Sharon Kilty runs the Arthritis Care online community and is a trustee for Disability Cornwall. Sharon enjoys living in the countryside and spending time outdoors, so as part of our Days Out blog, she takes us on a journey through the completely accessible Camel Trail in Cornwall.
Living in Cornwall gives me such wonderful opportunities to be out and about enjoying the countryside. Having said that, there are often barriers in the way such as high pavement curbs, narrow kissing gates and overgrown pathways. So I recently decided to take a route that has long been recommended to me as being completely accessible. Off I set with my daughter, her boyfriend and the dogs to the Camel Trail.
This is a shared path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders too. The full trail is 18 miles long but we did the part from Wadebridge to Padstow which is 5.5 miles long. There is parking behind Lidl which is free for Blue Badge holders. There is an accessible toilet at the start of the trail and clear sign posting. Be aware this is a well-used, flat, wide, hard surfaced path, so unless you go early in the morning or out of season it could be busy.
The path runs alongside the river Camel and all along the route are the most amazing estuary views with frequent benches where you can stop, step off the path and truly enjoy the scenery and local wildlife. Despite it being high season and a glorious day with lots of visitors on the route when we went, it was easy to find moments of solitude and tranquillity. I lingered for an extended period of time to watch a gaggle of geese making their way down to the water’s edge, it was a sheer delight.
I did not make it all the way to Padstow because my wheelchair battery would not have survived for a full 11 mile round trip there and back, but I was happy enough to go halfway there and then find a comfortable spot for an hour whilst the others cycled on to Padstow. There really is so much open landscape to enjoy that you could spend the whole day sat by the estuary edge and enjoy a good book and a picnic lunch. I would definitely recommend this route and next time I will start from Padstow to do the other half of the 5.5 miles. I think I will do it on a sunny winter day when it will be more peaceful and the scenery will look completely different from the summer glory I enjoyed this time.
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