Day 1

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Origin:        Land's End
Destination:   Wadebridge
Waypoints:     Penzance, Marazion, Hayle, Portreath,
                 Porthtowan, St Agnes, Perranporth,
                 St Columb Major
Lunch:         The Taphouse, St Agnes
Cake:          no cake
Accommodation: The Swan Hotel, Wadebridge
Dinner:        The Molesworth Arms, Wadebridge
Google Maps (likely to go stale/inaccurate over time)
Distance:      63.7mi
Ascent:        3865ft by Google

Land's End is a funny place. Although a tourist trap, it's hard to say just how tacky it would be when everything's open. On our early-morning start, it was at least peaceful and closed.

Out of Land's End, you're soon on beautiful little roads heading towards Penzance. Our route diverges from the B3315 to take the village route through St Buryan. If we learned anything on the trip, it's that B-roads are often less hilly than unclassified alternatives. But in this case I'm not so sure there'd be any benefit with sticking on the B-road—in fact it appears to have an imposing switchback between Treen and Sparnon (diversion 1). The minor-road route is a little uppy-downy but quite tolerable as far as I recall.

Rejoining the B-road and down into Newlyn and Penzance, it's all very civilised. Along the waterfront shared-use path out of Penzance towards Marazion, the surface is very bumpy in parts. We just took it slowly and enjoyed the seaside vibe and views of St Michael's Mount, but you could instead switch onto the road at Long Rock car park, some distance before Marazion—it is fairly busy, but would be a smoother ride. (In Marazion, I can highly recommend The Copper Spoon for tea and scones, which I sampled the day before the ride started.)

Out of Marazion, we follow a little cycle path that pops out on the minor road under the A394... although you could just take that road directly, at only fractionally greater distance.

In Hayle, the route bypasses the town centre, taking a residential high road. The main B-road through the centre would also be perfectly comfortable, and flatter, although it was fairly busy on our summer trip (diversion 2). There's also a Sustrans route around the harbour.

From Hayle, you are heading out towards the very picturesque north Cornish coast. Into Portreath there is an impressive downhill approach with a beautiful view of the bay... and we continue straight back up. This is a pattern that is repeated often along this coastline.

On the way down into Porthtowan, the route has a left-right-lefts which you could simplify by continuing straight on (diversion 3). You're trading a very quiet road for a merely “quiet enough” one; the route shows the quieter option as it's what Google seems to prefer.

Similarly, the route blasts straight through St Agnes, again bypassing the centre, but it's another fine place to stop. We had a nice lunch here at The Taphouse (7 Peterville, near the mini roundabout at the south-east of the village). Next up, Perranporth would also be a fine stop.

Near Rejerrah, we join the A3075 for a short hop before turning right. Although short, this was one of the most unpleasant busy-road stretches on the whole trip, mainly because it is uphill in preparation for a right turn, and the road was moderately busy. I've added an untested diversion that avoids it (diversion 4).

With that done, it is a straightforward blast (crossing the A392 and) through St Columb Major and onwards under the A39. Don't miss the left turning towards Borlase. After a bit of climbing, the last few miles into Wadebridge are very zoomingly downhill.

Don't be surprised if you're completely exhausted. The first day is the hardest day.

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Content updated at Wed 22 Jan 21:01:00 GMT 2020.
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