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The Lost Ways of Cornwall

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

A Cornish Local once wrote:

"I have seen the white sea-mists of early summer turn the hill to fantasy, so that it becomes, in a single second, a ghost land of enchantment, with no sound coming but the wash of breakers on the hidden beach..."

The King's General, Daphne du Maurier


Steeped in history and featuring some of the world's most spectacular coastline - few places on earth can boast such dramatic natural beauty. It's yours to explore on a Wild West Kernow Way Adventure.


Evocative place names just add another dimension to the magic of this special place. Spin by St Michael's Mount - thought to be a monastery from the 8th to the early 11th centuries. Swing by Mousehole Harbour, traverse Penwith Moors, ride on down the Tinners Way - one of the "lost ways" of West Kernow. Porthcurno, Minack, Trewellard, Nancledra, Mulfra Quiot, Tregonning Hill, The Loe Sandbar, Helford Passage, The Church of the Storms, Poldhu Point, Gweek, Pixies Hall, The Mines of Goon Gumpass, Carn Brae ... that's.enough!

...not forgetting the Botallack tin mines, the Bronze Age monument Mên-an-Tol and the the land's extremities at Land’s End and The Lizard.


Wild West Kernow takes full advantage of the spectacular coastal scenery, ancient lost ways, clifftop paths, bridleways and tracks across isolated moorland. Beautiful, dreamy beaches are in abundance - as are the picture-perfect fishing villages en-route. Wild Cycles' route has been specially adapted into a 3-day adventure totalling 270km - each day starting and finishing in our super-comfy base camp.

"For me, the highlights of the West Kernow Way included the rocky coastal bridleways around Cape Cornwall, a refreshing sea dip at Kennack Sands, the delicious local mussels and Cornish pasties, spectacular moorland trails on the Lizard Peninsula and wrapping up our ride with a swim at the wonderful Jubilee Pool lido in Penzance." Katherine Moore @komoot

It's hard to do the spectacular scenery justice in the space of one page/screen. Incorporating a staggering amount of Cornwall's most iconic landmarks, stunning beaches, dramatic coastal cliffs which plunge down to the churning surf below as well as sites of historical significance - it's best described in pictures!


Although the jaw-dropping scenery is an ever-present distraction - this is a challenging ride featuring c. 4000m of climbing and covers highly varied terrain and gradients on a mix of coastal paths, bridleways, byways, lost ways and quiet country lanes.

Roll out onto a sublime blend of trails, gravel, lanes and tracks - which for the best part - follows the rugged Atlantic coastline, dipping down ludicrously steep gradients into perfectly formed coves - up and across heart-stopping cliff paths - all the time - providing far-reaching views of the surrounding ocean, bays and moorland.

The first 1/3rd of the West Kernow Way works its way around the West Cornish peninsula to Land’s End - the UK's most Westerly place. From this spectacular landmark above wild and wave-battered cliffs you might be able to see the Scilly Isles on the horizon. The next stretch is no less spectacular as the route heads away from Land's End on lovely rolling, undulating gravel tracks and passes through the iconic ruins of one of Cornwall's mining region and on to St Just - making an ideal pastie and refuelling stop. The home run is very different as it cuts across moody moorland, high grass and none too few ruts - before dropping down a series of sweeping country lanes - and on to base camp.

Day 2 heads out in a Easterly direction dropping down into the picture-perfect harbour village of Porthleven - fab for a coffee 'n bun stop. Next - cross (hike-a-bike) the amazing Loe Bar - a natural sand bar which separates the sea from the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall.

Roll onto the Lizard peninsula which takes it to yet another level of specularity. Pull up above Kynance Cove for the jaw-dropping sight where the earth's mantle was squeezed up from under the ocean and broke through the earth's crust to form the Lizard. The contrast between a stark white sandy beach and the dark red and green of the surrounding serpentine rock is breath-taking....

On day 3 the route works it way North-East towards Portreath, winds through magical moorlands, ancient tin-mining country and the ruins and remnants of the once-thriving industry. Finally - as if to welcome you back - you are greeted by the eye-watering sight of the stunning St Michael's Mount at Marazion - a very fitting end of the West Kernow Way.


Every ride needs refreshment. Fact. So we’re more than a bit stoked to have the gang from stohk along for the ride as our official partners in post-ride recovery refreshment. (AKA beer.)


We all know what it’s like rolling in after an epic day in the saddle. You want to talk about the highs and lows of the day, keep the good times going and, yes, extend the stoke!


Luckily for us, the small batch beers the guys are serving up are specially brewed to be the perfect aprés-adventure quencher and will be within arm’s reach at all our rides this year.


If you really can't wait - please go right ahead and order some delicious stohk brews at a special discount here.


We are delighted to be partnering with fiends @ Moloko Cycling, Stohk Brewery on Wild West Kernow +++ with the kind support of:


The West Kernow Way forms part of the European Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE project, which aims to develop sustainable off-season tourism activities across six regions in England and France.

 


 

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