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The Camel Trail, Cornwall

Covering nearly 18 miles of mostly traffic-free, dreamily flat tarmac, the Camel Trail affords walkers, cyclists and equestrians the perfect space for North Cornish escapades.

A disused railway line, the Camel Trail has been transformed into a multi-use trail between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Largely traffic-free, it rolls for mile after mile in North Cornwall, showcasing a stunning showreel of beautiful countryside and seascapes. Made with no steep turns or sharp inclines, its accessibility makes it a favourite amongst all generations and an ideal day out for all the family.

Following the paths of two former railway lines, the Camel Trail comprises a section of the North Cornwall Railway between Padstow and Wadebridge and most of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway from Wadebridge to Wenford Bridge. Originally built in 1831 by Sir William Molesworth of Pencarrow, the line was used to transport sand inland to farms for fertiliser and run slate and china clay from quarries to ships waiting in Padstow harbour.

Later adapted to haul fish landed in Padstow inland to London and other cities, the railway line was heavily impacted by dwindling industries in the county. Running its final passenger train in 1967 and freight in 1983, it closed its doors on steam for good, ready to begin its next chapter. Setting up the first bike hire in Cornwall later that year in 1983, day-trippers and holidaymakers have visited the trail ever since, making use of its gentle gradients, beautiful location and stunning views.

If you would like to visit, be it on foot, bike or hoof, the trail is open throughout the year and affords a wonderful opportunity to loosen your limbs and fill your lungs with fresh air. Broken up into different sections, you can enjoy bitesize chunks of the trail or, if you have a bike, cover the whole distance in a day. Bring your own along or hire one from one of the many hire shops along the way. With loads of places to call into cafes and shops along the way too, you’ll never be short of a warming picker-upper or refreshing cooler-downer either!

Feeling inspired? Take a peek at our luxury cottages in North Cornwall here.

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