Cycling is very different in St Germans and Hayle. St Germans is a fantastic area for the masochistic cyclist who loves a good hill climb and the thrill of a steep descent. There are few off road cycle ways, but plenty of very quiet country roads. We really like cycling in this area, but if your idea is a pleasant, fairly level, amble, it may be better to head towards the off road routes in mid Cornwall, several of them reachable by public transport - we'd particularly recommend the area around Bodmin Parkway station. For cycle hire, Go By Cycle will deliver your bikes to the door.
Cycles from St Germans;
Less than ten miles;
Simple figure of eight. This cycle is quite good for a short amble to blow the cobwebs away. Be warned - the hill down to Polbathic is very steep and should only be taken if your brakes are working well.
The closest short off road cycle is a lane leading up over the steep hill from the carriages in St Germans. It is called Longfield, with stunning views across the countryside, and makes a pleasant three mile ride when combined with very quiet lanes. For a map, please click here. The lane is extremely steep to get to the top of the hill, so it is safest to do this on the way up rather than down.
Also off road is the Seaton Valley countryside park, popular with very young cyclists and dog walkers. This is four miles from St Germans, or a slog of a cycle with two serious hills between. Combine it with more lanes to make a seven mile circular taking in breathtaking views of the coast. For a circular ride to Seaton click here.
I often head into the lanes for a short cycle; click here for a thirty minute warm up route, with a couple of hills. The road from Polbathic does have some traffic, and the hill down towards Polbathic is very steep indeed, so only attempt this ride if your brakes are working well.
The following are my recommendations for slightly longer rides from St Germans.
Up hill and down dale. This ride is particularly spectacular when the hedges are at their best in May and June. The steep descent into the valley before Hessenford should only be attempted if your brakes are working well. Cycling along these tiny, little used farm lanes gives a good taste of what life before cars might have been like. Be aware - the climb up pig lane from Hessenford is pretty tough.
Shopping in Liskeard, with the option of a train back; This is about as flat as cycle rides near St Germans get. There are several gentle climbs, and a steep hill just before Liskeard. If you return the way you came it is easier, as it is mainly downhill. Take special care when crossing the road at Trerulefoot - this is a very busy road and not suited to inexperienced cyclists.
On the way you will climb upwards to Padderbury fort, an iron age hill fort that can be seen for many miles. Also look out for the old mine workings at Wheal Honey, Trehane. This area was famous for its silver mines.
Returning from Liskeard via Seaton; Catch a train to Liskeard to begin this ride, which takes you to the coast along the valley from Liskeard.
Another hilly route. Lizzy's parents own twenty acres of cobnut, walnuts and apples. This cycle takes in some of the lanes between St Germans and the back of Landrake. Either take a picnic, or take a detour to the Weary Friar at Pillaton (mid way through the ride) or the Rod and Line at Tideford (towards the end), which is an excellent place to eat and close to home.
The Whitsand Bay Hotel does a good value home cooked two course meal at lunch time. The hotel itself is a lovely, decadent place. A meal includes coffee and mints in the grand lounge overlooking the sea.
Cycle to Whitsand Bay, taking in the fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand.
County wide sites
Cycle Route - I like this site! Lots of circular routes posted by cyclists all over Cornwall.
Chycor - A list of the main cycle routes in Cornwall. The site includes maps and information on each route.
The Cornish Way - A map of the Cornish Way and individual listings of the various mainly off road trails that feed into it.
The Mineral Tramways - history, heritage and maps.
The first and last trail - This passes past Harvey and with a little imagination can be turned into a circular route.
Nearest bike hire - Hayle Cycles. "Land's End is internationally recognised and a focal point for any visitor to Cornwall. Heading east along quiet lanes, the trail leaves the magnificent coastline and enters the ancient landscape of Penwith. The trail takes in the picturesque villages of Sennen, Lamorna and Mousehole and reveals fantastic views across Mount's Bay. There is a level route between Mousehole, Newlyn, Penzance and Marazion, as well as excellent links to popular tourist attractions such as Newlyn Art Gallery, Jubilee Pool and St Michael's Mount." With the castle of St. Michael's Mount forming a spectacular back-drop, the trail leaves the south coast at Marazion following relatively level minor roads along sheltered river valleys to Hayle and the more rugged north coast.passing through Hayle, maps, history and more.
Into Cornwall - Information on cycle routes on Cornwall.
Lets Go Biking - Information on cycle routes and cycling holidays in Cornwall.
Mobius Bike Trails - Information on guided bike trails in Cornwall.
Sustrans Cornwall - The UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Includes information and maps for the major cycle routes in Cornwall.
Cardimham Woods - Cycle up to four different routes around the valley of the Cardinham Water river. It is now possible to hire bikes from **. We and particularly our teenage son love these rather hairy mountain bike tracks but do be aware - they are not for beginners or the faint hearted! If you have young children you can take pushchairs and little bikes along the walking paths, but they are out of bounds for experienced cyclists.
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