Do you consider yourself to be a fitness enthusiast? Then it is safe to assume that you know all about running exercises.
This physical activity is great at burning away any extra calories and keeping you in shape. Besides, it is a great cardio workout, which boosts your heart rate and helps to keep it healthy.
However, many people find running on treadmills at indoor gyms to be relatively boring. Instead, they choose to go running outdoors, which allows them to enjoy the scenery and take in some fresh air.
And when it comes to outdoor running, nothing can beat Cornwall, for this county in south west England boasts beautiful running trails that cut through pristine landscapes. So, if you wish to go on a fitness trip to Cornwall, then you need to check out this guide that lists some of the best running trails here.
Most Popular Running Trails In Cornwall
1. Camel Trail
When talking about running trails in Cornwall, one of the first places that pop up in our minds is the iconic Camel Trail. Did you know that there was an old railway line here that used to run through the length of this trail? This line was constructed to carry sand from the Camel Estuary to the nearby farmland, which is where the name comes from.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about getting hit by a train here any longer, for the railway tracks were removed a long time ago. Today, it is popular for running and for cycling as well. The whole trail is around 18 miles long, but most runners prefer to run on the stretch up to Padstow, which is 12 miles long.
This trail begins at Bodmin, and from there, it takes you to Wadebridge. It is located around six miles from the starting point, thereby forming the first part of this trail. Subsequently, the second leg runs from Wadebridge to Padstow, which has a length of 5.75 miles.
The primary reasons behind the popularity of this trail are the terrain and the views that it offers. This entire trail is relatively flat, which makes it easy for experts and beginners. What’s more, you get a stunning view of the Camel Estuary and the surrounding countryside while running through it.
2. South West Coast Path
Of course, how could we not include the famous south west coast path on this list? It is the longest hiking trail in the UK, after all. Stretching over the entire coastline of Cornwall, it is one of the best trails in the country for running or hiking.
Obviously, one cannot be expected to run through the entire coast path in a single try (unless they are hoping to break some record). You can pick a particular stretch and run through it, which is what most runners do.
In this regard, we recommend running through the westernmost section of the coast path between Penzance and Sennen Cove. This entire stretch is almost 16 miles long, and it runs along the scenic coastline of Cornwall. The running trail will take you through the coastal villages of Mousehole and Porthcurno. It also covers the famous Land’s End, which is near Sennen Cove.
Running through this entire stretch requires a considerable amount of stamina, which is why it is a popular route among marathon runners and hardcore fitness enthusiasts. However, if you are a beginner or are not so sure about completing the whole stretch in one go, you can break it up into parts.
For instance, you can start near the Lifeboat station at Penzance and finish at Porthcurno Beach. Or you could start from Sennen Cove and run up to Mousehole Harbour.
3. Lizard Point 5k
This particular running trail will take you through another important geographical landmark in Cornwall, which is Lizard Point. Located atop a huge cliff, the Lizard Point is the southernmost spot in mainland Britain and offers spectacular views of the Cornish coast.
As the name suggests, the length of this route is approximately five kilometres, and it starts and ends at the Lizard Village. Its shorter length makes it the perfect choice for casual runners and beginners. However, if you want a greater challenge, you can repeat the loop to increase your running distance.
Once you begin from the Lizard Village, you need to follow the gravelly paths and head east towards Housel Cove. After reaching this place, you can take the south west coastal path towards Lizard Point.
You can take a short break here to recharge yourself. And while you’re at it, you can enjoy the scenery of Lizard Point for a while. After you are done, keep following the coastal path for 1.5 kilometres to reach Kynance Cove and then Pentreath Beach. From there, you can turn right to take a footpath that will lead you back to Lizard Village, thereby completing the run.
4. St. Ives 10k
If you are looking for a challenging run on the north coast, then you need to try the St. Ives 10k. In case you don’t know, this trail hosts a periodic running event that is organised in St. Ives and Hayle region, and it attracts a lot of enthusiastic runners. However, if you do not want to get competitive, you can run through the trail on your own.
The run starts from the west end of Hayle Beach and covers its entire length. This offroad terrain forms the first leg of the run.
Once you reach the end, you have to turn inland towards the sandy terrain of Hayle Towans, which is the second part of the run. You will eventually have to tackle a long and relatively steep sand dune on this part of the trail, which can be a little challenging for novice runners.
This whole trail overlooks the beautiful St. Ives Bay, which makes it a great running route for nature lovers. What’s more, the view from the top of the sand dune is particularly stunning during sunset, which makes this run even more appealing.
