Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beginning of our 'end to end' cycling tour

Here we are at the 'official' start of our LEJOG at Land's End on Tuesday morning:

We had hoped to provide the maps & elevation profiles from our Garmin GPS computers, but we have been unable to download the data - we'll post them when we solve the technical issue. 

In essence, in the first two days we rode around the Cornish coast from Penzance via Newlyn, St Buryan, Land's End, St Just, St Ives & Hayle to St Agnes (Tuesday), and then via Newquay and Padstow to Wadebridge (Wednesday). There were lots of hills - vertical climbing of about 1300m over the 90km on Tuesday and about 800m over 58km on Wednesday.

While both rides were hard, we were rewarded with great scenery: stunning coastal cliffs; beautiful sandy beaches, complete with surfers riding the waves (& surf shops everywhere); patchwork-like farmland, with stone farm cottages and sometimes dry stone fences rather than hedges; quaint country villages; and busy medieval towns with narrow winding streets fronting a harbour (St Ives, Newquay & Padstow, which are also blessed with a very attractive harbours and pretty sandy beaches).


Even the winding, narrow roads in the countryside were attractive, usually lined with high hedges on both sides. On some country lanes the hedges had been allowed to grow so high that there was a canopy over the road for quite a distance.

Wednesday's ride ended with a walk around the attractive harbour in Padstow and then an 8km ride along a rail trail called the Camel Trail, alongside the scenic estuary of the Camel River.

And we've stayed at wonderful B&Bs since getting to Penzance, some situated in very old buildings. The B&B yesterday at St Agnes in 'Poldark country' was in an old mansion; it transpired that the aged owner was a friend of the author of the Poldark novels written in the 1950s, which drew on geographical and cultural features of the local area. The stories were made into a TV series in the 70s that both of us watched.

The lovely B&B we stayed in Wadebride was in a house built in the 1670s ! Added to this, the hosts were also cycletourists, so we had a nice chat about bikes and our respective touring experiences after arriving. We later learned (from a waitress at the restaurant we dined that night) that the male half of the couple is the mayor of Wadebridge and that one of their trips to France they told us about had the theme of cycling from Wadebridge to the French town that it is twinned with in Brittany.

1 comment:

  1. Great reading about your cycle trip. Your route looks nice on the maps. We plan to do the trip next spring. Would you be willing to share your gpx track? Thanks bmarechal at