The Camel Trail - Wadebridge to Padstow
The Camel Trail was built about 18 years ago on the trackbed of the old Wadebridge to Padstow railway line and is about 7 miles long and level nearly all the way. The trail is principally used by cyclists, as the ground is mostly level and easily traversed by the inexperienced. The trail is best tackled during the summer months as some parts of the track can turn muddy.
To get to the start of this trail take the turn-off from the Wadebridge bypass for Egloshayle and Wadebridge and proceed through the town until you come to the mini-roundabout. Turn left and cross the the Wool Bridge, then turn right onto the Quay Road. At the next mini-roundabout you will see the start of the trail off to the right, but turn left to park the car in the pay-and-display car park next to the supermarket. Alternatively there is a long stay car park in the centre of town off Polmorla Road. If you have not brought your own cycles you can hire one from Bridge Bike Hire from about £7.00 per day. There is a wide variety of types available from standard adult cycles to tandems and cycles with buggies.
The first thing that will strike you if you have tried the first part of the trail from Bodmin to Wadebridge is that this trail is much more open with a wider vista as it follows the Camel Estuary to Padstow. The ride should take you about an hour at a leisurely pace, unless you make frequent stops to admire the view. For about the first two miles the Camel Estuary is fairly narrow with mud flats, so look out for estuary birds such as Cormorants, Herons and Terns, there is a hide so you can view the wildlife without being seen. After a while the Estuary widens out and is less tidal, so there is a lot of boating activity. The Padstow Water Skiing Centre uses the Estuary to train beginner water skiers.
When you get to Padstow you can spend a pleasant few hours wandering around this picturesque Cornish harbour. There are plenty of Gift and Craft shops for you to browse, only don't forget that the car is back in Wadebridge! There are plenty of places for you to get something to eat from a Cornish Pasty to a slap-up meal in Rick Steins Fish Restaurant. The trail is flat so it is ideal for first-time cyclists, it is also very popular during the summer months so be careful and study the trail code before you set out. I hope you will enjoy this trail as much as I did.
This walk has been personally walked by me but the directions given should be considered as a guide only and not as a definitive route plan. You are responsible for your own safety and I therefore recommend you take with you a suitable map (Ordinance Survey Map 107 from the Explorer series covers this walk) together with sufficient refreshments, water and adequate clothing.
The Camel River runs alongside for mos of the trail
View across the Camel Ruver to Rock
This Railway Bridge forms part of The Camel Trail
Arrival at Padstow
Padstow Harbour (1)
Padstow Harbour (2)