The 'Tamar Tootle' is an easy-standard cyclepath, that undulates through magnificent lakeside scenery right round Upper Tamar Lake.
It was built in 2010 by the One South West project to be especially suitable for beginner-level cyclists. It is 5km long and relatively flat with a well-maintained wide grit surface.
Note, for small-wheeled scooters that surface is a bit rough on much of the 5km route.
A shorter 1km route on the cycleway, with an appropriate quiz, will also be available on the 'Tamar Tootle' Day; this may be better for children on scooters.
There is no event entry fee; just collect your quiz sheet from the start desk (beside the car park*) any time between 11am and 3pm and set off on your chosen route. Children should be accompanied by responsible adults.
(* normal pay and display charges apply)
Upper Tamar Café (beside the car park) is open until 4pm, or you could bring a picnic. There are also several picnic benches in the area between the car park and the nearby Watersports Centre, as well as several benches along the route of the cycleway.
The cycleway is suitable for most types of bikes and the 5km route is fairly flat with only gradual short gradients. Participants are responsible for their fitness to undertake such a route and the condition of their bicycles; however, the event start location will have some basic bike tools and some puncture repair materials in case you hit any problems.
Parents should note that it is a countryside cycleway. In places throughout the trail there are the usual small obvious hazards if you come off the track, such as loose gravel, brambles and short slopes away from the edge. There are also likely to be cyclists and pedestrians coming in the other direction. The code-of-conduct for the trail asks that cyclists keep their speed down.
Birds and Flowers
Many birds can be seen as you go round the lake. There is a bird hide on the west shoreline; in it is a list of over 200 species that have been observed in the area. In May the warblers are nesting and the sound of their song is coming from many of the reedbeds or lakeside shrub. At this time of year there are also spring flowers beside the trail and many butterflies.
Images of some birds and flowers often seen at the lake in May can be viewed/dowloaded. These are the birds and flowers whose names will appear on the nature check/tick sheets you can use while going round the lake.
Tamar Lakes is well signed from the A39 at Kilkhampton. From there, take the B3254 east for 1/2 mile, then take the minor road going straight on where the B3254 bends sharply right. Follow this minor road for 2 miles to its next junction where you turn left. The entrance to Upper Tamar Lake is on the left after 1/2 mile.
Fancy riding to the lake?
There is 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 lake while others meet them at the lake to cycle or walk round the lake.
(Note: This ride does have a brief section on the A39 near Kilkhampton, this can be avoided by taking the drive through Penstow Park Holiday Village where there is a restaurant/café in Penstowe Manor. There are also several hills on this route, so it is better for competent cyclists or those using e-bikes.
The circular ride from Bude to Tamar Lakes and back to Bude can be done as either a clockwise or anti-clockwise loop.
A map of this circular route is available on the routes page of the www.budebikehire.co.uk
Alternatively, a more detailed description of the loop in both directions is available.
(see detailed route description)