Mountain biking for all the family in the Tamar Valley

A fun family activity whatever the weather has in store this summer, mountain biking offers an affordable day out for those of us keeping an eye on the purse strings. We have our own fantastic mountain biking resource right here in the Tamar Valley so you don’t have to travel far for easy, energy-burning entertainment.

The Tamar Trails – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – offers an awesome 25km of dedicated off-road, traffic-free mountain biking trails not far from Tavistock, created around historic mine sites.  This is one of the most exhilarating ways to enjoy the landscape, mining heritage and wildlife of the Tamar Valley, and it’s right on our doorstep.

There are various trails for cyclists to choose from depending on requirements and ability. Consisting in the most part of gentle, compacted stone tracks with a few steeper gradients, much of the terrain is perfectly suited to mixed ability groups and families, with a few options for longer and more challenging rides. What’s more, the trails are free to use and open all year round.

The best option for families with younger children and first time mountain bikers is the Mineral Railway Trail, which heads north from the Tamar Trails Centre for 2km or south for 3km. The trail journeys through tranquil woodland along parts of the old mineral railway that once linked Devon Great Consols Mine with Morwellham Quay on the River Tamar. It is generally a level, wide track with some short steeper sections, and kids will love hopping off to learn more about the mining heritage at the Old Mine Office.

For a more adventurous ride, try the Wheal Maria Trail. This track has a number of steep descents and climbs, passing through woodland with spectacular views across the Tamar Valley. Take the Mineral Railway Trail 2km north (20-30 minutes cycling) from the Tamar Trails Centre to join this circuit.

We also offer bike hire, perfect if you’re visiting Devon and Cornwall on holiday or just fancy giving it a try. There are even helmets and bikes with tag-along units and trailers for children.

Then when you’ve worked up a sweat (or just an appetite), stop in at the Beech Tree Café at the Tamar Trails Centre for a drink and something to eat.

Local ITV reporter Jacquie Bird recently visited the trails with her family, have a look at her video here










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