Staying the Night In: Wadebridge

Get an early start by staying the night in Wadebridge…

If you’re travelling a long way to get to the Camel Trail then give yourself a break by staying the night in Wadebridge before setting out on your cycle.

The best time to start out on the Camel Trail is early in the morning and whilst no one likes getting up at the crack of dawn, you’ll be able to enjoy clearer tracks and more pleasant riding conditions if you stay close to the trail in Wadebridge.

Whilst there might not be as much of interest in Wadebridge as there are things to do in North Wales, this small town is only 5 miles upstream from Padstow and offers much more affordable prices than its neighbour. There isn’t the same level of haute cuisine here, but there are still plenty of restaurants to eat at that won’t break the bank. At around the halfway mark on the Camel Trail, Wadebridge is a great location to venture out from and puts you within an hour’s cycle of either end of the trail.

These are our favourite places to stay in Wadebridge organised to suit different tastes:

The Cosy Option: West Brae House B&B

Built all the way back in 1897, West Brae House is the perfect choice for visitors looking for cosy homespun charm, rather than a soulless hotel experience. There are two double rooms here with a shared bathroom for both. What West Brae might lack in facilities it more than makes up for in privacy and space. During the summer guests can make the most of al fresco breakfasts and with Wadebridge’s town centre just a 5 minute walk away you’re super close to the Camel Trail!

The Traditional Room: Molesworth Arms

‘The Moley’, as it’s known affectionately by the locals, is one of the most popular drinking holes in Wadebridge which also happens to offer some very comfortable accommodation options too. This 16th century coaching inn has been given a modern update in recent years bringing it up to stylish fashion whilst retaining its core historical features. Each room comes with an en-suite, Wi-Fi, television and includes a traditional cooked Cornish breakfast.

For Rooms with a View: Wadebridge Eco Friendly B&B

Steve is your host at this AA 5-Star Highly Recommended B&B where as much thought is put into environmental protection as your freshly cooked breakfast. Steve is sure to give you a thoroughly warm welcome at his B&B, the icing on the cake is the fantastic location. Two of the three rooms offer stunning views over Wadebridge and onto the River Camel,making his environmentally friendly B&B truly one not to miss.

The Self-Catering Option: Willow Cottage

Although Willow Cottage might feel somewhat rustic in comparison with the other options on this list, it’s an ideal pick for small families or groups looking for a unique rural stay at a very low price. Just a short walk away from Wadebridge town centre, this cottage has all the amenities that you’d expect from a self-catering cottage and comes with one double room, a twin room and single room – as well as two bathrooms.

Get Your Bags Packed: For Cycling

Don’t forget these essential items for your trip down the Camel Trail…

Although the Camel Trail is certainly accessible enough for riders of all ages to enjoy, it’s always best to pack a bag with some essential supplies so that you’re not caught out.

If you’re planning on cycling a complete return journey then you’ll need to make sure that you’re ready to tackle the 36 mile route. You’ll need the right clothes (dependant on the weather) and plenty of snacks to keep yourself fuelled up (unless you’ve got time to stop off at every single cafe along the way!).

Here’s our hit-list of must have items that you’ll need should you wish to make the journey comfortably:

A decent rucksack

Don’t think that you’ll be able to just sling a carrier bag on your handlebars and go on your merry way, a sturdy rucksack should be at the top of your priorities. You don’t have to spend a fortune on it, but the more you do spend the longer your rucksack will last.

There are many different styles to pick from, but some rucksacks are better suited to cycling than others.

Spare tyres, pump & puncture repair kit

Whilst casual cyclists might hesitate before making these purchases they should really be made in order for you to have a safety net should the worst happen. Whilst the trail was purpose built for cycling that doesn’t mean that there won’t be foreign objects on the track waiting to puncture your tyres. Cycle hire places sometimes give you a repair kit/pump with your bike, but if in doubt it’s always better to bring your own.

Suitable sportswear

You won’t need to be decked out from head to toe in lycra to go the distance on the Camel Trail but it’s a good idea to at least dress sensibly for the journey. You’ll be out in the elements so it’s wise to pack a couple of layers, as well as some loose fitting shorts or tracksuit bottoms. Joking aside – cycling shorts do afford the most comfort over a long distance although they’re probably not worth investing in for casual day-trippers. If you’re looking for a bargain then you can usually find end of line stock on sporting wholesale websites.

Helmet

It isn’t the law to wear a helmet in the UK, so bicycle hire places are not legally required to hand you one with each bike.

