Nanny Pat’s days out: the Camel Trail

Two bikes on a cycle trail by a river in Cornwall.

Those of you who are regular readers of our blog will know that Nanny Pat loves nothing more than getting out on her bike. Here’s her take on one of Cornwall’s most popular cycle routes – the Camel Trail.

You won’t find any actual camels here – the trail takes its name from the River Camel (Dowr Kammel in Cornish, which means crooked river). It’s ideal for family cycling as it’s traffic-free and largely level. Cycling the Camel Trail is also an excellent way to soak up some of North Cornwall’s most beautiful scenery – it’s fantastic on a cool, crisp autumn day.

The full trail is 18 miles long, running from Padstow to Wenford Bridge, via Wadebridge and Bodmin. However, you can opt to do one of the shorter sections instead – we cycled the trail from Wadebridge to Padstow which is an easy route winding five and a half miles along the old railway line by the Camel Estuary.


The trail runs through a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). You’re likely to see several species of wading birds in along the way, and if you’re lucky, you might also spot an otter or a kingfisher.

We usually reward ourselves with a delicious ice cream when we get to Padstow, where you can explore the pretty harbour and indulge in a little retail therapy. You can also get the ferry over to nearby Rock, or visit the National Lobster Hatchery on your way back to Wadebridge to extend the day.

When to visit

Spring and autumn are ideal times to cycle the Camel Trail as it’s cooler and less busy – it can get very busy here at the height of summer!

Useful information

If you haven’t brought your own bikes down to Cornwall with you, you can hire them at Bridge Bike Hire in Wadebridge or Padstow Cycle Hire. It’s worth booking in advance or calling to check whether they’ve got availability before you travel.


You can find more information and download a leaflet about the Camel Trail from the Cornwall Council website.

Getting there

Wadebridge is approximately 40 minutes’ drive from Bosinver. There’s a large long stay public car park in Piggy Lane. Postcode for SatNavs: PL27 7AP.

Have you cycled the Camel Trail or any of Cornwall’s other cycle routes? Share your experiences below, post on our Facebook page or send us a tweet @bosinver.

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