Trelissick Gardens, Roundwood Quay & Coombe Creek.

Once you get past the Manor House and manicured lawns of the National Trust gardens at Trelissick (near Truro, Cornwall) you can find some great trails around the Fal River. This route is 8.45 miles and takes in the views around the King Harry Ferry, Roundwood Quay and Coombe.

Trelissick House

View to Trelissick House.

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Eden Project Multi-Terrain Marathon

The Eden Project Biomes

The Famous Eden Project Biomes

According to the organisers the Eden Project Marathon is

“… a multi-terrain course around Eden, the race follows a challenging route through areas of spectacular mining heritage and beautiful countryside landscapes.”

From the time you enter the car park of the Eden Project you know this will be a well organised event. The marshals very efficiently directing the hundreds of cars into the many car parks. Once parked you are marshalled onto the bendy buses. The car parks being epic, it is a 5-10 minute bus ride before you reach the baggage area. The joining instructions clearly state that you should allow 45 minutes between arriving at the car park and the start of the race; this is good advice. Once in the baggage area it was off again quickly to catch another bus to the start area.

Not too much queuing required for the toilets at the Eden Marathon.

Not too much queuing required for the toilets at the Eden Marathon.

Once in the start area it was down to the usual marathon rituals. Luckily there were virtually no queues for the portaloos. The marathon and half marathon start 30 minutes apart. With only 230 runners in the marathon the starting area was not too crowded. With 700-800 half marathon runners starting half an hour later I am sure the queues for the portaloos grew much larger after we left.

Getting ready to start. On the starting line of the Eden Project Marathon.

Getting ready to start. On the starting line of the Eden Project Marathon.

As the start time drew nearer we started to line up for the inevitable safety briefing.

“When you get to the canal the environment agency says all runners must walk for 10 ft along the canal”we were dutifully informed.

Apparently part of the canal path had fallen into the water. The environment agency had rigged up scaffold steps into the adjacent field to divert the marathon route. Unfortunately the night before heavy rain had flooded the field, the route was now to be diverted back to the canal path. But for safety all runners must walk! You really couldn’t make this stuff up. Continue reading

Argal and College Reservoirs Penryn & Mabe: Walks, Runs and Cafe Torelli.

Ducks enjoying the water at Argal lake.

Ducks enjoying the water at Argal Lake.

The beautiful scenery and wildlife around the College and Argal Reservoirs near Mabe and Penryn have always been attractive to local people in the know about this hidden gem. Now the area has benefited from a considerable facelift with improvements to the existing footpaths, improved drainage and new bridges complimenting the existing facilities such as a children’s play area, toilets and car park. In 2014 a new cafe (Caffe Torelli) added to the reasons to visit this South West Lakes Trust managed site.

View from the car park at Argal Reservoir, Penryn, Cornwall.

View from the car park at Argal Reservoir, Penryn, Cornwall.

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Going coast to coast: The Bissoe mineral tramways trail run (Cornwall).

Mine building at Poldice.

Mine building at Poldice on the coast to coast mineral tramways trail (Cornwall).

Distance: 11-miles
Route: Coast to Coast Mineral Tramways Trail from Devoran to Portreath.
Terrain: Cycle trail, road
Farmland, mining heritage, ‘mining moonscape’
Max Height: 114m
Min Height: 4m
Total Asc: 198m
Total Desc: 191m

This trail’s distance of 11 miles makes for an out-and-back of 22 miles; perfect for marathon training.

Mine bissoe trail

Old chimney stack Bissoe trail.

For those used to Cornwall’s scenic coast, golden beaches and lush green farmland the mineral tramway offers a new landscape to explore. In parts more moonscape than landscape, where you are never far from a reminder of the areas fascinating industrial history.

Capped mine shaft on the mineral tramways trail (Cornwall).

Capped mine shaft on the mineral tramways trail (Cornwall).

It is hard to believe that only 150 years ago the whole area was one of the most industrialised areas in the world. Tramways and railways traversed the route. Following the contours of the valleys which echoed to the sound of mining stamps and the toil of thousands of men below ground and women and children above ground. In the intervening 150 years the smell of coal and labouring bodies has subsided and nature has slowly taken a hold. It is a testament to the power of nature and (perhaps given the current global environmental issues) reassuring to see that nature has the power to erase most of man’s past mistakes and mismanagement. Yet even the power of nature has been unable to heal all of the scars inflicted on this land in the name of profit and the pursuit of mineral riches.

Portreath Devoran trail sign

Portreath Devoran trail marker.

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Spotlight on Bodmin Moor: Following the Liskeard Caradon Railway across the open moors.

Spotlight on Bodmin Moor: Following the Liskeard Caradon Railway across the open moors.

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Image showing the distinctive stone block sleepers lining the old moorland railway route. Stowe’s Hill and the Cheesewring are ahead and Sharptor is on the far right horizon.

The thought of running an abandoned rail line across the wild moors of Cornwall seems too good an opportunity to miss. This is why the remains of the Liskeard Caradon Railway are a must for any trail runner visiting the area. The railway was built to service the local metal mines and granite quarries in the 19th century during the height of the industrial revolution. The mines are now long gone and the wild moor has once again reclaimed the wilderness. However if you look closely you can still trace the scar of the old railway across the moor. Stone sleepers once holding the rails in place now line the route like headstones.

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The Mid Cornwall Yachting Trail (Run): Restronguet Creek, Mylor Creek and Penryn River

The Mid Cornwall Yachting Trail (Run):
(Restronguet Creek, Mylor Creek and Penryn River)

Distance: 12 miles
Max height: 68 metres
Min height: 2 metres
Total accent: 336 metres
Designation: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Some wooded and cross county tracks, followed by miles of flat off road trails following Restronguet Creek, Mylor Creek and the Penryn River estuary with outstanding views across Carrick Roads and Falmouth Bay, Cornwall.

mylor boats Continue reading