Pearls of Cornwall

TO CORNWALL'S TOP ATTRACTIONS BY BIKE

This holiday takes you to Cornwall's spectacular south coast. The Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, lovely Mevagissey Harbour and the surprisingly attractive Clay Trails; it is all easily accessible by bike with various largely traffic-free routes. You stay at a self catering caravan accommodation close to the coast, so you only have to unpack your bag once and have the flexibility to do other things as well. Distances on this holiday are small, so a warm welcome to novice cyclists and children!

Route Summary:

All attractions on this holiday are within an hour of easy pedaling from your accommodation, so every day you can pick another cycling destination. The cycle route network is made up by traffic free cycle routes like the scenic Pentewan Valley Trail and the stark but attractive Clay Trails. Where there is no cycle path available, you'll be cycling on specially selected quiet country lanes.

To start you have the choice to visit three impressive English Garden Estates. The famous Eden Project, built in a former mining pit, boosts various domes of beautiful flora and fauna, covering ecosystems from all around the world. More mysterious are the Lost Gardens of Heligan including some imaginative creatures created from plants and flowers. To round up your garden experience don't forget to visit the Pinetum Park & Pine Lodge Gardens, a must see for any keen (or wannabe!) horticulturist.

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Regarding the stunning Cornwall coast you also have three exciting destinations from which to choose. Beautiful Pentewan Beach has a remote feel with high cliffs forming a dramatic back drop, great for multiple visits. Picturesque Mevagissey is a true pearl of Cornwall; walk the narrow streets, enjoy the shops and cafes and explore the harbour. Also, don't miss out on Charlestown. This small Cornish port is home to the Shipwreck & Heritage Centre. Great interactive displays about shipwrecks, pirates, diving, mining and ocean liners offer entertainment for all!

Another great destination for young and old is the China Clay Museum in the heart of the so called Cornish Alps. This is where you can learn about Cornish mining in an excellent fun and interactive way. For those who really like the mining stuff there is a northern circular cycle route around St Austell. You'll encounter various short steep climbs and descents here. Panoramic views over the coast and impressive lunar style mining craters are well worth the effort.

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You should also keep one day of your holiday week free to walk the South West Coast Path. The stunning section between the holiday park and Charlestown is about seven miles long; allow up to six hours to walk it! This remote path with splendid views takes you via beautiful coves, hidden beaches en through forested valleys. This is a one-way route, so use the local bus services to travel from/to Charlestown.

Last but not least, St. Austell is the largest settlement in the area with a surprisingly attractive town centre. It is a pleasure to browse the shops for an hour or so. You can also have a meal in one of the restaurants or what about doing your essential shopping on a daily basis by bicycle? The higher end of town around the church is the most scenic part of town and if you really want a view, cycle up to the station to have panoramic views over the town and the coast!

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Check your Cycling Profile:

This arrangement is designed for people who like to take their cycling easy. Distances are short, with varied scenery to take in. You may know that Cornwall is very hilly, so all routes include at least one major climb (except for the flat ride to the beach). If you are prepared to walk your bike on hilly stretches you’ll still find the routes are reasonably easy going. Large sections of the routes are traffic-free and therefore extremely suitable for novice cyclists and children. Note that children should be supervised by an adult at all times. We also expect them to be able to cycle according to Bikeability Level 2 of the National Standard. If you are unsure, please contact us.

Our bike hire partner has aluminum frame mountain bikes available. All adult bikes have at least 18 gears. Children bikes will have at least 6 gears. Use of a helmet is included in the rental price. Note fitting of mud guards and luggage racks is not available from this rental.

If you bring your own bikes, bear in mind the route is not suitable for racing bicycles with narrow tyres as there are some sections of gravel tracks. It is wise to use a bike with at least 18 gears. This makes it possible to deal with the occasional steep climb.

