Walk or cycle Cornwall’s Clay Trails

Four people on bicycles, cycling in different directions along a cycle path.

If you’re staying in one of Bosinver’s cottages, you’re only a stone’s throw away from Cornwall’s Clay Trails.

The landscape around St Austell has been shaped by the clay mining industry, which lasted for over 250 years. As you travel around the area you’ll see the remains of old clay tips and pits. The Wheal Martyn Museum and Country Park has lots of interactive displays that bring the history of china clay industry to life, as well as woodland walks and a popular children’s adventure play area. You can also travel from Wheal Martyn to the Eden Project along the Clay Trails (and you’ll get a discount at Eden for arriving on foot or by bike)

Whether you choose to walk or cycle, the Clay Trails (which were opened to the public in 2005) are a great way to explore the area. Each route is around 3-5 miles long, and mostly traffic-free, making them ideal to explore with your family. Because they’re flat and well-surfaced, they’re suitable for buggies, mobility scooters and wheelchairs. They also connect with route 3 on the National Cycle Network, so if you fancy exploring further there’s scope to carry on.

The Pentewan Trail

This is one of our favourites! You can start at Bosinver and pick up the trail in the nearby village of London Apprentice, or drive to the village and park at the start. he route takes you through King’s Wood along the river, following the path of an old narrow gauge railway which was used to transport china clay from St Austell to the ships at Pentewan harbour. Once you reach Pentewan, there’s a small beach which is an ideal to stop for a break and a picnic or a coffee.

Getting there

The trails connect with local bus stops and train stations, so they’re in easy reach from Bosinver by public transport, and there are also designated Clay Trails car parks. You can download a map from Sustrans showing all the trails, how to get to them and where to hire bikes. It’s also worth checking out the Clay Trails of Cornwall website for more information on the individual trails and their history.

Bike hire

If you need to hire bikes there are several places you can hire them from close to the trails (see Cornwall’s Clay Trails leaflet). Pentewan Valley Cycle Hire will also deliver bikes and accessories to Bosinver.

If you’re looking for a longer route or want to see more of Cornwall why not try the Camel Trail?

Happy exploring!

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