It’s completely up to you whether you choose to take one or not, some Cycling bodies have come forth arguing against the use of them whilst others disagree.

Wearing a certified, knock-free bike helmet protects your head from initial impacts, but the best way to stay safe is to cycle sensibly.

Water and snacks

If you’re out cycling for 3-4 hours you can expect to guzzle through a few litres of water, so it’s best to have a few bottles on your person. Either buy bottled water from the supermarket or fill up a couple of stainless steel bottles at home; there are a handful of points along the trail that you’ll be able to fill your bottles up from too. A good mix of healthy (and not so healthy) snacks are a good idea, especially if you’re cycling with your family think fruit, cereal bars, chocolates and crisps.

Sun cream/block

Just because you’ve got your helmet on doesn’t meant that you’re completely protected from the sun! Temperatures can soar during the summer, whilst the breeze can disguise the power of the sun too. Make a point of slapping on some sun cream before you head out, so that you and your family are protected against those UV rays.

Staying the Night In: Padstow

Cycle to Padstow then stay for the night!

The best way to cap off a glorious day’s cycling is with a hot meal and a cosy bed.

The Camel Trail offers visitors to Cornwall an accessible way of seeing both the dramatic coastline and the peaceful riverside forests, but after a day on the saddle you might prefer to make a beeline straight to your bed for the night, rather than face a long drive home. If you work in internet marketing in Liverpool or even a butcher in Macclesfield and are thinking about spending more than just a day down here then you should consider booking a place to stay in advance, so that you can grab a quick shower then enjoy the rest of your evening in the charming town of Padstow before putting your head down for the night.

We’ve had a nose around the popular seaside town for you and picked out a handful of our favourites all tailored to different tastes in accommodation:

The Cosy Option: Tor View B&B

A British B&B done well is a real thing of beauty. Crisp linen and homely touches, as well as a generous breakfast, are all on offer at Lisa and James’ successful yet simple B&B. You’ll get good views of the nearby Estuary from a few of the rooms with Bodmin Moor visible on a clear day. Their breakfasts are well laid out with enough options to keep even the most discerning diners happy including a traditional cooked breakfast, smoked salmon with eggs and freshly cooked croissants.

The Traditional Room: Old Ship Hotel

Four-poster beds, mahogany furniture and wood panelling are on offer at the Old Ship Hotel which is about as traditional as you’d imagine it to be. The rooms are stylishly presented, clean and comfortable, offering visitors a chance to stay right in the heart of Padstow without having to pay the kind of hefty price tag that you’d normally expect. The Old Ship also serves wholesome food in the pleasant, airy restaurant downstairs.

For Rooms with a View: The Metropole Hotel

The Metropole was built in 1904, making it one of Padstow’s oldest hotels and has hosted many famous guests over the years, such as The Prince of Wales. It’s a popular destinations for golfers, offering a 4-star standard that can be hard to find in Padstow, as well as a AA Rosette for the Fine Dining food on offer in the restaurant. Refurbishments and extensions have added a spa, so you can treat yourself to a massage once you’re done with cycling for the day.

The Self-Catering Option: Sunbeam Cottage

If you’d much rather avoid the fussiness of hotel service then you can check yourself into your very own home. Sunbeam Cottage is perfect for a family of four with one double room and another twin (both with en-suites). Originally a Fisherman’s Cottage, this cosy home now comes with all the mod-cons that you’d expect from a 4-star accommodation including a good-sized kitchen diner and kitchen.

Landmarks, Zoos & Theatres: More Things To Do

Unearth Cornish culture & wild creatures at these attractions

There are so many places to visit in Cornwall that you might struggle finding time to see them all…

We’ve picked out some of our favourite Cornish destinations to give you a nudge in the direction of the better places to visit during your stay here:

Eden Project

Perhaps Cornwall’s most well known attraction (thanks in part to its starring role in James Bond film Die Another Day) the Eden Project is a truly one of a kind place that has to be seen to believed. Built on the site of a working china pit during the late 90s, the giant domes here have become a Cornish landmark that stand head and shoulders alongside the UK’s most iconic buildings. Inside the biomes lie a vast array of plant life that will astound visitors of all ages.

Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is truly one of Cornwall’s hidden gems. Formed in part by the environment and rigorous measured building surveys, this theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade whose home you can also visit. Built upon a granite outcrop that juts out into the ocean, ‘dramatic’ is certainly the word that comes to mind when visiting the Minack Theatre. Productions are held at the open-air theatre throughout May-September with the ocean forming an impressive backdrop to the action.