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When can you start:

This arrangement always starts on Saturdays and finishes a week later on the next Saturday. Arrivals are from 3.30pm until 7pm, departures are at 10am at the latest. You'll need to book the self-catering arrangement at least four weeks in advance.

Prices 2017:

Period 1: Arrival 1, 8 April : £799
Period 2: Arrival 15, 22, 29 April, 6, 13, 20 May: £709
Period 3: Arrival 27 May: £889
Period 4: Arrival 3 , 10, 17, 24 June: £839
Period 5: Arrival 1, 8, 15 July: £939
Period 6: Arrival 22 , 29 July, 5, 12, 19 August: £1099
Period 7: Arrival 26 August: £889
Period 8: Arrival 2 September: £789
Period 9: Arrival 9, 16, 23, 30 September, 7, 14 October: £719
Period 10: Arrival 21 October: £789

Included are:
- 7 nights self catering caravan accommodation for 4 people (*)
- Route Book including maps, route directions and visitor information
- GPS-tracks of all cycle routes via email, which you can import to your outdoors navigation device (optional)
- High visibility vests
- Emergency assistance when required
- VAT

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(*) The caravans are located at a Holiday Park with direct access to the cycle routes. The spacious park is set in a stunning rural setting and has plenty of facilities. Available on-site are a shop, bar/restaurant/take away, games rooms, a tennis court, laundry room and a children play area. As a resident you'll be able to use the on-site heated indoor swimming pool at no extra charge. During peak season the park also operates a kids' activities club. Your caravan has an open plan living room with well equipped kitchen. Every caravan has a bathroom with toilet and shower and two bedrooms, one double and one twin, sleeping four in total. The rental is for seven nights from Saturday to Saturday. There are also caravans for up to six and up to eight people available. Please contact us for price information regarding these larger caravans.

Not included are:
- Entrance fees for museums and attractions (like Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan and China Clay Museum) and bus tickets (needed for South West Coast Path walk)
- All food, snacks and drinks
- The return journey between your home and St Austell
- Travel and Cancellation Insurances
- All extra costs related to emergency assistance
- Bicycle rental

Prices extra options:

Please note: all extras need to be booked at the same time as the booking of the main package!

Cycle hire is charged separately. The additional charge is £98 per adult and £78 per child (mountain bike up to 24" wheel). This charge covers bicycle rental for six cycling days and includes delivery on the night of your arrival and pick up at the end of your last cycling day.

All bike rentals come with lock, pump and puncture repair kit. We expect all parties to be able to fix punctures themselves without assistance. For any serious repairs, the free breakdown repair service applies. In that case, the breakdown service of the bike rental will head out to assist you on location. We can arrange the same service to people who bring own bikes, but in that case you pay the cost for the breakdown service yourself.

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Travel Information:

By train: We recommend traveling to Cornwall by train. Great Western Railway runs a direct link between London Paddington and St. Austell. Cross Country Trains also serves St. Austell Station with a good connection to Birmingham and beyond. Both companies carry bicycles for free, reservations recommended. From St. Austell you'll take a local bus to the Caravan Park. If you bring your own cycles you'll need to cycle this last section (up to 30 minutes one-way, routes from/to station included in route book). Total travel time from London: approximately 6 hours.

By plane: If you travel from further afield, Exeter Airport is the airport to fly to. The airport is a major hub of carrier FlyBe. Travel by bus or taxi from the airport to Exeter St. Davids Station. From there you take the train to St. Austell where you continue by local bus to either the Caravan Park or B&B accommodation. Total travel time from Exeter Airport: approximately 4 hours. Note there are also limited flights to Newquay Airport, which is much closer to St. Austell than Exeter. Travel by taxi, bus or train to St. Austell from this small airport, total travel time approximately 1 to 2 hours.

By car: St. Austell is located near the main A30 corridor into Cornwall and the turn off for St. Austell is clearly signposted. In St. Austell, take the road to Mevagissey to get to the caravan park. Total travel time from London: approximately 6 hours.

Pearls of Cornwall