The Cornish Pilgrimage
The Cornish Pilgrimage
The Bodmin - Wenford Steam Railway
Padstow to Pentewan
The journey between Padstow and Wadebridge is set beside the River Camel along the old track bed of the Great Southern Railway dismantled by Dr Beeching and later converted to a national cycle route which now forms part of the Cornish Way. Initially crossing an old railway bridge the track continues for about 5 miles to Wadebridge. Famous for its ‘Bridge of Wool’, built by local sheep farmers’, Wadebridge remains a commercial town and host to The Cornwall Agricultural Show usually held in June. There is a cycle hire depot on the Camel Trail and some very good inns and accommodation in the town centre. Continuing passed the old Railway Station, which is now a council office, the trail retains some of its old railway characteristics including platforms and sign posts. Nanstallon is the terminus for the steam train which runs back to Bodmin Town and then the mainline station 3 miles on. On reaching the tearoom at Nanstallon, locate the road to Lanivet where you can join the Saints Way trail. First follow the lane out of the village to the Bodmin/Lanivet Road. Turn right and walk 1.5 miles down hill into Lanivet (this road is quite busy so be careful!) joining a pavement into the village. Like Camelford there is an award-winning chip shop in the square; also there is a good inn and corner shop opposite.
Turn left at the corner shop to join the Saints Way which passes the parish church bearing right up the hill and left at the top. The trail continues by road and passes under the A30; later linking with Route 3. The two trails interact as far as Luxulyan Village; those going to Golant will need to locate the trail to Lanlivery then follow the Saints Way signs across land to Golant YHA. Staying on Route 3 via Luxulyan will ensure you are bound for St Austell. The church at Luxulyan is picturesque and Route 3 offers a delightful journey through the densely wooded valley below which has been designated as part of a world heritage site. It also played a major part in the tin mining age of Cornwall when timbers were burnt here for charcoal which was used for smelting the tin. Beyond the forest the journey continues by the Eden Project as it follows a course to St Austell – a busy market town and capital of the ‘Cornish Alps’ – the nearby white heaps of china clay which is still exported today. It is also famous for its brewery and location of Mount Edgcumbe Hospice. Route 3 runs through the entire town finally crossing the A390 at the bottom where it joins the Pentewan Tramroad next to the B3273.
As the Tramroad enters the woods it follows the River Pentewan for most of its journey; there is also a pleasant excursion to Heligan Gardens situated at a holiday campsite a mile before reaching Pentewan Village (this is well signposted). Continuing along the Tramroad to Pentewan, the route concludes at a cycle hire depot and from here you can seek refreshment at The Ship Inn. Across the river is a campsite which can be used by pilgrims at the cost of £10 per night.