman’s Cornwall’ as “the most beautiful train journey I know”
Managed as a Partnership involving local community organisations, the Camel Trail is carefully maintained and promoted in order to accommodate the 350,000 users each year.
The Camel Trail is a 18 mile largely traffic free, smooth-surfaced and virtually level cycle way which passes through some of the most spectacular countryside in the south west. Following the disused railway line once used by the London and South West Railway, cyclists hug the Camel Estuary from Padstow to Wadebridge before joining the route through the deeply incised and beautifully wooded Camel Valley to Bodmin. Mid way between Padstow and Wadebridge why not stop for a coffee, snack or ice-cream provided by the wonderful Treats on Trikes (Easter – October half term, 10 -5 daily, weather permitting). Just a short cycle ride from Wadebridge and you will come across the beautiful Camel Valley Vineyard, where you can take a wine tour or just sample some of their award winning wines! At Bodmin yet another line, one of the most historic in the country, winds its way inland to the foot of Bodmin Moor where it comes to an end near Blisland, an extraordinarily pretty moorland village.
Landscape and wildlife designations abound, contrasts in scenery are striking and access to country and seaside towns provides opportunities to use local shops, pubs and visit attractions.
Visitors can easily hire bikes in Padstow, Wadebridge or Bodmin, if they don’t have their own. The trail provides access in to the heart of North Cornwall; experienced cyclists can make off, away from the trail exploring the many villages and country lanes which lie close to the trail.
The Camel Trail Partnership, formed in 2001, includes the local communities through whose area the trail passes. It also includes the Forestry Commission, English Nature and the Environment Agency all of whom have a particular interest in seeing the trail managed for wildlife and landscape as well as for people. The Partnership is supported by staff from the District and County Council. A ranger from the County Council and one from the District Council work together as a team to look after the day to day management of the trail thus making best use of scarce resources.
If you enjoy using the Camel Trail, why not join the Friends of the Camel Trail?