The weather may be a bit on the chilly side and the summer may still seems a million miles away, but sometimes the best thing to do to lift us from our winter hibernation mode is to get out into the fresh air and see some truly spectacular views along the way.’Get on you’re bike’ so to speak and head down to the Camel Trail to clear the head and brush away the cobwebs.
So lets start with a bit of background history on the Camel Trail. The Trail follows the path of two former rail lines which was originally commissioned in 1831 by local landowner Sir William Molesworth of Pencarrow. The purpose of the line was to carry sand from the Camel estuary to inland farms for use as fertiliser. Later the railway line was used to ship slate and china clay from inland quarries to ships in Padstow and also to transport fish landed from Padstow to be sold in the cities. Sadly this wasn’t to last and when Cornwall saw both the quarring and fishing trade starting to die off this resulted in the railway losing most of its traffic. The last passenger train to use the railway line was in 1967 and freight finally ceased in 1983. Attempts have been made to return the Trail to its former glory as a railway line but this is something that has never happened due to its now popular status as a trail for the community and tourists alike.
Today the railway lines have gone and the trail is now a multi-purpose trail, a popular route for walkers,cyclists and horse riders.
The trail itself is ideal as it is flat and runs from the fishing village of Padstow through the market town of Wadebridge to Wentford Bridge in Bodmin. In total the route provides 17.3 miles (27.8KM) of beautiful scenery.
If you fancy getting out and about its easy enough to do as both Padstow and Wadebridge offer car parks with bike hire facilities, this also means if you don’t quite fancy doing the whole thing in one go then the trail can be broken into smaller trails of around 5 miles (8km).
So dust off your bike, grab your helmet and pack a picnic and take a ride (or walk) along a trail which offers fantastic views of the estuary and the countryside and breath in some fresh Cornish air always a winner in my opinion!