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The Camel Valley Train Line was first opened for business in 1834, making it one of the oldest sections of train line in the world. It carried its cargo from Wadebridge through the Camel Valley (from which it took its name) and up to Poley’s Bridge on Bodmin Moor. One of its main purposes was, apparently, taking sand from the coast to more inland areas where it was used in a number of industries such as brick or glass making. In 1900 the line was extended so that it reached all the way to Padstow.

Eventually, as the railway saw less and less use and became less and less profitable, closure was unavoidable. When it did come, the line was abandoned. Tracks were torn up for their valuable metal or timber and what had once been a fully functioning steam railway was left to nature.

However, as with many of these disused railways people saw an opportunity. You may be aware of the Tarka Trail in Devon or the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, and exactly the same thing happened in Camel Valley. The railway was converted to a perfect cycle path for those on holidays to cottages in Cornwall to enjoy.

The trains couldn’t manage steep inclines so the whole path is either flat or on very gentle gradients, making it perfect for cyclists of all ages. Plenty of places offer cycle hire as well, and the three main stops on the ride, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow all have plenty to offer those on a self catering Cornwall holiday.


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