The Camel Trail – see the best of Cornwall on this excellent cycle route

If you're looking for a route to follow on your bike that'll take you through some of the best parts of Cornwall, then look no further than the Camel Trail. Cycling along this 18 mile long trail is a perfect way to spend a few hours of your time, and we definitely consider it to be one of the best ways to see some of the prettiest parts of Cornwall. We wanted to highlight this trail and what there is to see along the way, as well as provide some advice for anyone following the trail in 2023. Let's get into the guide:

Where is the Camel Trail?

As we mentioned in our introduction, the Camel Trail is in Cornwall. Typically you start in Padstow and finish in Bodmin, but there is no right way around the route and you can dip in and out of it as you like. The trail actually follows a disused railway around the Camel Estuary, hence the name of the trail. One of the great things about the Camel Trail is that it is mostly completely free of traffic and flat.
FireShot Capture 1709 - Padstow to Bodmin - Google Maps -

What is there to see along the Camel Trail?

Because the trail takes you past so many towns and villages, there is the opportunity to see quite a lot if you wished. However, we wanted to highlight a few of the things which we think are the best to see along the trail. We'll also be listing them in the order that you'll see them if you start in Padstow. Keep in mind that some of these locations and attractions might require you to leave the route briefly, which is well worth doing if you have the time! Let's take a look:

Prideaux Place (Padstow)

To see this impressive country house properly will require you to veer a little bit away from the Camel Trail, but we think it is well worth a visit. This 16th century grade I listed Elizabethan country house has been the home of the Prideaux family for more than 400 years and is now open to the public. The house is a stunning example of Elizabethan architecture and attracts design geeks from around the country and beyond. So if you’re looking for a spot of grandeur and a pleasant break from the Camel Trail, a visit to Prideaux Place is recommended. Learn more here -

The National Lobster Hatchery (Padstow)

You might be thinking ‘a lobster hatchery, I love the the taste of lobster, this sounds great!’ But we think it’s probably more likely that you’ll be going home with a pet lobster after a visit here. Yes, you can adopt a baby lobster from the National Lobster Hatchery and yes they are very cute! This award winning visitor Centre is located on the South quayside and is a must visit location as you pass through Padstow. You’ll get the chance to learn about lobsters and how to farm them sustainably, as well as see plenty of lobsters of course. A visit only takes about 20 minutes so it’s perfect for a quick stop before hopping back on your bike. Learn more here -

Grab a crepe from the Cornish Crepe Company (Padstow)

It might be a little early in your journey for a snack, but the crepes served up at the Cornish Crepe Company are well worth stopping for. From a beach hut at The Railway Car Park you can buy freshly made crepes  with either a sweet or savoury filling. Always best eaten fresh, but also a really nice snack to take with you along the Camel Trail. Maybe just don't try to eat it while you are cycling!!


Daymer Bay Beach (Wadebridge)

This lovely beach is a great place to stop for a quick break and something to eat (maybe your crepe if you've still got it!). At low tide the beach is particularly stunning as the sand is vast and perfect for strolling along.


Porteath Bee Centre (Wadebridge)

Ok, so bear with us here! This bee centre is actually really fun and informative, with plenty to see and do. You'll find out about what bees actually do and how they do it, which is really interesting. Plus, it's a great opportunity to stock up on some delicious honey from the centre. We definitely think it is worth a visit.

FireShot Capture 1710 - 10. Porteath Bee Centre - Google Search -

Bodmin Jail (Bodmin)

The trail will take you right through Bodmin which is an excellent place for a stop as there is plenty to see and do here. We actually have an entire guide about this town here, and one of our must-do things is to visit Bodmin Jail. is an immersive experience which manages to be both interesting and slightly creepy. Each section of the building has been renovated to include special features and details which help to capture what it must have been like to be a prisoner here in the 18th century. The whole experience leads up to the final section - The Last Moments, where you reach a fully working Victorian Hanging Pit in the room where prisoners would have been executed.. This experience will definitely stick with you, learn more and book tickets here -

Bodmin Jail

Pencarrow (Bodmin)

We didn’t actually mention Pencarrow as a place to visit in our Bodmin guide, but we’ll mention it here - if you enjoy visiting grand country houses then a visit to Pencarrow is recommended. This grade II listed building is impressive to admire and explore, but it’s the gardens which will really wow you. You’ve got 50 acres of gardens to wander around which includes displays of camellias and rhododendrons, and bluebells. There is even an Iron Age fort on the site. This house is a Georgian gem and we’d recommend taking a look if you have the time. Learn more here -

If you're in Bodmin and you're looking for a bite to eat then Flory Restaurant and Cafe is a great option - it's open for brunch all day from 10-30 or lunch from midday, and dinner starts 5-30pm. It's located close to Priory car park so it's very handy, and it has a courtyard with bike storage so it's ideal if you're cycling the Camel Trail.

Things to be aware of before heading on the Camel Trail

Obviously, if you're cycling then you want to bring some water and snacks with you, and always come prepared with a first aid kit. Many of the locations we've recommended in this guide will require you to stray off the trail somewhat, so if you're going to visit them then set aside a good amount of time and book some accommodation too. Other than that, enjoy yourself!

Where to hire a bike?

If you haven't got a bike then you can hire one from a number of places in Padstow. Padstow Cycle Hire does exactly what it says on the tin with a good selection of bikes, Trail Bike Hire is another option as is Camel Trail Cycle Hire where the staff have great knowledge about the trail.

If you enjoyed this guide, check out our other guides about great UK trails including the Exe Estuary Trail, the Borders Abbey Way, the Two Saints Way, and the Kintyre 66. Looking for more guides about places in and around Devon? We've got guides about Braunton, Worthing, and Sidmouth.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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