Camel Trail

The Camel Trail…

The Camel Trail runs along a disused railway line following the course of the Camel Estuary providing access to some of North Cornwalls most beautiful scenery and wildlife.

The trail is level and traffic free making it an ideal day out for all the family. There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments along the way and Wadebridge is a handy half way point to try a Pasty!

The trail is also part of the National Cycle Network following routes 32 and 3. The Camel Trail is an 18 mile mainly traffic free route based on an historic railway track.

The Padstow to Wadebridge line was opened in 1899 providing access from Waterloo via Okehampton and Launceston, but the section from Wadebridge to Poley’s Bridge is one of the oldest in the world and was opened in 1834. Initially it was intended to bring sea sand from the estuary to farms inland. Bodmin through to Wadebridge was connected to the mainline system and operated until 1967, whilst the line between Bodmin and Poley’s Bridge, which was only ever used for freight, closed in 1984.

Click on the map below for a detailed view of the route and ponts of interest along the way:

Camel trail Map

The Camel Estuary…

Is a bird-watchers’ paradise. From wadebridge to padstow there are wonderful views of creeks, sandbanks and rocky shores. Wintering wildfowl include wigeon, long-tailed duck and goldeneye. Divers, grebe and many waders can also be seen. Spring and autumn bring many migrants to the estuary, while in summer it plays host to little egret, heron, cormorant, oystercatcher and many gulls.

Incredible Coastline…

The camel trail runs to padstow, still some distance from the sea. However, leaving your bike secured in the town, you can follow the coast path beyond padstow to stepper point, from where magnificent views can be enjoyed.The coast path continues around the headland and joins another
Path leading back to padstow. A leaflet on this walk is available from the tourist information centre in padstow.

Padstow…

Is one of the most attractive seaside towns in cornwall, lying hidden up the camel estuary, away from the harsh atlantic.

Once the fourth most important port in the country, today padstow’s economy relies heavily on tourism. Situated at one end of the camel trail, it is a gateway to some superb estuary and cliff top walks.The local tourist information centre is full of information about the area’s attractions, including prideaux place, one of the country’s most beautiful elizabethan mansions.

Wadebridge…

Was a pivotal settlement in north cornwall, providing the first crossing of the river camel. Reputedly the much altered medieval bridge was built on foundations of large sacks of wool. Now wadebridge is a bustling rural town with a wide range of shops and is the ‘centre’ for accessing the camel trail. It has a good tourist information centre and information on local wildlife sightings are often posted nearby.

Wonderful Woods…

From wadebridge to poley’s bridge, the route passes through some magnificent woodland. Much is looked after by the forestry commission, including mixed woodland managed on a long term basis. Other woods contain native trees such as oak, ash and beech with an understorey of hazel, holly or spindle, also seen in the luxurious hedgerows on each side of the trail. Access into some of the woods is allowed.

Bodmin…

Was founded in 530ad by st petroc and st guron. The town’s name comes from ’bod meneghi’ meaning ‘dwelling of the monks’. Bodmin was an administrative centre, and the county assize courts now house the bodmin visitor information centre, and ‘murder on the moor’, a re-creation of an infamous c19 murder trial. Bodmin has a wide range of attractions including a steam railway, old gaol and town museum. Lanhydrock house (n.T.) and the famous eden project can be reached
By linking to the cornish way multi-use route.

Information above taken with kind permission from www.Visitcornwall.Com, the official website of the cornwall tourist board.