The west kernow way

6 min read

Explore Cornwall’s mysterious ancient monuments, wild moorlands and sparkling beaches. Georgie Duckworth rides the rugged tracks and sleepy lanes of Britain’s most exciting new cycling route

Photos: Justin Foulkes


From the West Kernow Way, Georgie surveys the sheltered white sands of stunning Kynance Cove, a much-loved tidal beach on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula – the perfect place to pause for a refreshing dip

On a spring day, you might expect Kynance Cove, one of Cornwall’s iconic landmarks, to be bustling with people. But as we cycled along the bridleway, accompanied by gentle birdsong and the salty smell of the sea breeze, there wasn’t a soul in sight. Just a cuckoo calling in the distance – the first one I’d heard that year.

As our bikes bounced along the rutted, grassy path, an adder slithered urgently away ahead of me. In excitement at this rare sight, I turned to call back to my sister. The sun had just broken through an eerie sea-mist and I could now see the spectacular backdrop of Kynance’s Asparagus Rock towering behind her. If I hadn’t been about to wobble off my bike, I would have pinched myself to check it was all real.

Moments like these, cycling through Cornwall’s beautiful scenery, surrounded by wildlife yet distanced from the throng of tourism, encapsulate the West Kernow Way. This 230km route around West Cornwall is the latest adventure devised by charity Cycling UK. The largely off-road loop was launched in September 2021 as a new way to experience both Cornwall’s familiar and less well-known sights on two wheels.

The trail is a cleverly linked blend of quiet country lanes, cycle paths and bridleways – one minute pedalling over a grassy moor, the next tackling a rocky descent. You may spend a morning passing crumbling engine houses and tin mines and the afternoon cruising through sleepy fishing villages with hidden coves to explore.

Given my lack of off-road cycling experience, my sister Becks was surprised when I suggested we take on this adventure. It was a gloomy day in December and she and her family had just tested positive for Covid. This meant spending a second Christmas in isolation at home. More than ever, we needed something to look forward to. I’d recently learnt about this new cycle route around Cornwall and thought it would be the perfect mood-enhancer. Scheduling for a weekend in May, we began to plan our two-wheel adventure.


With its figure-of-eight format, the West Kernow Way is designed to be flexible. Some may attempt the route in one go, taking perhaps three to four days. Othe

This article is from...

Related Articles

Related Articles