Cornwall and Devon

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Les T
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 4:33am

Cornwall and Devon

Postby Les T » 18 Jul 2015, 2:03am

We are planning to cycle Lejog, starting August 11th. There are three of us, ages 65, 62, 50, cycling unsupported, all reasonably fit. We want to complete it in 13 days and aim to cover 50+ miles per day for first two days. My researches suggested the following route. I understood that the north coast was particularly hilly.

Day 1: Land's End/Penzance/Marazion/Goldsithney/Godolphin Cross/Nancegollan/Porkellis/Stithians/Carnon Downs/ King Harry's Ferry/Philleigh/ Sticker/St Austell.
Day 2: St Austell/Lostwithiel/Liskeard/Tavistock/Lydford/Oakhampton.

We have booked accommodation in St Austell and Oakhampton, but that can be changed.

However, since I have found this forum various alternatives have appeared, eg.
Land's End/Penzance/Hayle/Cambourne/Scorrier/Chacewater/Truru/Probus/St Austell/Lostwithiel/Dobwalls/Minions/Upton Cross/Oakhampton
Land's End/Penzance/Hayle/Cambourne/Blackwater/St Columb Major/Camelford/Egloskerry/Launceston/Oakhampton.

We want to avoid the major trunk roads, and minimise the hills. I realise that tough climbs cannot be avoided but we do not want to make it harder than necessary.
From Oakhampton I am thinking of going to Credition/Bickleigh via Rob's Passage/Tiverton/Wellington/Taunton.
Any advice and suggestions are welcome.


Thanks, Les T

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46836
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Mick F » 18 Jul 2015, 9:12am

Hi Les.

St Austell is on the A390 and it's a busy place too. Not a nice place to cycle IMHO considering you have alternatives.

Truro/Probus/St Austell/Lostwithiel/Dobwalls/Liskard/Callington/Tavistock on the A390 is busy and not good if you are with other riders. The road is narrow for a major A road, so unless you are alone I would avoid it. Apart from the hills though, it's a good fast route, though "unsociable" for a group of riders. (as in you have to string out rather than stay in a bunch)

Going north on the A39 via Wadebridge/Camelford/Davidstow is better to some degree. It's less hilly and easier going and although it can be busy with traffic, it's less of a problem. It's my preferred route and have said so on here many times. Go through Wadebridge town centre if you want, but there's a big climb back out to the north.

When you turn off for Egloskerry from the A395 you are past all the traffic and major roads and it's a good "sociable" ride. The other end through the north of Launceston and onto the Old A30 is good too. The Old A30 from Launceston to Okehampton is my favourite cycling road and sometimes you can go for miles before you see a single vehicle.

Avoiding major trunk roads is a difficult ask. It can be done to some degree but it's not simple. My advice is to mix and match like the route I describe via Wadebridge and Launceston.

From Okehampton, you have it spot on. Rob's Passage is brilliant.

Be aware though, that the A38 can be busy in places. Come off it where you can.
Tiverton via Halberton to start, then off through Wellington town centre. Taunton is hellish, but aim straight at it and be prepared for roundabouts and traffic. No doubt there's plenty places to stay.

The other end, get back on the A38 again for Bridgwater and up to Bristol. Busy again. Turn off through Congresbury rather than climb Red hill past Bristol Airport.

Personally, I would carry on up the A38 to Gloucester rather than cross the Severn Bridge, but that's just me. Most folk like to cross the bridge and do the Wye Valley, but via Gloucester is flatter and quicker and easier.

I've typed this in a rush as I'm off for a ride shortly. If there's anything you want clarified or explained or you have any questions, I'll be back on here later or tomorrow morning. :D
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46836
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Mick F » 18 Jul 2015, 2:02pm

Home ok, and had lunch! :D

Have a look at this route. LE to Okehampton.

I've ridden every single bit of this, though not all at once. There's not one trunk road involved except for the A30 LE to Newlyn/Penzance. It gets a bit hilly after the Bodmin area and there's a busy roundabout to cross as you cross the A38 just east of Bodmin. One or two hills are a bit steep Bodmin to Launceston, so be prepared.

http://bikeroutetoaster.com/BRTWebUI/Course/817230
Mick F. Cornwall

PH
Posts: 7597
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby PH » 18 Jul 2015, 2:11pm

I don't have Mick F's local knowledge having only ridden through Cornwall once and that probably wasn't the best of routes.
The best bit was the route over the Minions which was in your original plan, one of those roads that just made me glad to be on the bike.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46836
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Mick F » 18 Jul 2015, 3:35pm

Up that way only today! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

Markbush100
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Jul 2015, 8:17pm

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Markbush100 » 18 Jul 2015, 8:25pm

If at all helpful we did lEJOG a while ago and took a quite route through Cornwall and Devon. Route here https://2old2cycle1000miles.wordpress.com/route/

Mark

Les T
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 4:33am

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Les T » 19 Jul 2015, 4:39am

Thank you for the suggestions Mick. Both routes look interesting.
The route through Wadebridge, Camelford, Launceston, Oakhampton appears to be the most favoured one avoiding the A30.
The other one going to the south of Bodmin moor and up through Minions to Launceston, avoiding all major roads, is attractive. Someone else enjoyed going past Minions. Some bigger climbs though?
I will look at the options in more detail and probably come back with more questions.

