Pedal and Paddle; The Cornish Countryside

There is something to be said about Cornwall. The sea views, traditional food and tucked away trinket shops draw people in from miles around.

I myself have been living in Cornwall for little under two years, making the big move from a small town in Somerset back in the summer of 2018 and it’s safe to say, I love it! Since moving to this picturesque county, my partner and I have traveled all over, discovering so many amazing, little coastal towns and off-the-beaten-track locations with our mountain bikes.

One of our adventures; the scenic Coast-to-Coast ride, starting at Devoran and finishing at the seaside town of Portreath. The twenty-two mile cycle was brutal on the glutes, but it was most definitely worth the numb bum. Cycling through old quarries, along former mineral tramway tracks and under the Carnon Viaduct – which in itself is a stunning piece of architectural history – the route is a mere one or two hours each way and it’s perfect for those ’do something’ Sunday’s for both novice cyclists and children.

My most favourite find was a festively decorated tuck shop cart that bore treats and snacks of all kinds, just near Devoran at the end of the trail. All of the treats were supplied by local school children raising money for charity, and it was hard to resist a perfectly baked flapjack, especially if it’s for a good cause. And of course, on our route home, we had to stop off at The Fox and Hounds’ sun-trap beer garden for a swift pint.

Above: Mylor Harbor

If you’re not much of a long distance cyclist there is the Trefusis Headland Walk. A brief two and a half miles along the banks of the river Fal with views out to sea. Beginning in the quaint fishing village of Flushing and finishing in Mylor harbor. This beautiful route keeps the river on one side and rolling hills on the other. It’s not just a path along the fields that makes this route so entertaining; there are tucked away stone staircases that lead down to the rocky pools and water’s edge. Similarly, from Durgan to The Ferry Boat Inn on the Helford Passage is another coastal walk we both love.
Both of these can be done walking, riding or by sea (and we’ve done all three!). We have a couple of stand up paddle boards which we love getting out on if the weather permits. As long as the wind isn’t too manic, they are great fun to explore on.

Above: Paddle boarding on the River Fal

Mountain biking has taken my partner and I to so many breathtaking spots in Cornwall. From Idless woods and Poldice mine, to Carn Brea and the Zennor moorland. There are so many places to discover and experience, with countless yet still to uncover. If you’re a keen mountain biker, there are plenty of places to ride. Grogley trails, Twelveheads, Lanhydrock and Cardinham Woods are fantastic. The old abandoned quarries of Poldice and Zelah are by far my favourite. Every jump and berm has been crafted by the locals and people with a passion for the sport.
Everyone comes together to make sure the area is well maintained. There are for sure some crazy jumps they’ve built which are most definitely only for the pro’s of you out there. But for a place that would have gone to the wastelands, people have joined together and created something fun and friendly out of it. Something that people from all difficulties can enjoy, even the dog walkers!
On those not so pleasant rainy days there is an alternative to caking up our bikes or wellies with mud. We often head over to Mount Hawke Skatepark which is part of a youth charity aiming to help and educate children. They offer so much for indoor and also outdoor activities, with sessions for under eleven’s, sessions for over eleven’s, girls only nights, skate nights, bike nights, trials nights, scooter sessions, a pump track, escape rooms, capoeira, fitness classes, shops, barbers, vinyl workshops, a surf academy, cafe, camping and parties. There is always something going on. They have recently expanded the park, building a whole new skate plaza outside.

Above: Mount Hawke Skate park

Currently under construction is the new bouldering wall within the skatepark which my partner is building. I’m not allowed to talk about it until it’s finished …so shh! It’s another activity to add to the ever growing list. I absolutely love the Mount Hawke community, it’s continuously expanding, the atmosphere is so welcoming and friendly …and they make a cracking cheeseburger!
Additionally, currently under construction is Bikepark Kernow. There is a lot of secrecy of its whereabouts, making the wait all the more exciting. They have a sneaky Instagram profile showing off the progression of their build, which the guys from Angel Trails hint at the first phase opening in the springtime. So keep those eyes peeled!
All of these places and adventures are definitely worth the time to explore. Visiting Cornwall, it’s easy to feel a real sense of community. Each little town and village is so different and has so many warm and hospitable people. Beautiful coastal paths with local dog walkers nodding ‘good morning’, really does make your day a little brighter.
So, if you’re ever stuck with something to do, get on your bikes or don the wellington boots and go explore!