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Cyclist Best of British: No. 9 Cornwall

28 Jul 2020

Words: Joe Robinson Photography: Juan Trujillo Andrades/James Oaten

Professional cyclist, komoot pioneer and native Cornishman Chris Opie describes riding in his native Cornwall quite beautifully.

‘On a quiet day up on Bodmin Moor, or down west on Penwith Peninsula there is a mystical feel to the rides,’ explains Opie.

‘Mist rolling in off the sea is a very common occurence and I actually believe because Cornwall is a few degrees warmer than most of the U.K, winter riding down here is more enjoyable than anywhere else. Plus, the roads are much quieter and the seas more dramatic, too. That's the time to visit if you ask me, October to April.’

Cornwall is already a popular destination with Brits looking for a holiday within its own borders thanks to golden beaches, cosy pubs and excellent food but it can feel quite crowded through the peak summer months.

So if you head down for a week of cycling from autumn through to spring, not only will you be treated to all the delights of Cornwall in summer, you will also have the roads to yourself.

And as you’re always within touching distance of one of Cornwall’s breathtaking coastlines, these are some of Britain’s best roads for riding despite the lack of grand mountains or imposing hillsides.   

Cornwall offers a quaint subtleness of craggy rock formations close down by Portscatho to luscious green meadows up in Bodmin, all woven together by pristinely kept villages that are happy to welcome you into one of its many cafes for cake, tea or even a delightful Cornish cider.

Although, be warned, as when you head inland, specifically towards Bodmin Moor, the roads can become spitefully steep and a royal test for even the most accomplished climbers.

When the riding is done for the day, you know you will also be guaranteed an outstanding plate of food to help you recover. After all, Cornwall is king for seafood in the UK with no less than 41 Michelin star restaurants within its borders, most of which specialise in dishes caught close to Cornwall’s shores.

Television chefs Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth are just two of the talented cooks that have pioneered Cornwall as one of the culinary cornerstones of the United Kingdom with stand out establishments like Rick Stein’s Cafe and Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 – both of which are easier to snag tables at through winter.

Although, if haute cuisine isn’t your thing and you’re after something a bit more more basic, yet no less delicious, then do not worry as Cornwall is home to quite possibly the greatest post-ride snack you could ever feast your eyes upon, the Cornish pasty.

Top tip

Bring your mountain or gravel bike so you can ride the off-road track along the cliffs to the Chapel Porth beach close to St Agnes, it’s stunning.

• If you are new to komoot, it is offering a free regional bundle (worth £8.99). Simply follow this link to komoot and create your free account today. Alternatively, head to komoot and enter the voucher code BESTOFBRITISH. Valid until 31.12.2020

The Full Route Collection