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The Cornish Way [cycling & hiking]

Last updated: 28 April, 2024

With dramatic land- and seascapes, a clement climate and an endearing legacy of legend and folklore, Cornwall is a destination made for exploration on foot or two wheels. The opening of the Cornish Way in 2000 – a superb 180-mile trail between Land’s End and Bude – has made that both possible and wonderfully simple.

There are six trails as follows: the Mineral Tramways, The Camel Trail, the Coast-to-Clay Trail, the First and Last Trail, the Engine House Trail, the North Cornwall Trail, and the St Piran Trail.

Each is worthy in its own right, but if you want to cover the whole route, the Way officially starts in Bude and finishes at Land’s End. (Note, the route splits at Truro, with one fork heading north via Padstow, and the other heading south via St Austell, before joining again at Bodmin). Unless you’re an avid hiker or cyclist coming for a cycling or walking holiday, you’ll probably only get time for one or maybe two trails.

For a hiking experience, however, choose the most challenging of the six legs – the Coast and Clay Trail, between Truro and Bodmin via St Austell. For heritage, pick the Engine House Trail, littered with old foundries and 19th-century engine houses.

Pick one of six interlinking trails, or tackle the whole route, exploring unspoilt Cornish countryside, stopping in at picturesque villages and discovering Cornwall’s pioneering industrial heritage.

 

Who to go with: tour operators

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

The trails are mostly traffic-free, though some stretches are along minor and rural roads. Download printable maps and itineraries from the website.