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The Camel Trail with Kids – Bodmin to Wadebridge

Posted on: 9th September 2021

Safe, easy cycling, free parking, vineyards and delectable cupcakes!  Enjoy cycling the far less busy leg of this famous Cornish cycle path.  The Camel Trail.  Bodmin – Wadebridge is an achievable, scenic stretch which offers a fun family ride throughout the year.
Getting started
You can park at the Borough Arms just outside Bodmin to unpack your bikes, it’s just five miles from Tredethick Farm Cottages.  The route is approximately 6 flat miles or a 12 mile round trip, so you can zip along as a surprisingly nimble rate.
Unlike Wadebridge, there aren’t cycle hire options here.  You could cycle Wadebridge – Bodmin  to counter this.If you do, I’d recommend Bridge Bike Hire.  There’s a playpark at the Borough Arms if you feel like stopping for a drink either side of the ride.
The first leg
The trail starts down a steep path at the bottom of the car park.  It’s well sign-posted: turn left for Wadebridge, right for Wenford Bridge. The path is level and shaded, following the old railway line along the side of the River Camel.  Signs give plenty of warning for the two road crossings you’ll encounter.  Along the way you’ll see Camel Valley vineyards (pick up a world-beating sparkling rose if you have room in your saddle bags) and the Camel Trail Tea Garden – ideal if small legs are flagging.
As you start to see Wadebridge on the horizon there’s  a bridge known locally as Anneka’s Bridge (yes, you’ve guessed it, built as part of Challenge Anneka in the early 90s) and an excellent playpark next to it.   There are intermittent cycle paths in Wadebridge itself so you can cycle slowly or walk.  My daughters – thanks to their grandparents – know the town well.  They made a beeline for The Clementine Cakery, which offers a range of freshly baked  cupcakes over the prettiest of counters. We stowed boxed treats in my backpack to aid the journey home.
We avoided the busier town centre and lunched at Behind the Bike Sheds.  This cafe offers outdoor seating as well as a child and parent friendly modern menu with good-quality sandwiches and hot dogs.  Not to mention great coffee.  It’s a quiet spot but sited close to the beginning of the Wadebridge- Padstow leg of the Camel Trail.  You could easily extend the cycle route further north if everyone is feeling fresh.
The most popular leg of the Camel Trail  – Wadebridge to Padstow – can be too busy for a relaxing cycle with young children.  I’d advise an early or late start if you are cycling in the summer holidays, to avoid the 10.30 – 3pm rush hour.
Homeward bound
Our cycling cadence soared with the promise of those Clementine Cakery cupcakes as we cycled back to Bodmin.  We ate them halfway home on the ledge of one-time rail platform Grogley Halt.
This is a much belated sequel to our Toddling Around Bodmin to Wenford Bridge blog, which explores another quieter section of the Camel Trail.  The girls are older and, sadly, there is no Farmer Tim, but the spirit of family cycling lives on!

Posted in Holidays with babies, toddlers and preschoolers, Activities they will love, Family trips less than 1 hour away