5. Pentire Head
The Pentire Head running route is another picturesque trail that runs through the north coast. It will take you through a relatively solitary headland that sits on top of steep cliffs and offers spectacular views of the Atlantic.
This run starts from Polzeath and takes you through Pentireglaze and Rump’s Headland. Then it goes up to Pentire Point in Pentire Headland before turning back towards Polzeath.
There are a few uphill and downhill sections that will be challenging to tackle, especially if you are a beginner. But if you have experience, then these ups and downs will be a breeze.
6. Perranporth Beach
Perranporth Beach, which is situated around nine miles from Newquay, is one of the best beaches for running in Cornwall. It stretches for over two miles, which makes it an excellent spot for beginners and casual runners. However, if you want a greater challenge, you can run several loops on the beach to increase the total distance.
Needless to say, the sandy beach offers excellent seascape views, which makes it highly appealing for outdoor running. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the refreshing spray of the ocean breeze? Believe us – it will make your running workout all the more rejuvenating!
7. Watergate Bay, Newquay
The Watergate Bay beach in Newquay is another popular running destination that you can consider. Compared to the other routes, this one will take you through a fairly populated area since both Newquay and Watergate Bay Beach are popular tourist destinations.
With that being said, you won’t have to wrestle through any crowds on this route, which should come as a relief for most outdoor runners. Besides, Watergate Bay offers beautiful seaside views, which makes the run worth it.
The run begins at Porth Four Turns bus station and goes up to Watergate Bay. Once you reach there, you need to turn back and return to the starting position. The entire length of the loop is around 6.5 miles and consists of both paved and natural terrain.
8. Falmouth Three Mile Loop
As the name suggests, this running route is located in the town of Falmouth on the south coast and covers a distance of three miles. Furthermore, it has flat terrain, which makes it easy for beginners.
Like the previous route, this one will take you through a populated area too. However, there are no crowded areas along the route, which is an advantage.
The run starts at the Methodist church, which is located on Killigrew Street. As you keep running, you will cross a number of landmarks, such as Vernon Place, Falmouth Town railway station and the St. Michael’s Hotel and Spa. You will eventually arrive at the beachfront, where you can take a bit of rest and enjoy the sea breeze.
After that, you have to continue along Cliff Road, crossing the glamorous Gyllyngvase Beach and Castle Beach. You will run through Pendennis Point, which is near the famous Pendennis Castle. Keep running until you arrive at the Prince of Wales Pier, which is the terminating point of the route.
9. Coosebean Woods Trail, Truro
This route consists of a winding path that takes you through the city of Truro and the adjacent Coosebean woodlands. Besides runners, this point-to-point path is particularly popular among dog walkers.
You can start the run from anywhere in the city, but most people prefer to begin from Victoria Gardens on St. George’s Road. The road will eventually bring you to a three-way junction, from where you will enter the woodland area of Coosebean.
This portion of the trail is a bit challenging, but it is incredibly peaceful. The woods are quite charming and mysterious, and that alone makes the run worth it.
If you keep following the trail, you will arrive at Threemilestone, which is the ending point of the route. The total distance covered will be around 2.3 miles, but you can increase it if you run back via the same path.
10. Bissoe Trail
Bissoe Trail is a coast-to-coast route that has a length of around 11 miles. So, if you are an experienced runner who is seeking a challenge, then this route will be perfect for you.
This trail begins at Devoran near the south coast and ends at Portreath on the north coast. It is mostly a flat trail without any hills or other steep elevations in between. However, there is a gradual incline when heading towards Portreath, which should help to provide a moderate workout. If you return via the same path, you will feel like cruising over a steady downward slope.
On that note, it has a mixed terrain that includes paved and unpaved roads. The Bissoe Trail takes you through Cornwall’s mining region, which means that you will come across several tin and copper mines along the way. That’s what makes this path so appealing to runners, for it shows a glimpse of Cornwall’s rich mining heritage.
For the most part, the route is pretty much isolated, but you might encounter other runners and cyclists in between. Also, at the end of the trail in Portreath, you can enjoy the sea views for a while before turning back.
There are many more routes in Cornwall that can be used for running. In fact, if you think about it deeply, then you’ll realise that literally every road can be used for this activity. However, running on any path you come across won’t serve your purpose, which is to work out in the great outdoors.
That is why the ones we have mentioned above are some of the most popular routes. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they are also good for your workout. Besides, if you are observant, you may learn a lot about Cornwall’s history and background during these runs, which is an added advantage.
In any case, now it’s time for us to wrap it up. Farewell, folks!
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