West Cornwall is ideal country for cycling, with fantastic scenery, picturesque country lanes, cycle rentals available, and convenient B&Bs, campsites and hostels for cyclists. The popular End-to-End ride from Land's End in Cornwall to John O Groats in Scotland starts its 800 mile challenge just three miles from Porthcurno, attracting numerous holidaymakers, day rides, training rides and charity rides all year round on a wide variety of bicycles. For a cycle-friendly hostel just 1/4 mile from Land's End you may enjoy the Lands End Holidays Hostel, and there is good campsite accommodation nearby. Here on this page we also present a scenic guide to a number of local cycle ride routes for any cyclist or ebike cyclist, just scroll down and charge on. 2020 has seen a big increase in cycling, with many families and small children on the peaceful roads, and so a big increase in demand for sensible 20mph overall speed limits in towns and villages - as is so well explained by the national 20splenty.org campaign.
Cycling on pavements and footpaths is illegal and dangerous, resulting in fatalities, annoyance, and suppression of walking by vulnerable pedestrians. Cycling on the road is actually quicker, more convenient, and statistically safer, and even more so with 20 mph speed limits in place to help everyone.
Bicycles, including ebikes, can be hired from Lands End Cycle Hire who also offer delivery, and the nearest full service bike shop is The Cycle Centre in Penzance, which has an excellent reputation. At Porthcurno cycle parking stands are available at the Telegraph Museum and the Minack Theatre, but not yet in the main Porthcurno carpark, meaning some still have to chain their bicycles to available signposts. Only folding bicycles may be taken on local bus services in Cornwall. There is a good selection of places to eat at Porthcurno, all of which can accommodate bicycles outside.
Gradients on hills here can be sharp, in some cases 17% or more in steep sections, though no hills in the area are more than 100m in total height and the highest point in all of Cornwall is just 420m above sea level, on Bodmin Moor. In memory of local cyclist and ride leader Ken Barclay, an annual winter charity ride in West Penwith climbs the seven most challenging on-road hills in the area, including Sennen Cove, Treen Hill at Penberth, and the uninterrupted 100m climb up Chywoon hill in Newlyn. So to cycle here you need either a good range of gears on your bicycle, or just the time to walk up a few steep sections. And you need properly working brakes for cycling down curvy hills, especially offroad. Occasional strong winds can be an obstacle, but temperatures here are rarely below freezing and traffic is relatively light, though rain in Cornwall can be heavy.
To reach Porthcurno from Penzance the most direct route is to take the A30 westbound, then after three miles taking the signposted left turn onto the B3315 to Porthcurno via St Buryan. Alternatively from Penzance via Newlyn, Mousehole and Lamorna one can follow a longer and more scenic route. From St Ives or St Just to Porthcurno is a spectacular ride along the unspoilt north coast road, the B3306, passing through the village of Sennen and close to the surfing beach at Sennen Cove, and passing close to Lands End.
The following rides are all circular, meaning you could join or leave them at any point. Where possible they travel in anti-clockwise direction to make the turns at junctions mostly easy left-hand turns.