The National Trust opened its new cycling facilities at Lanhydrock to the public in spring 2014. Nanny Pat, Wilf and Megan spent the day there recently and had a whale of a time cycling the trails, walking in the woods and clambering over the wonderful new play equipment. Here’s what Nanny Pat thought about the day.

The trails have all been designed and planned with great detail for the level of ability that each one caters for. They are well signed and all operate a one way system so there’s no fear of crashing into out of control speed merchants bearing down on you!

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All the trails wind their way through the woods with various inclines; we did the Lodge Trail which is the easiest and this was just right for four year old Megan on a small girl’s bike fitted with stabilisers. There are other trails with steeper inclines and challenging drops designed for thrill seekers.

Just past the car park is the cycle skills track where you can try out some steep curves, bumpy hollows, narrow stream crossings and windy tracks. Wilfred loved the challenge and happily whizzed around on his own whilst I was helping Megs.

We hired the bikes for 3 hours (£10 each) which is plenty for younger children and then had a bite to eat in the café. The menu was good, as was the coffee, so I was happy after my marathon run trying to keep up with Megan!

After our break we headed off through the woods down to Respryn Bridge, a favourite haunt of ours. It’s an ancient narrow stone bridge over the upper reaches of the River Fowey and ideal for playing pooh sticks. We had our usual challenge and it was Megs’ turn to win 8-6 with the fastest sticks.

pooh-sticks

We followed the river track on the other side of the bridge and walked up through the woods to the house (this is my favourite spot for bluebells in May) with the promise of a lovely Callestick farm ice cream to keep Megs’ legs going up the hill.

We bought our ice creams and sat and licked them on the lawn in front of the house in the sunshine, trying to make shapes of the beautiful cumulus clouds floating in the clear blue sky above us. Another incline back to the car park – this time the incentive was the new playground.

The wooden structures from Earth Wrights looked as if they had been hewn out of the forest and really blended in with the environment. Wilf and Megs loved them and didn’t want to leave. It was a perfect end to a busy day and we all agreed that it was a brilliant new facility for Cornwall. Well done National Trust!

Useful information

There’s a huge car park next to the cycle hire shop and café and you can park for free, bring your own bikes and cycle the trails for free too.

If you want to hire bikes there is an excellent bike shop with Specialised mountain bikes of all sizes (even balance bikes for little people) and fully trained and helpful assistants who will adjust the bikes for you and provide you with a helmet and map.

You can download a map of the trails from the National Trust website to help plan your visit in advance.

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Take a look at the Lanhydrock Cycle Hub Facebook page for up-to-date information about the trails, news and events.

The hub links to Sustrans Route 3 and onto the Camel Trail to Padstow or Wenford Bridge – great for keen cyclists!

Cardinham Woods with its trails is only a mile down the road.

Getting there

Lanhydrock is just off the A30 near Bodmin and is well signposted (look out for the brown signs). Postcode for SatNavs: PL30 5AD. From Bosinver, it takes approximately 25 minutes by car.

Bodmin Parkway railway station is 1 ¾ miles away if you prefer to travel by public transport.