The Coast and Clay Trail

Clay trails

The Coast and Clay trails are short walking, cycling and horse riding trails through mid Cornwall. They provide a glimpse into the China Clay industry of Cornwall and offer a largely traffic free route that crosses through: rolling farmland; wooded valleys, colourful fishing villages and Cornish mining villages.

There are 9 trails:

A downloadable web version of the Clay trails leaflet is available here.

Who can use the trails?

The trails offer a variety of flat and smooth surfaces to steeper, uneven ground and are suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, mobility scooters, wheelchair users and buggies.

Quad bikes, motorbikes, motor vehicles and pony and traps are not allowed on the trails.

Facilities and parking

The range of facilities along these wild and sometimes remote trails is limited. However, the trails are easily accessible from the road and all of the routes have a car park nearby.  Many of the trails start or end at, or at least pass through, a spot with toilets and refreshments. 

You can find out more about the nearby facilities, attractions and parking along each of the trails on the clay trails website as well as who each trail is suitable for.


The Clay Trails were first opened in 2005 as part of a restoration programme to provide access links and new habitats for flora and fauna.  Look out for spring flowers along sunken footpaths, wildfowl and orchids in Par Nature Reserve, bright yellow gorse, and a variety of other native wildflowers. Keep your eyes open for birds of prey such as buzzards, sparrow hawks and kestrels.

Wider network links

The Coast and Clay trail links into National cycle network route number 3, creating signposted cycleable links to Truro, the Camel Trail, Bodmin and Bude. 

From Truro:

The trail heads south out of Truro and onto quiet roads, past the National Trust gardens at Trelissick. From here, it crosses the upper reaches of the River Fal by the King Harry Ferry onto the picturesque Roseland Peninsula, following quiet lanes through some of the Roseland's finest scenery. As it nears the coast, the route drops down into the fishing village of Portloe and again at Porthluney Cove, the entrance point to Caerhays Castle. The trail then continues inland before reaching the coast once more at the fishing village of Mevagissey, an extremely popular holiday destination. The route out of Mevagissey passes the award winning 'Lost Gardens of Heligan' and enters St Austell along a largely traffic-free route.

From Bodmin:

The Route 3 leads out of Bodmin using an off-road purpose built 'millennial' bridge route which brings you to the National Trust property of Lanhydrock House from here the route continues along quiet country lanes to the Eden Project, from here you link into the Clay trails. 

How to get there

There are a number of ways that you can get to the coast and clay trails:

By rail - you can catch the train to Par Station or St Austell train station which are on the main line.  From Par station you can then catch the train to Bugle station or Luxulyan train station.

By car -  view the maps section of the Clay Trails website to find out how to get there by car. There are a number of council car parks located along the trails, view the map below to find out where these are located.

By bus - buses run to many of the nearby towns and villages. You can find information about timetables and tickets on the Traveline South West website

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