Lying on England’s rugged southwestern tip, Cornwall captivates with its dramatic cliffs and coves, its intriguing tales of smuggling and mining, the myriad of steep villages rising from the sea and the vibrant art and culinary finds around every twisting corner. And you will be beguiled too as you pedal our Captivating Cornwall tour around the coast from St Ives and Padstow on the north coast to the Lizard peninsula and Eden Project on the south.
The terrain, particularly on the coast, is very steep but our inclusion of E bikes makes this cycling holiday one we are so delighted to offer, enabling you all to enjoy this captivating blend of history, panorama and greenery. Coast by eye watering seafood, over deep estuaries by ferry and along disused railway tracks to a pottery or two. Freewheel past basking seals and sheltered sands to descend into a tin mine, drift through lost and glorious gardens and the film sets of Pilcher, Poldark and Doc Martin, breeze across wild moorland and up twisting village lanes and sail by ancient ports into wonderful vineyards and fascinating art galleries before sinking into a cosy inn at the end of a fabulous day. With stays in 6 coastal retreats from art mecca to fishing harbour and from cliff top to cool foodie hub and stylish waterfront, its not surprising we call it Captivating Cornwall!
from £1,790 per person
from £3,230 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
Electric bike and 3 walking transfers if you choose the optional walks. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts Thursdays April 1st to Oct 31st in St Ives and finishes Rock/Padstow. Newquay airport is 1.5 hours from St Ives and 40 minutes from Rock/Padstow. Penzance rail station is 20 minutes from St Ives and Bodmin Parkway is 40 minutes from Rock/Padstow
Four inns, a gastro pub and a B&B
Two boutique hotels, one 5 star and two 4 star hotels and a boutique B&B
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Not so gentle cycling. More info...
7 days of cycling 20-32 miles (32 or 52 km) per day with 2 optional days of walking
Steep hills every day
- Stay an additional night at any stop and walk the coast path
- Fly to the Scilly Isles on day 3
- Take a guided tour and tasting at Camel Valley, Cornwall’s largest wine producer at 5pm on Wednesday and Thursday evenings lasting 1.5 hours
- Take a tutored tasting and guided tour at Knightor Winery close to the Eden Project on Thursdays and Sundays at 12. Sunday lunch is available afterwards
Classic & Luxury
1. Day one
Arrival in St Ives
Arrive Newquay airport or Penzance rail station and transfer to St Ives (1 hour or 20 minutes). Check into your hotel located in iconic St Ives. The marvellous setting of the town on the sea with its sandy bay and wonderful light, made it a mecca for artists in the 19th Century. With a Tate exhibition and Barbara Hepworth Gallery among many others, the cobbled streets and typically Cornish houses are worth a good explore.
2. Day two
St Ives to Mousehole/ Newlyn
Your E bikes will be delivered to your hotel by your host who will meet you, fit you to your bikes and run through your itinerary and GPS route. Then you are off on your first day of cycling which leads you along the stunning rocky, Atlantic coast north of Land’s End to Mousehole/Newlyn. Its far away from the madding crowd here with a string of coastal villages and superb pub stops at weirdly named Gunnards Head and Zennor. There’s the must see tin mine at Geevor where you can head underground and appreciate how Cornwall’s wealth was created before you arrive at the charming coastal villages of either Mousehole or Newlyn where you spend the next two nights.
23 miles (37 km)
3. Day three
Mousehole/ Newlyn circular ride to Lands End
Today you ride to the 'end of the road' at Lands End and enjoy the dramatic cliff top scene. Take in charming Porthcurno and the fascinating outdoor theatre at Minack where you may like to watch a performance. If you prefer to walk today, then pick up the dramatic coast path a few minutes away from your hotel and enjoy a walk west towards Land’s End along the awe inspiring coast line and cliff top. We meet you at a cove to transfer you back to your overnight stay. With advanced planning, its also possible to spend the day exploring the old fashioned Scilly Isles using the new helicopter service from nearby Land’s End airport (weather permitting of course). With no cars there, you can walk or cycle and ferry hop with the subtropical gardens at Tresco Abbey being one of the special features. Return to Mousehole/Newlyn for your overnight stay.
