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New cycling challenge in Cornwall

November 2021


EXPERIENCE unlocks the fascinating history and breath-taking beauty of the ancient kingdom of Kernow with this newly designed 230km bike-packing route around the tip of Cornwall.  The West Kernow Way, managed and launched by Cycle UK in September 2021, rediscovers Neolithic tracks such as the Tinners Way and connects existing or out of use bridleways, by ways and lost ways.  It spans across spectacular coastal scenery, hedgerows bursting with wildflowers and isolated moorland.

Tourism spend from cyclists in the UK generates £520m per year and offers real potential for growth. Cycling UK data states there are over 1.23 million overnight trips each year, particularly beneficial to small businesses and contributing £433 million to the economy.  

Designed to be ridden over three to four days, the route takes in the quiet lanes as well as the many popular spots on the western half of the Cornish peninsula, including the Botallack tin mines, the popular Bronze Age monument Mên-an-Tol, Land’s End, St Michael’s Mount and Lizard Point.  

The route is available for free as a gpx download and forms a circle of eight figure through the county. Visitors can buy a printed guidebook produced as part of the project.  Cyclists are keenly sharing images of their guidebook arriving on their doorstep, on the West Kernow Way official Facebook group

The West Kernow Way will be a challenge, with over 4,200m of climbing – but all that exertion provides a worthy excuse to support local businesses – including the famous Cornish pasty makers.  Creating sustainable and resilient economies and travel during less busy times is central to the EXPERIENCE work in Cornwall. Cycling UK also works to support the local hospitality industry along the route to become accredited Cycle Friendly Places, so cyclists will be greeted with a warm welcome and everything they need. 

Cycling UK has also developed shorter day routes which can be found at Experience Cornwall by bike. There are currently six short routes available to the public with descriptions of the rides and a free GPX file to download for the routes, including the shortest circuit (26km) you can take from Penzance to Carn Euny, one of the best preserved ancient villages in the region.

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. The launch of this project in Cornwall took place in September 2021, supporting local, sustainable tourist experiences which contribute to the economy and vitality of the region in the off-peak season.