West Cornwall is ideal country for cycling, with fantastic scenery, picturesque country lanes, 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.Here we present a scenic guide to a number of local cycle ride routes for any cyclist, just scroll down and pedal on.
Bicycles, including fascinating vintage bikes with easy modern gears retrofitted, can be hired about 6 miles away in St Just at Cape Cornwall Cycle Hire, 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.
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.
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.