A market town on the banks of the River Camel whose bridge is 'built on wool'. Wadebridge is central for cycling the Camel Trail between Padstow and Bodmin, and home to the Royal Cornwall Showground.
The Camel Trail
The Wadebridge and Bodmin Railway Line was opened in 1834 and was one of the first to be built in the world, certainly the first to be operated by steam trains in Cornwall and the first in South West England to carry passengers.
In 1967 the line was closed for all passenger services, although it continued as a freight line into the early 1980s. After that, the line was taken up and the route was turned into the Camel Trail. The old station building in Wadebridge was converted into the Sir John Betjeman Centre, the poet having loved this part of Cornwall. Several of his poems mention the railway line and the surrounding countryside. The centre is now used for community events and holds a small collection of Betjeman memorabilia.
The Camel Trail winds its way along the Estuary between Padstow and Wadebridge, and then follows the river to Bodmin. The scenery along this popular walking and cycling route is some of the most spectacular in Cornwall.
There is bike hire available in Padstow and Wadebridge. The route between the two towns being mostly level, with some gentle slopes. With plenty of little coves and places to stop and admire the view or have a picnic along the way, the Camel Trail is an ideal way to spend the day with the familly.
The Royal Cornwall Show
The Royal Cornwall Show, or Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show, to give it it’s proper name, has been taking place for over 200 years. It’s Cornwall’s biggest annual event and is brim-full of exhibits and activities which offer entertainment, competition, information, shopping and all that’s best in food and farming.
As one of the country’s top agricultural shows, it attracts large numbers of animals, entered into the hundreds of classes. Year on year exhibitors travel from further and further afield in the hope of coming away with an award, be it for their cattle, sheep, chickens, pigs, dogs etc.
It's a time and place to meet old friends, conduct business, support and promote Cornish-grown and Cornish-produced food, even buy a tractor or a car. Visit the flower tent and be amazed at the multitude of colour on display, or just get some advice on where its best to plant your latest shrub.
Top quality entertainment can be found in the main arena, from show jumping to stunt displays, and there’s also the colourful extravaganza of a traditional steam fair and vintage vehicle rally. Other stages are alive with music, song and dance, country skills and the ever-popular sheep-shearing competition.
Whatever your age, whatever your interests, the Royal Cornwall Show has something to offer.
Accommodation in and around Wadebridge
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Wadebridge
From the M5 follow the A30 to Bodmin, Turn off here and head through the town taking the A389 to Wadebridge. There are a number of small carparks dotted around the town.
The nearest National Express stop is at Bodmin from where a bus goes Wadebridge.
The nearest mainline railway station is Bodmin Parkway from where you can get a bus to Wadebridge.
The impressive bridge across the River Camel was built in 1468, and allegedly the piers rest on sacks of wool because the mud was so deep they could find no stone.
However, it has now been proven that the bridge does sit on the underlying bedrock.
The town of Wadebridge has hosted the Cornwall Folk Festival since 1972. It now runs for four days over the August Bank Holiday focusing on contemporary folk music, bluegrass, Americana, Celtic and acoustic music.
In recent years big names such as Gretchen Peters, Eddi Reader, Dougie Maclean, The Unthanks, Martyn Carthy and Irish singer Cara Dillon have rubbed shoulders with Cornish bands providing a wonderful mixture of sounds around the towns various venues.
It's about 9 km (5.5 miles) from Wadebridge to Padstow along the Camel Trail. It's flat all the way on a good hard surface. Most people walk it in about two hours, but it can take longer if you stop to take in the fantastic views!
There are busses back to Wadebridge if you don't fancy the return walk.
Discover your Cornwall
Long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, quaint fishing villages, deep wooded valleys, bustling seaside resorts, industrial heritage, rocky headlands, colourful gardens, idyllic rivers and a bijou city, Cornwall has a bit of everything for those who want to explore.
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