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Camel Valley, Padstow, Rock and North Cornwall

The Camel Valley and the Camel Trail are in one of Cornwall's most beautiful and varied areas. There are fantastic beaches at Polzeath for swiming or surfing, gourmet eating in Padstow, sailing and other boating activities at Rock and just wonderful rolling countryside.

A popular activity is to walk, cycle or horse ride along the Camel Trail.

Map of where our cottages are on the Camel Trail are at bottom of this section.

Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is a disused and resurfaced railway line in Cornwall, United Kingdom, that provides a recreational route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The trail is flat running from Padstow to Wenford Bridge via Wadebridge and Bodmin, it is 17.3 miles (27.8 km) long and used by an estimated 400,000 users each year. The trail is managed and maintained by Cornwall Council.

History

The railway line was built in 1831, following a study commissioned by local landowner Sir William Molesworth of Pencarrow. The line from Wadebridge to Wenfordbridge, with a branch to Bodmin, was intended to carry sand from the Camel estuary to inland farms for use as fertiliser. In the 1840s, England's railway network expanded towards Bodmin. The London and South Western Railway purchased the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway in 1846 and intended to connect it to the rest of the system by a new line through North Cornwall.

Later the railway was used to ship slate and china clay from inland quarries to ships in Padstow and also transport fish landed in Padstow inland to London and other cities. When both quarrying and fishing died off, the railway lost most of its traffic. The last passenger train was in 1967, freight finally ceased in 1983, when a need to invest in new track forced closure of the line.

The trail now

The railway was built so that the trains would not have any steep inclines or sharp turns. It is these characteristics which make it an excellent cycle trail. Since the trail has been open to the public cycle hire shops, cafes and other attractions have sprung up to cater for the traffic. Many families take their young children to the trail to allow them to become more confident cyclists in a traffic free environment. The local cycle hire shops have a wide range of tag-alongs or buggies to allow very young children to be safely transported behind their parents. Only a small part of the trail, through Wadebridge, is on roads and shared with normal traffic.

Car parking at Padstow, Wadebridge and Poley's Bridge allow the trail to be broken into 5-mile (8 km) sections giving an easy 10-mile (16 km) round trip back to your starting point with a break in Wadebridge or Padstow for food, drink, shopping and rest.

In the year 2006 two extensions to the trail were completed. The first was from Scarlett’s Well car park in Bodmin up into the town. The second was from Pooleys Bridge near St Breward to Wenfordbridge through the old clay dries.

Pubs and Eating

Cornwall is an excellent place to eat and drink. It has everything from the local Cornish Pasty (available everywhere!) through to award winning restaurants, hosted by well known chefs such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Jamie Oliver.

For eating closest to Chapel Barn go to The Borough Arms – within walking distance with a reputation for good food and beers.

Within a short drive you can experience the Jamaica Inn – enjoy a walk on Bodmin Moor following by a hearty lunch, an excellent day out. There are plenty of tea rooms and pubs in the area – when in Padstow be sure to head down the side streets to discover the many gems that there are.

Make sure you do not forget to visit Skinners Brewery, Healy’s Cornish Cyder Farms, Camel Valley Vineyard and Callestick Ice Cream Farm (and you can have a tasting too!)

In nearby Padstow and Rock there are two of the countries best restaurants, Rick Stein's Seafood Restuarant and Nathan Outlaw Seafood and Grill Restuarant at the St Enodoc Hotel.

Dogs and Walks

We are dog friendly and allow well behaved dogs in most of our cottages. Please see our FAQ section for details on our Dog Friendly approach.

Shopping

There is a large Tesco and Morrisons in Wadebridge and a large Sainsbury in Bodmin.

What else is there to do?

Dunmere is ideally located near Bodmin, it is so easy to access to so much of Cornwall. Visit The Eden Project for conservation or concerts, Camel Valley Vineyard for wine, Padstow for eating, Polzeath for surfing, Port Isaac and Charlestown for TV star spotting and Tintagel for history,to name a few! If you like to cycle do not worry if you forget your bike, you can hire one with all the necessary equipment from one of the many outlets nearby, you can even have one delivered to you at Chapel Barn if you pre book. The County’s main city of Truro is within easy reach as is the North Coast – Dunmere is very centrally located in the County giving you access to all of the County.

Gardens and Houses

There are many National Trust properties in mid Cornwall. Prideaux Place near Padstow, Pinsla near Bodmin (an artist’s garden), Port Eliot House, Pencarrow House, Pentillie Castle Garden, Antony House and Garden and Tremanton Castle Garden to name a few close to Chapel Barn. There are many more on the South Coast.

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