‘ The Cornish coastal road carves a serpentine path’
Starting in Newquay, keep the sea to your left and head north, via Porth Beach, on the B3276. For its first part this route follows the coast, rising with the cliffs to jink across their exposed plateaus, only breaking its flow to connect the bays and beaches embedded along the shoreline. Watergate Bay is first up and there’s a steep left-handed downhill hairpin on the approach – the nature of this terrain is such that similar turns lie ahead, so be sure to ride with appropriate caution.
After dipping through Mawgan Porth the B3276 carves a serpentine path atop the prehistoric Bedruthan Steps, its low lying hedgerows rising and falling with the rolling undulations. There are several tight sections around Porthcothan Bay, most notably the bridge at the far end of the beach. Take your time and be prepared to let oncoming vehicles through – if nothing else it’ll give you a chance to soak up the fabulous views. Fuel is available in St Merryn should you need it, after which the road continues to rise, crest and swoop onward towards Padstow.
Padstow is a great place to stop if you’re feeling peckish as this traditional port is bristling with culinary establishments – head for the South Quay. Parking is pay and display if you use a designated space and the rules state you can park several bikes in one – interpret that as you so wish.
Leave town on the A389 towards Wadebridge. The road becomes wider from here, less nadgery than some of the coastal route, and rapidly descends to swoop across the River Camel. At some point the A389 becomes the A39, but stay alert for the signs to A389/bodmin.
Follow the A389 through Bodmin (where fuel is readily available) then join the A30 in the direction of Redruth. This ribbon of twin lane dual carriageway streaks into the distance and paves the way for some serious cruising. Its bends are such that you barely need to back off; just hold the throttle on that symphonic sweet spot where the pipe finds its tune – the blue note – and go. It’s a stretch where some will find true clarity of thought, but don’t get too lost in the moment; after 11 miles you’ll want to peel off for the A392 to Newquay.
Navigate by the signs for Fistral Beach, but don’t park down by the beach itself. As you turn onto Headland Road (with the sea ahead and golf course on your left) take the right for Towan Headland. Ride out past the Headland Hotel to find the best views – if you’ve timed your run to coincide with a sunset you will not be disappointed.
‘Hold the throttle on that sweet spot where the pipe finds its tune’