The Portreath to Devoran Coast to Coast Cycle Trail climbs out of Portreath, leaving behind its terrific sandy cove, before shortly travelling through lush countryside towards the hamlets of Bridge, Cambrose and Mawla.
Slightly further on between Wheal Plenty and Wheal Rose you will find Globe Vale Holiday Park at the end of the short access lane to the Coast to Coast Trail.
This is a great stretch for L-plate cyclists to practice without having to contend with traffic. There is a link to Wheal Peevor here, which boasts the best preserved engine houses in the area.
Wheal Peevor: The word Wheal means ‘Place of Work’ and ‘Wheal Peevor’ has a pumping house, winding house and stamps area – all three processes involved for the extraction of copper and tin.
The pumping house has a 660ft deep shaft (now covered and home to numerous doves!). This is relatively shallow as some mine shafts were up to 3000 feet deep.
He lived at Scorrier House, a vast country estate with around 400 acres of land, situated a couple of miles from here. Today, it is a popular venue for luxury weddings.
Travelling on towards Devoran, you will reach Scorrier, where there is a short stretch of road that connects you to the next leg of off road trail at Wheal Busy, where you will find an old engine house, still standing tall.
Here you will find a picnic table and a plaque that tells you about its history. All this area was part of John Bassett’s estate.
From here you head down hill through Unity Woods, a renowned mountain bike track through trees full of character, younger riders may need to walk their bikes through Unity Woods as it is reasonably steep in places. (The author’s 9-year-old son loved the downhill ride through here and probably managed it better than his 40-something dad!).
From Unity Woods you follow the trail towards Todpool, and the brilliant Poldice Valley with its lunar landscape and fantastic mountain biking opportunities. You will find many a younger off-roader taking the opportunity to leave the ground behind or hurtling down some steep slopes.
You can also meander slowly down through the valley as there is a man made track down through the valley too.
After leaving the haunting Poldice Valley you will meet a short stretch of quiet road (about 5 minutes) that takes you towards the next off road section towards Bissoe, where you will find The Bike Chain Cycle Hire Centre and Cafe.
This is a great stop for when you are in need of a snack and a drink or a great place to start the Bissoe to Devoran section as you will find a large parking area here.
Leaving The Bike Chain car park, there is a 30 second stretch of road before you turn left onto the final stretch of off road track to Devoran and its beautiful grassy quay.
Continuing along the Carnon Valley, you will travel past old preserved mine workings, following a stream known as the Red River. There are ponds all along this stretch, the area is rich with wildlife.
This is another great stretch for L-plate cyclists as it is reasonably flat, especially near the granite Carnon Viaduct which towers overhead, taking passenger trains from Truro to Falmouth.
The original viaduct was built by I.K Brunel, but the top section was made of wood to save money. Brunel predicted the wooden struts would rot and it would have to be replaced within 70 years. He was right! His stone supports still stand but a new viaduct had to be built next to them.
Your destination, Devoran is at the end of this stretch of track where an underpass cuts out the busy Truro to Falmouth road. There is a gentle, half mile, cycle along a quiet road on the far side of the underpass, where you head past the village hall to find Devoran Quay and its historic Quay Inn.
When you reach the Quay, you will need to dismount from your bike and walk along a grassy path to discover large granite stones at the end of the Quay where you can sit quietly and enjoy the splendid views down Restronguet Creek. It was here that loads were transferred from rail to boats on the estuary.
Coast to Coast links:
Get a printable PDF of all of the Mineral Tramways routes, here, courtesy of Cornish Mining World Heritage.
See an aerial photo of the Coast to Coast Trail with the route marked, here.
Find an Ordnance Survey map of the Coast to Coast Trail, here.
Cornwall Council’s website has more information here: