The recession and awareness of the environmental impact of air travel mean that holidays in the UK are very much in vogue at he moment, and Cornwall’s dramatic coastline features in three new self-guided cycling tours for 2010 from local holiday operator Cornish Holiday Tours.
The new tours include two versions of a circular ride taking in both the north coast of the county, nowadays famous for its surfing and nightlife, and the more tranquil south coast. The other new tour is a seven-day ride that visits many of the county’s major landmarks.
The addition of the three new packages brings the range of tours offered by the company to ten, and all include luggage transfers each day as well as bed & breakfast accommodation in local pubs and guest houses in fishing villages and small towns. Also included are maps of the route, details of sights to see and attractions to visit along the route, and recommendations of where to stop for lunch or tea.
Lan Rowe of Cornish Cycle Tours told the website Travel Daily: “Our new tours are all aimed at the recreational cyclist who wants to experience the fantastic scenery, food and attractions that Cornwall has to offer.
“Both of the new seven day tours cover less than 20 miles a day on average, so there’s plenty of time to stop wherever you like - whether it’s sampling the award-winning wine at Camel Valley Vineyard or cooling off with a quick swim at one of the many stunning beaches along the route.”
The seven day South Coast Tour takes cyclists along quiet country roads and cycle trails from Wadebridge to St Just via Charlestown. The route includes notable Cornish landmarks such as the Eden Project, St Michael’s Mount, Caerhays Castle and gardens and Land’s End, and costs £525, including six nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation and luggage transfers.
The 91-mile Coast to Coast ride can be taken over five or seven days, both following the same circular route. Starting from Wadebridge, riders follow the Camel trail to Bodmin, then head for Charlestown on the South Coast. From there, they head to Truro along quiet lanes, then follow the National Cycle Network to Newquay, with a detour to the inland village of St Columb before hitting the coast at Constantine Bay, near Padstow.
The five-day tour includes four nights’ accommodation and costs £375 per person, while the five-day version has six overnight stops and costs £525 per person.
Mr Rowe said: “Cornwall has so much to offer and a bicycle is one of the best ways to see the county. Our routes have been meticulously planned and researched, and we offer a full support service so all our guests have to do is pedal.”
Of course, if those daily mileages seem a little bit on the light side for you, there's nothing to stop you making a bit of a diversion during the day to get some extra distance in, and at least you'll know that you don't have to worry about arranging accommodation or what's gong to happen to your pride and joy once the baggage handlers get hold of it. You'd also be cycling in some of the UK's most spectacular scenery.
While participants can bring their own bikes, the company is also able to arrange cycle hire - the website says that Dawes hybrids are available for £10 a day - as well as airport or rail transfers within Cornwall. Full details of all the company’s tours are available on its website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.