Château des duc de Bretagne, is the jewel at the heart of Nantes, the largest city in Northwestern France. The Château, secluded by fortress walls and its own moat, are an imposing, yet welcoming finish to Cornwall Hospice Care’s Camel to Castle Cycling Challenge where the cyclists will finish in the walled courtyard.
The five day trip limited to just 50 cyclists, will start from the mouth of the River Camel, traversing Cornwall from West to East. The route explores the beauty of Cornwall on day one before an overnight ferry crossing to France where the challenge features much of the famous La Vélodyssée, the Atlantic cycling route as we head south to Nantes and ultimately completing a total of 280 miles to France.
Join us for the truly unique and bespoke once in a lifetime trip to help fund the care our charity provides to patients with terminal illnesses in Cornwall.
- 2nd October 2019
- 6th October 2019
- Padstow, Cornwall / Nantes, France
- Trip duration:
- 5 Days
Get an early start, as we leave for our adventure from Prideaux Place in Padstow. We’ll take the Camel trail, following the river, to Wadebridge. A nice gentle and traffic-free start to the day. From Wadebridge we leave the river and head south to St Austell to visit the hospice and take a well-earned mid-moring break. After crossing the estuary in Fowey, we take on a few cheeky climbs before descending into Looe, where will will stop for a hearty lunch. The route in the afternoon follows some beautiful coastal roads overlooking pristine beaches. After another short ferry ride, we’ll arrive in Plymouth where there is the opportunity to shower and eat dinner before boarding the overnight ferry to Roscoff.
After breakfast on the ferry, we ride through the historic town of Roscoff before heading south and following the quiet roads that hug the coast with fantastic sea views. Visit the quaint town of Morlaix before heading inland and into the quiet French countryside. Enjoy smooth and open roads with barely any traffic. We stop for lunch in Carhiax before continuing on the rural backroads all the way to Pontivy.
Another very quiet and rural day. There are, as always, a few undulations, but perfect tarmac and minimal traffic make for an enjoyable ride. We will pass through a mixture of farming villages and historic cobbled towns as we continue our journey south. With nothing but open countryside bewteen our rest stops, be sure to stock up on water, snacks and sweets from the support vans at the stops and on route. Our destination tonight is Redon, where we will stay in a 15th Century Chateau that is now a quiet countryside retreat. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, a delicious meal and a peaceful night’s sleep before your last cycling day.
Our last day begins with beautiful canalside lanes as the early morning mist lifts and the sun rises over the surrouning farmlands. We follow the canal south before taking our final day’s cycle route through the Foret de le Gavre. We will regroup at lunch before our final push into the city of Nantes. Here we will encounter more traffic than we’ve seen all week, but rest assured there are dedicated cycle lanes that take us all the way into the heart of the city. Once in the centre we turn into the cathedral sqaure. A great spot to soak up the atmosphere, take photos and regroup again. The last part of the ride we will cycle together in convoy, past the cathedral and finishing inside the grounds of Nantes’ famous Chateau des ducs de Bretangne. That evening we will enjoy a celebration meal together.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some free time to explore Nantes before your arranged transport brings you back to the UK where you bikes will be returned by our crew.
When do I need to raise the minimum sponsorship by?
Usually Cornwall Hospice would expect 80% to be raised by all cyclists in advance of departure with the remaining 20% within a month of our return. They ask everyone to meet the minimum target as it allows them to plan and fund essential care across the charity.
Can I raise more than the minimum sponsorship?
Yes! Any sponsorship above the minimum will fund the essential work of the charity.
Can I raise money as a team?
Yes, for those who are concerned about raising the minimum sponsorship Cornwall Hospice are happy to have a team share the target. For each person, the team’s sponsorship minimum will grow by £1,960 to cover their place i.e. two riders together will need to raise £3,920 and three riders £5,880.As a team if one person raises £3,000 and the other team member £920, they still meet the target.
What support is there beforehand?
All riders are provided with a Fundraising Pack. You can also request collection buckets, tins, banners, bunting, napkins, balloons and stickers to support your efforts. You will also receive a letter of authority to help if approaching businesses for prizes for a raffle for example. Essentially, if you need help Cornwall Hospice will be there to support you.
What support is there en route?
There are multiple support vehicles and a roaming mechanic helping to addresses any issues on the challenge. If you are struggling with the distance you can also be rested with the team. First aid provision is also covered is there is an injury. Our aim is that at any point you will always feel safe.
How will the course be marked?
Each rider is offered a GPS device, which is pre-programmed with the route. It uses visual and audio cues to instruct you. These are highly accurate and easy to use. These are offered to each rider with no damage deposit, Cornwall Hospice Care covers this, however if a riders loses or breaks the devise, they will be required to pay for it so the charity is not charged.
How fit do I need to be?
Training is certainly required and although the distances are large, remember, all you are doing across the whole day is cycling. Typically we have an early morning start, 8am for example, and ride until mid-afternoon. This is broken up with two water stops and a decent lunch break. People tend to group with others of similar speeds and no one is left behind. It’s not a race and all abilities are encouraged.
Will there be a training plan?
Yes, in your rider area on the Skyline website, you will have access to a training plan once signed up.