Top 5 Family-Friendly Cycle Routes in Cornwall
Looking for a round-up of the best bike trails in Cornwall that you can enjoy with the kids in tow, this summer? (After all, Summer 2021 is the prime time for a 'staycation')! ☀️
We've created a list of family-friendly routes for you - plus, three hidden treasures to make your days out extra special*, so you can have great family bike rides.
Cycling really is one of the best ways to discover the rugged beauty of this county, and the fact there are plenty of cafes dotted around to refuel (with yummy pasties and cream teas), plus stunning sandy beaches to relax on, makes it one of our all-time favourite spots for a family cycling holiday.
Let's get to it - here are our top picks:
1. Cornish Coast-to-Coast
The Coast to Coast, or the Bissoe Trail as it's also known, is a fantastic place for family bike rides, running from the Southern coastal village of Devoran through to the Northern beach-side town of Portreath.
The trail is a wonderful way to find out more about Cornwall's mining heritage, as much of the route is along the old Mineral Tramway Network of trails.
Running for about 11 miles, it is mostly on flat, purpose-built cycle tracks, with some occasional bits on country lanes and bumpier terrain.
This is a popular route, and rightly so, it offers picturesque cycling for all abilities.
2. Cardinham Woods🌲
Cardinham Woods offers an easy day out for families and has some great cycling routes suitable for all levels. It provides mixed woodlands, streams and outstanding views.
Thanks to the clever people at Forestry England, all routes are signed to make sure you pick a suitable trail for your group. Green pathways are ideal for beginners and most bikes, too.
There is a lovely café and a bike repair shop on-site. And there are often additional interactive walking trails for families, where you can spot your favourite Julia Donaldson Characters along the woodland walk.
Click here to find out more information about this cycle path.
3. Goss Moor 🐄
One for older children as some of the route is on (quiet) roads; Goss Moor offers riders 7 miles of fascinating trails through some of Cornwall's most diverse terrain.
A wildlife haven, and nature reserve, Goss Moor is well sign-posted with boards and markers along the route to allow you to explore the trails easily.
This is more of an off-the-beaten-track adventure but less busy as a result. It is so relaxed that you are pretty likely to come across a slumbering cow on some parts of the track.
Goss Moor is an excellent choice for nature lovers as it is home to a wide variety of wildlife, much of it unique to the moor. It is a blend of marsh, wetland, heath and scrub, so be prepared to bring your wellies to explore on foot if the weather hasn't been great before your visit!
4. The Camel Trail 🛤️
Perhaps one of Cornwall's most popular destinations for cyclists of all abilities, the Camel Trail is mostly traffic-free.
The Camel Trail runs along the old Bodmin and Wadebridge railway line. In fact, for a real treat, you can buy a freedom pass and travel part of the route by steam train from Bodmin Station; take your bikes and hop on and off as you please.
The Camel Trail runs from Padstow to Wadebridge, along the North Coast of Cornwall. It links into other cycle networks, making it a wonderful place to enjoy and explore. The trail offers stunning views of the Camel Estuary, wooded areas and coastal views into Rock and Dymer Bay. Padstow and Wadebridge have plenty of lovely places to eat and drink, so you don't even need to pack a picnic!
5. Loe Bar and the Penrose Estate 🦢
Starting at the Helston Boating Lake (there is a free car park here), the Penrose Estate offers an unforgettable place for family bike rides.
The trail is 6 miles around Loe Pool, down into Loe Bar Beach and around the Penrose Estate.
Some parts of the trail are tricky to navigate on two wheels, but it is entirely traffic-free and well worth walking alongside your bikes in places, if you have to.
The views are breathtaking; in fact, this is one of our absolute favourite places to visit as the trails offer an abundance of wildlife and settings along the way.
There is a café in the Penrose Estate and back at the Helston Boating Lake (where there is a pretty great play area too), making this a wonderful day out for the family.
*the Bike Club's Top Picks for Off-the-Beaten-Track Family Day's Out in Cornwall
If you're looking to get away from the crowds, head to these Cornish delights:
1) Kennal Vale:
An enchanted walk through a disused mill, Kennal Vale is a beautiful spot to visit with the family. Waterfalls and winding paths make it a pretty magical and fun place for little ones to explore.
2) Porthcurno and the Minack Theatre:
Porthcurno Beach is an award-winning beach located in the West of Cornwall. It’s Cornwall's tropical paradise, with white sand and azure waters.
It has a perfect stream for little ones to paddle in, and the nearby Minack Theatre is an atmospheric place to visit for a bit of outdoor entertainment.
3) St Nectan's Glen:
Another mesmerising spot, St Nectan's Glen is full of tales of Cornish piskies (pixies), fairies and magic. A winding path leads down through woodland to a waterfall, where you can cast wishes before visiting the café where they often host craft activities for children.
Wherever you explore this summer, we hope you have a great time! ☀️
Please send us your photos, or tag us in your travels, so we can share in your fun 👇
P.s. If you live in Cornwall and have any other recommendations for family bike rides for Bike Club families, we'd love to hear from you!