27 miles (43 km) or 6.6 mile walk
4. Day four
Mousehole/ Newlyn to Mullion
Another exciting day ahead as you ride beach side past the Newlyn art scene and through Penzance. Beyond is St Michael’s Mount - you can walk or paddle the one mile pebbled causeway or take the ferry, depending on the tide, to this remarkable island. Pedalling on inland, you ride through the grounds of aristocracy and freewheel dramatically into the wondrous little fishing port of Porthleven. Then head to Helston before arriving at the coast for your overnight stay. Close by are the remarkable gardens of the Bonython Estate. The Manor and its gardens were the location for the Rosamunde Pilcher ZDF film adaptations "The Prime of Life" (Blüte des Lebens), "Summer of Awakening" (Sommer des Erwachens) and "Anwälte küsst man nicht" (loosely "Lawyers Do Not Kiss You"). Rosamunde was born 15 miles away.
32 miles (51 km)
5. Day five
Mullion to St Mawes
Enjoy two further wonderful gardens today and two ferry hops as you cross the glorious Lizard peninsula, heading for the beautiful Helford River. Take the ferry across this idyllic estuary to reach the National Trust Glendurgan Gardens or even better the gardens at Trebah. Glorious riding past coves and beaches worthy of a dip lead you on to Falmouth where you should explore this vibrant town. A second ferry hop then takes you across the deep estuary of Carrick Roads to upscale and utterly charming St Mawes with your hotel on the water front.
21 miles (34 km)
6. Day six
St Mawes to Carlyon Bay
The day starts with steps down to a tiny ferry to reach the stunning Roseland Peninsula where the cycling is flatter. You touch the sea again at Porthluney Cove and Portloe and pedal on to reach Mevagissey. Its narrow streets and steep valley sides make this an attractive old town which was once the centre of Cornwall's pilchard fishery. It still boasts a working harbour, with small fishing boats and has a long tradition of boat building. Many of the old buildings are built of cob and slate, typical of the area. Your route also takes you past the evocative and extensive Lost Gardens of Heligan before reaching Charlestown. This historic Georgian port exported china clay and copper and today is an unspoilt port with wooden tall ships. It was a key filming location for Poldark and countless other movies. Carlyon Bay lies a tad further on along the south coast.
29 miles (47 km)
7. Day seven
Carlyon Bay to Rock/ Padstow
Not far from your hotel is the renowned Eden Project which you may want to visit. Or a little further on you also pass Lanhydrock National Trust gardens and house. Once in Bodmin, you pick up an old railway line as you ride along the flat and fabulous Camel estuary, traffic free but often busy. Call in at Camel Valley vineyard with its award winning wines and try a glass if that appeals. Steaming through Wadebridge you pedal on to Padstow, the home of Rick Stein restaurants, on the north coast. It has a pretty but crowded harbour scene and a lobster hatchery worth a visit. You stay here or in Rock for 2 nights with a short ferry crossing over the Camel estuary if you are staying in Rock.
32 miles (51 km)
8. Day eight
Circular Ride to Port Isaac
The final day of your tour is a cycle saunter along the north coast which leads you to the huge sandy beach at Polzeath, alive with surfers. The next 2 stops are quite different as you see the more traditional north coast which is rocky and often with dramatic cliffs. Port Quin is a tiny hamlet in a natural cove where pilchard fishermen were once based whilst Port Isaac beyond is notably larger and now busy since it shot to fame with the filming of Doc Martin. None the less it is utterly charming with its steep narrow streets and alleys and its fishing boats tied up in the harbour. You shortly turn inland and wend your way through timeless villages clustered around a church and inn. Nice surprises appear now and then - a local pottery, a bee centre and more. If you prefer to walk today, we will transfer you at the start and end of the day to Port Quin where your circular walk begins and finishes. Follow the stunningly beautiful coastal path all the way to Port Isaac where a well earned break can be enjoyed. For the return, you head off on a footpath that will lead via a wooded valley, across open rolling Cornish coastal country back to Port Quin.
21 miles (34 km) cycling or a 5 mile walk
9. Day nine
Depart at leisure from Newquay airport (50 minutes) or Bodmin Parkway Station (40 minutes)