Atlantic Trail - developments

This page is intended to provide news and information about developments
that have added, or will add, to the cycling opportunities in the Atlantic Trail area.


Cycling routes



VéloWest European cycle route through Bude

The Devon 'coast2coast' cycle route from Ilfracombe to Plymouth forms part of a much longer European cycle route, Velodyssey, running from the Franco-Spanish border to Ilfracombe and crossing the Channel via Roscoff to Plymouth.

Millook from the coast road There is a European cycle route looping off from this this into Cornwall. It starts at Sheepwash in Devon, runs south to Holsworthy and then west to Bude.   From Bude, VéloWest follows the coast road south (iconic Atlantic Trail scenary!) through Widemouth Bay and the stunning little road through Millook (some very steep climbs but even touring cyclists with hugely loaded panniers think the views make that worthwhile).

Camel Trail sign The route then turns inland through farmland on minor lanes to Hallworthy and then over the ex-WW2 airfield at Davidstow and onto the impressive landscape of Bodmin Moor, before descending at St Breward to join the Camel Trail to Bodmin.   All this route, from Sheepwash to Bodmin, is on National Cycle Network route 3 (NCN3).
NCN305 sign
From Bodmin, VéloWest then continues along the Camel Trail through Wadebridge to Padstow (NCN32).   It then takes narrow coastal roads via Harlyn Bay (on NCN323) before rejoining NCN32 and going south through St Columb Major.   Just south of St Columb, it takes the new NCN305 minor-road route which runs east, with a section off-road round Goss Moor, through Roche and Bugle to join the mainly-off-road Clay Trails cycleway to the Eden Project.

From the Eden Project, VéloWest returns north via Lanhydrock to Bodmin, and then retraces the route up to Hallworthy (albeit missing out the northmost section of the Camel Trail, instead going up to Blisland and across a wonderful open section of Bodmin Moor).   From just north of Hallworthy, VéloWest then runs east, on the recently designated NCN327 route, via Eggloskerry, the Kensey Valley, Launceston, Lifton and Brent Tor to rejoin Velodyssey near Tavistock.
coast route south of Bude
coast route south of Bude The whole route is branded with VéloWest signs (see right) and there are information boards at key points, such as the one beside Bude Tourist Information Centre.   (bude-info-panel.pdf)

The designation of this VéloWest route was part of a major Anglo-French project to promote cross-Channel routes.   Other routes designated by this project were Velodysee, Tour de Manche and Petit Tour de Manche.   The official information about VéloWest can be seen on the French cycle-tourism website

cycleway beside 
Bude CanalTRAC project

TRAC was a project to negotiate and build extensions to the cycle routes in Cornwall - with funding available for specific work in the Bude and Launceston areas.
A subgroup of the Bude Partnership liaised with the project manager to help promote and facilitate this development.

Interpretation board beside old railway bridge In the Bude area, while the full extent of the planned developments was not achieved, the project did create a new route for the multi-use trail to use an underpass under the A39.   This avoided a dangerous road crossing via a traffic island and made the route much safer, particularly for childen.  

cutting the ribbon to open the underpass This has vastly increased use of the trail.

A celebratory walk/ride to 'open' the underpass was held on 29th October 2011; over 120 people of all ages took part.

A39 underpass opening event


event photos


cycle/footbridge over the river Neet In addition, a section of the old railway line south of the river Neet was purchased by the TRAC project in 2010 to add to the section north of the Neet already owned by Cornwall Council.   A cycle trail was subsequently laid through this, and a cycle/footbridge built over the River Neet.   This leads to a further section, as yet without a surfaced track, which has space to create an activity area and picnic spot close to the river.

RubyCountryPartnershipLtd-logo Atlantic Ruby Way

Devon County Council have investigated extending the existing off-road cycleway at Holsworthy viaduct to make more of the existing route off-road between there and the county border near Titson.   This will link to the Ruby Way cycle routes that Devon are constructing and, particularly, to the off-road route between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh which is now substantially complete.

The intent is to designate the Bude to Holsworthy route as the Atlantic Ruby Way
More information about the Ruby Country projects can be found on

multi-use path 
at Pethericks Mill New Cycle Centre

The new cycle centre was constructed in early 2011 on the corner at Pethericks Mill, Bude, where the current multi-user path exits from the route over the old railway bridge and then goes back over the flood defence bank into Bude marshes.

Bude Bike Hire (see construction pictures in the Gallery page).

The 'Bude Bike Hire' section of this centre opened in June 2011 and the 'River Life Café' at the front of the building opened in July that year.   Initially, the cental section of the building housed a sports shop; however, that has now become a speciality furnishings shop.   More recently the upstairs section of the building has become the base of a cycle components company.   The building construction attracted some 'Regional development' funding; it has certainly justified that in terms of the employment opportunities it has created.

In addition to providing cycle hire facilities, this cycle centre will also act as an information point for users of the multi-use trail and other related activities in the Atlantic Trail area.

permissive bridleway 
at Whalesborough Whalesborough permissive bridleway
  & Weir coffee-house/bistro

Whalesborough have done major work over the past 18 months to upgrade the permissive bridleway across their land that links from Helebridge to the coast road above Widemouth Bay.   This work includes the laying of a gravel path to link the lower concrete access road from Helebridge to the concrete road that runs out to the coast road, extra signage and also the building of a much wider gateway to the coast road. Weir Coffee-house/Bistro

Whalesborough opened a coffee house / bistro near the start of this route with wonderful views out over a new lake and the Helebridge valley.   There is also an extensive children's playpark area.

This building also houses a wildlife interpretation centre.

cyclists on new track Tamar Lakes cycle track

South West Lakes Trust, in conjunction with 1SW, constructed a family-friendly green cycle track at Upper Tamar Lake over the 2010/11 winter.   This is a loop of 4.7km, encircling the whole lake from the café and crossing back to the café over the dam.

This compacted well over the first winter and was 'officially' opened in April 2011.   The Tuesday cycling group made a longer-than-usual ride earlier that year to explore it (as can be seen from the pictures in the Gallery page).   Since then new growth has come up round the track; it is now looking very good indeed and provides a wonderful route round the upper lake for both cyclists and walkers, and particularly for young families who wish to stay totally off-road.
There are also some 'skills sections' beside the track with boardwalk and humps, plus a children's playpark area and several picnic benches in the area between the café and the sailing club.

Upper Tamar lake There is ample parking near the café so those just wanting the lakeside circuit can take their bikes there by car - Bude Bike Hire can hire car bike racks as well as bikes.

As well as this parking, there is also parking near the dam at Lower Tamar, with a well gravelled track leading roound the south end of the lower lake to the entrance to the upper lake. Lake

at Kilkhampton on route to Tamar Lakes There is also an attractive quiet road circular ride from Bude (or Stratton) to Tamar Lakes - so, for families/groups with a mix of nervous and more competent cyclists, some can cycle to the Lakes while others meet them there to cycle or walk the new lakeside track.

(Caution: The loop does have a brief section on the A39 near Kilkhampton, this can be avoided by going to the lake via Stratton and returning the same way.)

The circular ride from Bude to Tamar Lakes and back to Bude can be done as either a clockwise or anti-clockwise loop.   A brief description of the clockwise route is available.   (see brief route description)  Alternatively, a more detailed desription of the loop in both directions is available.   (see detailed route description)