GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

National Cycle Route 3

327 miles (527 km)

This is the complete route for National Cycle Route 3 in the south west of England.
The route starts on the Cornish coast at Land's End and takes you through Devon and Somerset before arriving at Bristol. It runs for a distance of about 327 miles. Along the way there's some splendid traffic free sections, most notably along the Pentewan Trail, the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, the Tarka Trail and the Camel Trail.
At the start you'll use the Cornish Way and pass Bude, Mevagissey, St Austell, the Eden Project and Bodmin Moor. You'll also head across Dartmoor passing highlights such as Rough Tor and Brown Willy.
Sections through the wonderful scenery of Exmoor and the Mendip Hills enhance the ride further. Towards the end of the route you'll pass Chew Valley Lake, Glastonbury Tor, Wells and Chew Magna before arriving in Bristol.
Please scroll down for a map, a selection of routes using the trail and a gpx download.

Cycle Routes on National Cycle Route 3

  • Cornish Way - This is the complete National Cycle Network route from Land's End to Bude
  • Camel Trail - This wonderful riverside trail follows a disused railway line and the River Camel from Padstow to Poley's Bridge.
  • Pentewan Trail - The Pentewan trail is a lovely traffic free cycle and walking path running from St Austell to Mevagissey along the trail.
    The trail follows an old railway line and the St Austell River for part of the way and also includes a woodland section through King's Wood
  • Land's End to Truro - Starting at the most westerly tip of the mainland by the Trevescan cliff follow the trail to Truro
  • Bodmin to Bude - This route follows the Camel Trail and the trail from Bodmin to Bude through Bodmin Moor.
    The run along the River Camel at the start is particularly pleasant with a section through Dunmere and Park Woods
  • Barnstaple to Tiverton - Follow the trail through Devon and Somerset from Barnstaple to Tiverton on the River Exe
  • Tiverton to Bridgwater - Travel from Devon into Somerset on this lovely largely traffic free ride along the trail
  • St Austell to Bodmin - Follow National Cycle Network route 3 on this short route which passes through some lovely countryside
  • St Austell to Bude - Follow national cycle network route 3 from St Austell to Bude via Bodmin
  • Penzance to Camborne - Starting in Penzance follow the trail to Camborne on this attractive route
  • St Austell to Par - This short ride takes you along the trail from St Austell to Par
  • Camborne to Truro - Follow the trail from Camborne to Truro via Redruth
  • Truro to St Austell - Follow National Cycle Network route 3 from Truro through some spectacular Cornish scenery and a beautiful coastal stretch to the popular town of St Austell
  • St Austell to Lostwithiel - Follow the trail from St Austell to Lostwithiel on this lovely Cornish route
  • Bridgwater and Taunton Canal - Follow the towpath of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal on this easy walk or cycle in Somerset
  • Tarka Trail - This wonderful walk through Devon follows the path taken by Tarka the Otter in the book of that name

National Cycle Route 3 OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

National Cycle Route 3 Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The route is coincident with National Cycle Route 33 which runs from Bristol to the Devon coast at Seaton.

Photos

Land's End - geograph.org.uk - 97530

Land's End in Cornwall. Route Start.

St Austell River and Pentewan Railway trail - geograph.org.uk - 1215303

St Austell River and Pentewan Railway trail The route of the old 2'6" gauge Pentewan railway provides a pleasant walk along the river from London Apprentice to the harbour at Pentewan. The railway opened in 1829 to support the china clay industry. It was horse-powered until 1874, after which steam locomotives took over. The line closed in 1916 when heavy silting closed the harbour.

Cyclists on the Camel Trail - geograph.org.uk - 1541492

Cyclists on the Camel Trail. Looking east along the Camel Estuary adjacent to one of the many rest stops along the trail.

Bridgwater and Taunton Canal - geograph.org.uk - 1420211

Bridgwater and Taunton Canal. The canal at Maidenbrook, looking west from the bridge carrying Venture Way. The towpath carries NCN cycle route 3 and (just from this point westwards) the East Deane Way.

National Cycle Network, Route 3 milepost - geograph.org.uk - 484704

Milepost One of 1000 special mileposts funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Route 3 runs from Bristol to Lands End. The section here, near Newlyn, has a generous dedicated cycle lane.

Approaching Roseny Mill - geograph.org.uk - 196546

Approaching Roseny Mill. A view looking north along the trail, looking across a bridge over a small brook on the approach to the sharp turn at Roseny Mill.

Road and Cycleway - geograph.org.uk - 845762

Road and Cycleway. Part of route 3 this is marked on the map as a 'byway open to all traffic' which in Cornwall are normally unmetalled tracks, this however is tarmacked just like a normal minor road.

Castle Bridge, Bristol (geograph 5909352)

Castle Bridge, Bristol, UK. Seen from the southern side of Castle Green, the footbridge across the Floating Harbour connects the park and the Finzels Reach development.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

National Cycle Route 3.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')