Cornish Nutcracker Endurance Cycle Hillclimb

The coastal roads between Bude and Boscastle climb and drop over some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the UK. As there’s no way for these roads to avoid the valleys and summits they simply go straight up and over creating one climb after another. Steep and sustained with gradients of up to 30% cycling these roads is a challenge to any cyclist. And yet if you live in North Cornwall this has always been the place to test yourself.

For years we’ve wanted to create a cycling event between Bude and Boscastle but with the descents being so steep and narrow we’ve backed away. The solution, obvious when we thought of it, is to just time the uphill stages so creating a series of one-after-another Hill Climbs.

The route starts in Bude and follows the coastal road to Widemouth Bay. Follow the road along to the Widemouth Manor and on the summit corner take a sharp right onto the narrow coastal road through Wanson and onto Millook with its 30% gradients. Continue until you meet and take the road down to Crackington Haven. Past the Pubs and cafes at the bottom and just as you start up the other side of Crackington you’ll need to take a sudden narrow turn off on your right to High Cliff. This roller coaster road will bring you up to the Boscastle road which you’ll need to cycle down before turning at the bottom and returning to Bude by just about the same route (the only exception being avoiding the High Cliff road on the way back to Crackington Haven).

The aim is to cycle the route continuously, with no deviations, only stopping for the timekeepers when required and to be the fastest accumulated hill climber over the whole course.

Event at a glance

Next Event
Sunday 20 October 2024
Start Time
Registration from 8 am, briefing at 9 am and first cyclist away at 10 am
Registration and Prize Giving - Bude Surf Life Saving Club, Crooklets Beach, Bude
Entry Price
Individual £26
Book your place

Useful information

OS Map Explorer Map 1:25000, No.111. Bude, Boscastle and Tintagel covers the entire route.

Meet and Brief at The Bude Surf Life saving Club, Crooklets Beach Bude. Numbers issued.

From Crooklets cycle back and through Bude’s one way town centre and at the end of the Strand at Bencoolen Bridge take the Widemouth Bay turn. In 50m you will come to The Crescent car park entrance.

Hill 1. Crescent car park to Upton. 208062 to 202051. Height gained 50m.

From the Crescent Car Park entrance continue on the Widemouth Bay road climbing out of Bude. At the top of the residential area just before you come out onto the open cliff top you will finish in line with the sign for UPTON.

After the finish continue along this exposed undulating coastal road finally dropping down into Widemouth Bay. The start of the next section begins at the lowest point on the road, opposite the beach car park by a left hand road junction into Madeira Drive.

Hill 2. Widemouth to the Widemouth Manor. 199024 to 198012. Height gained 55m.

The start of the next section begins at the lowest point on the road, opposite the beach car park by the left hand road junction of Madeira Drive. From here continue along the coast road passing the rest of the beach car park then dipping slightly as you pass Black Rock before a sharp climb up to the Widemouth Manor. The finish is right at the top of this hill, opposite a telegraph post, just before you turn off right towards Millook.

As you finish be ready to turn sharp right on the steep summit corner. This road signed to ‘Millook’ takes you sharply downhill around a right off cambered turn before bringing you suddenly to the bottom of Wanson Mouth and the start of the next section.

Hill 3. Wanson Mouth to Millook Car Park. 197009 to 189005. Height gained 100m.

Start from a telegraph post on the left of the lowest point on the road. Continue up and past an adventure centre and enjoy a brief flat and short drop before a short but testing climb up to the Millook Car Park. You finish just at the start of the car park on your right.

Continue with great care down the steep descent into Millook. As you arrive at the bottom the next section starts by the road sign next to the bridge.

Hill 4. Millook South. 185000 to 181997. Height gained 110m.

Start by the road sign and as soon as you cross the bridge you’ll be climbing steeply. Hairpins and steep straights follow all the way up to the farms on top of the hill. The finish is in line with the entrance to the first farm on the left at the top of the final steep climb.

Continue on this narrow road passing other farms along the way. Do not turn off at either of the first two right hand junctions. Instead carry on along the road, occasionally signposted towards Wainhouse Corner. At a small crossroads take the right turn signposted to Crackington Haven which provides a short cut across to the Crackington Haven road. Don’t worry if you miss this as in 100m you will come to the Crackington Haven road anyway.

Continue right down into Crackington Haven passing the cafes at the bottom and start to climb up the other side. In just 100m you will see a right hand turn signposted to High Cliff. Take the High Cliff road, the start of the next section is in 50m next to a white and stone building on the left.

Hill 5. High Cliff. 143967 to 142935. Height gained 250m.

Having taken the narrow road  to High Cliff start 50m along the flat next to the white and stone building. Continue along this road as it first climbs steeply and then drops and climbs past two roadside farms. After a tight left corner the road climbs, drops and finally climbs again to the finish just around another left hand bend by a small car park.

Continue along this road until it meets the B3263 and turn towards Boscastle. Cycle all the way down to the Boscastle car park before turning around to start the ride back to Bude.

Hill 6. Boscastle to Beeny. 100913 to 133926. Height gained 210m.

Opposite the Boscastle car park is the Cobweb Inn. This section starts at the corner of the Cobweb’s main building opposite the car park exit. Continue up the B3263. The road climbs steeply to start and then undulates towards the finish where there is a left hand junction marked Beeny and Pennycrocker (note: this is the second proper left hand junction after Boscastle).

Now continue along the B3263. Do not take the High Cliff road but instead carry on for another kilometer to the cross roads of Tresparrett Posts and take the left hand turn to Crackington Haven. As you come down to Crackington Haven beach continue past the cafes and car park and climb up and around the Combe Barton Inn to the start of the next section which is at its rear.

Hill 7. Crackington North. 144968 to 172965. Height gained 155m.

Start at the back of the Combe Barton Inn where its rear car park entrance meets the road, next to the back of a triangular road sign on the right.

Continue up the initial steep hill ignoring any junctions on the left or right. The road flattens and then climbs steadily passing through a cross roads. Continue for another 1.5 kilometer until you finish by a triangular junction sign on the left hand side of the road.

Just after the finish take the left hand junction along a narrow short cut which turns left again onto the Millook road. Follow the road carefully especially the final descent back down into Millook. The start of the next section is right at the bottom just over the bridge

Hill 8. Millook North. 185000 to 189005. Height gained 100m

Start right at the bottom of Millook just over the bridge where a road sign is on the right hand side. Continue steeply up this narrow road be being prepared for the almost vertical hairpin towards the top. The finish is at the entrance of the car park on the left at the top of the hill.

Now continue along this road carefully, coming back onto the Widemouth Bay road and following this back to Bude and to Crooklets Beach. Well Done.

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