County town Wadebridge on the banks of the River Camel in North Cornwall is an ideal base for accessing coast and country attractions. The town nestles between the popular beaches of Padstow Bay and Rock, and the 17 mile long Camel Trail open to walkers and cyclists runs right through the town. Wadebridge also affords easy access into Bodmin Moor. Pretty riverside walks, a famous 17 arch bridge, children’s play areas, a cricket ground and a number of restaurants, takeaways and traditional pubs serving food are all here. Wadebridge is also a North Cornwall shopping centre with a variety of independent shops. Annual events include the June Royal Cornwall Show across three days, one of Cornwall’s premier agricultural shows at the well signposted showground one and a half miles west of Wadebridge along the A39. A festival of Music and Speech takes place in March, a celebrated folk festival is hosted in August and Wadebridge Annual Carnival is in late July.
The Camel Trail
Wadebridge is a popular base for family cycling holidays along the multi use 17 mile long Camel Trail running between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. The Camel Trail is a scenic trail following the route of a disused railway line flanking the Camel Estuary between Wadebridge and Padstow. It passes through stunning woodland in the Camel Valley between Wadebridge and Bodmin. Hire bikes at a choice of bike hire companies in the town including Bridge Bike Hire located right at the start of the Camel Trail – in operation here since 1983.
John Betjeman Centre
When the railway line which followed the route of The Camel Trail was in use before the Beeching cuts, the poet Sir John Betjeman famously made the train journey, describing it as ‘the most beautiful train journey I know”. Betjeman first visited this area of North Cornwall before World War I on a holiday to nearby Trebetherick. The John Betjeman Centre in Wadebridge, housed in the old Wadebridge railway station, which gets a mention in Betjeman’s poem ‘Summoned by Bells’, displays various memorabilia and personal items belonging to the poet. Betjeman is buried at the nearby 13th century St Enodoc Church.
Crealy Theme Park
Cornwall’s top theme park, Crealy sits just outside Wadebridge and is open for fun packed family days out from February to early November. Colour coded rides cater for all from the very young to the thrill seekers, with fun rides including Thunder Falls and Viking Warrior. An all weather adventure park, Crealy also features great indoor play zones, a family arcade, haunted castle and Toddler’s Village. Animal attractions including a reptile house and Kingdom of Heavy Horses attraction. Many family cafes and eateries are onsite.
Bodmin & Wenford Railway
Wadebridge has a fascinating railway heritage. The passenger line opened here in 1834 was one of the world’s first railways and in the Victorian era Wadebridge was a major railway junction. The line succumbed to the Beeching axes of the 1950s, however today visitors can hop aboard the preserved Bodmin & Wenford Railway at Boscarne Junction just south of Wadebridge which runs for 6 1/2 miles (13 mile round trip). The Camel Trail is adjacent to Boscarne Junction Station.