Pendennis Castle

Constructed by Henry VIII in the 16th Century, Pendennis Castle forms part of his ‘Device Programme’ which was a preventative measure against invasion from neighbouring enemies in France and the Holy Roman Empire. Over the course of nearly 400 years the Castle served a military purpose, seeing action throughout the Napleonic War through to the First and Second World Wars. Today it serves the county of Cornwall as a tourist attraction, offering visitors a chance to explore this well preserved fortress.

Paradise Park

Although we couldn’t go as far to call Paradise Park a ‘zoo’, the variety of animals and attractions make it a surefire place for families to enjoy on a summers day. Regular flying bird shows exhibit just a small portion of the creatures that call their home here. Over 650 birds are kept at Paradise Park with many other rare species such as red pandas, red squirrels and otters who are bred through conservation schemes. If the weather isn’t on your side then kids can enjoy an indoor play centre whilst parents relax at the cafe.

Restormel Castle

A perfect picnic spot that offers commanding views over the stunning countryside all around, Restormel Castle is in fine condition considering it’s close to 800 years old! This ruinous fortress is still largely intact giving thousands of visitors each year a glimpse into what life must have been like in the tumultuous Norman times. Entrance is affordable for families who are eager to enjoy the stunning views on a summer’s day, but it can be even cheaper to visit during the colder months.

5 Handy Pit Stops Along The Trail

In need of a refuel or just a nice sit down?

If you’re looking to ride a return journey from Wenford Bridge to Padstow and back then you might want to take a couple of breaks along the way…

Although the entirety of the Camel Trail is pretty much flat that doesn’t mean that you won’t need a break at some point. The 35-mile return trip can be a bit daunting if you’ve not got a few stops planned along the way, so it’s a good thing that there are plenty of trail-side cafes that you can stop off along your way. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re well prepared for your trip before you leave with at least a couple of bottles of water and some snacks just in case.

Fill your boots and take a well deserved rest at these excellent trail-side cafes:

Snails Pace Cafe

Handily positioned near the start of the Camel Trail, Snails Pace Cafe is a good place to start or end your journey. If you’ve not brought bikes with you then you can hire them from the friendly staff here. There’s a bike for everyone, trailers for kids who are too young to cycle and even tandems for adventurous couples. A recycled shipping container is the base of operations for Linzi Hanscomb and Nick Marcroft’s Cafe offers a good range of options for hungry cyclists.

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday – 9:30am-5pm
Telephone:​ 01208 851178
Address: Bodmin
PL30 3PN
Website: http://www.snailspacecafe.co.uk

Wood and Green Cafe

There are more than a handful of options for travellers seeking a little break in Wadebridge with plenty of pubs, tearooms and restaurants crowding the idyllic streets. This is near enough the half-way point between Wenford and Padstow so it’s a logical stopping point for many families looking to take a load-off. The Wood and Green Cafe offer homemade, locally sourced food that is cooked to order with plenty of Gluten Free and Vegan options for more discerning eaters.

Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday – 9:30am-4pm
Sunday – 10am-4pm
Telephone:​ 07577 584203
Address: Eddystone Rd
Wadebridge
PL27 7AL
Website: https://www.woodandgreencafe.com/

Camel Tea Trail Cafe

For over 20 years Mike and Kathryn Hamley have been welcoming visitors to the Camel Trail Tea Garden, a verdant peaceful apple orchard with plenty of seats. Open throughout the holiday season (March to November) they serve a menu of classic cafe items including a traditional Cornish Cream Tea, cheese boards, sandwiches and fresh Cornish Crab and Mackerel. This is a tranquil spot to stop off at should you wish to grab a bite before reaching the tourist hub of Wadebridge.

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday – 10am-5:30pm
Telephone:​ 01208 74291
Address: Lanivet
Bodmin
PL30 5LG
Website: cameltrailteagarden.co.uk

Cherry Trees Cornwall

The cosy Cherry Trees is open 7 days a week throughout the peak summer period from the 20th July – 1st September, so if you want to try out some of their delicious baked goods and stunning platters you’ll have to ensure that you make it down to Padstow when it’s at its busiest! Offering breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea menus 7 days a week, you might well need to wait to get served here but it’s well worth being patient for.

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday – 9am-5pm
Telephone:​ 01841 532934
Address: 8 Mill Square
Padstow
PL28
8AQ
Website: http://www.cherrytreescornwall.co.uk/