Les T

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46836
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Mick F » 19 Jul 2015, 8:50am

Les T wrote: Some bigger climbs though?
You need to define "big". :D
Some are steep, some less so, and others are long but undulating upwards over many miles.

The route I linked above is fine and relatively easy until you cross the A38 east of Bodmin. From then on, you're on minor narrow roads with hills. Leaving St Neot for instance, is very steep. There's another VERY steep one a bit further on, but my linked route avoids it.

Eventually, you'll get to 1,000ft over Minions. Then from there it's down and up until you cross the River Lyhner at Berrio Bridge and then climb steeply up to Congdon's Shop towards Launceston. There's another steep climb from Trekelland Bridge up to South Petherwin, but the hills tail off as you reach Launceston.

A38 to Launceston via Minions is just less than 25miles but it has a total ascent of nearly 3,000ft. This is fairly normal round here. I rarely ride without 100ft or more per mile.

Easiest route LE to Okehampton (though not as pretty) is as I've described many times. Wadebridge, Camelford, Egloskerry, Launceston, Old A30 to Okehampton.
Mick F. Cornwall

cycloret
Posts: 426
Joined: 17 Jun 2010, 9:48pm

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby cycloret » 19 Jul 2015, 7:08pm

The routes you first suggested look similar to my LEJOG in 2010. I chose quiet roads where possible and though they might not have been the quickest I could relax and enjoy the scenery. I used a variety of sources when planning my LEJOG which I mention in my Journal, see 3rd link below. I purchased the CTC LEJOG leaflet a few weeks before my start and strange as it seems now, I only found this website after I'd completed my LEJOG.

Day 1 LE to Lanlivery http://www.bikemap.net/route/624719#
Day 2 Lanlivery to Topsham http://www.bikemap.net/route/625043#

Michael's 2010 LEJOG
http://www.cycle-endtoend.org.uk/index. ... &Itemid=93

Les T
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 4:33am

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Les T » 20 Jul 2015, 6:47pm

The route over Minions does look attractive. I have put it to my cycling partners to have a look and decide on that one or through Wadebridge. I suspect that they may go for the latter. It looks like all routes through Cornwall will have good scenery. Some better, of course. Thank you for the guidance Mick F. I may be inspired to return and cycle some of the other routes, just a long way from Orkney.
I am now looking at options heading north.

LindaB
Posts: 70
Joined: 17 Jun 2013, 8:41pm

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby LindaB » 21 Jul 2015, 4:47am

Our LEJOG was in June 2014, first nights in Newquay, Launceston, Tiverton, Glastonbury. All of us 66 years old and up at the start, and self-supported. We did take longer than you're planning, but coming from the US we wanted lots of time for sightseeing! The blog I kept has links to all our Garmin routes - www. crazyguyonabike.com/doc/2014LEJOG . So much wonderful advice received from those on this forum went into our plans.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46836
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby Mick F » 21 Jul 2015, 12:45pm

Les T wrote:Thank you for the guidance Mick F.
It's my pleasure!

Good luck, and if you have further questions, I'll happily reply.
Mick F. Cornwall

binsted
Posts: 328
Joined: 6 Jun 2012, 1:13pm

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby binsted » 26 Jul 2015, 1:02pm

I followed Mick F's route advice through Devon and Cornwall on recent LeJog and found it spot on in fact the 1st day in Cornwall I would say was one of the easier days of the trip, Devon was harder and the run to Bristol had a couple of big climbs.

thebedfordfox
Posts: 54
Joined: 27 Apr 2012, 6:59pm

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby thebedfordfox » 6 Aug 2015, 11:45am

I have used Mick F's routes through Cornwall and Devon three times and they are excellent. I used mainly busy single-carriageway roads when I did LEJOG a year ago, but find dual carriageways very unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

Although the A30 looks great looking at the map - it's the most direct way out - it's horrible when you consider holiday trafffic - including caravans - as well as lorries.

As the great man, Mick F, has said himself, there is no 'easy' way out of Cornwall and Devon. It's hilly, but by the time you get to north Bristol - which in my case was two and a bit days' cycling - you are rocking and rolling.

thebedfordfox
Posts: 54
Joined: 27 Apr 2012, 6:59pm

Re: Cornwall and Devon

Postby thebedfordfox » 6 Aug 2015, 2:52pm

The route I used can be found at my website for the trip, www.sorebackside.com - the NCN7 from Blair Atholl to Inverness wasn't perfect, but was much better than taking the A9 in that part of the world.