New Cycle Route to Explore ‘Lost and Forgotten’ West Cornwall
Cycling UK recently launched a brand new cycle route that meanders its way along West Cornwall’s rugged coastline. Opened on September 3rd, the route starts in Penzance and is estimated to take between three to four days to complete.
Although the summer months seem to be a distant memory, Cornwall’s coastline retains its wild beauty all year round. Impossibly quaint villages connected by crooked narrow lanes, jagged coastlines blanketed in great swathes of deep countryside, all atop the seemingly never-ending aquamarine expanse of the Atlantic Ocean; Cornwall has it all, and what better way to explore than on two wheels.
In an effort to explore Cornwall’s ‘lost lanes and forgotten ways’, Cycling UK launched the West Kernow Way, as it is to be known, alongside the Tour of Britain where the county hosted its first ever stage.
It winds its way through the Cornish landscape right down to the tip of Cornwall to become a figure of eight, using quiet roads, bridleways, byways and lost ways.
Along the way, there are plenty of scenic ocean views, old miners’ tracks and sites such as the World Heritage Site of the Tin Coast including the Botallack tin mines, the Bronze Age monument Mên-an-Tol, Land’s End, St Michael’s Mount and Lizard Point. In a county enveloped in such rich cultural and historical significance, the route offers users many places along the way to stop and soak up the local Cornish traditions.
Cycling UK’s Campaign Officer Sophie Gordon said; “The West Kernow Way is an adventure cycling route, that takes you to the famous familiar sites along unfamiliar but fantastic trails.
“Travelling through lost lanes and forgotten ways, you get to experience Cornwall’s rugged beauty, its history and culture – and of course, of great importance to any cyclists: the hearty Cornish cuisine.
“Collating the necessary evidence to upgrade omissions made back in the fifties has required sifting through old journals and maps decades if not centuries old.”
Indeed, the charity has worked tirelessly over the past year, recceing and site surveying old bridleways and lost tin mine pathways to bring both a sense of adventure and history to the new route.
Route preparation included reclaiming some of the lost paths along the Tinners Way.
This 18-mile (29km) trail runs from St Ives to Cape Cornwall and has its roots firmly planted in the Bronze Age, being utilised more recently as a highway in the mining boom of the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Cycling UK has aimed to help tourism in Cornwall outside of the extremely busy summer months by developing this cycle route, and further information, including route files, online guidebook and background are available on Cycling UK’s website.