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Travel Cornwall - by road
Overview    

Because the County is a peninsula, the journey to your destination in Cornwall must pass through Devon, that is where the decisions on which road to take must be made. Note that you will go over a bridge to enter Cornwall as the Tamar almost cuts Cornwall off from the 'mainland'.

Covered below
Main roads | Distance conversion | Traffic conditions | Mileage ready reckoner | Safety | Hire

 
Main roads    

Whichever route you take to reach Cornwall a look at the road map will show that there are three roads which are important for travelling in Cornwall.

mapofcornwall

  • A39 which enters Cornwall from North Devon and from Bude goes via Camelford, Wadebridge, Indian Queens, Truro and ends in Falmouth.
  • A38 which enters Cornwall at Saltash passes through Liskeard and ends at the A30 at Bodmin.
  • A30 is Cornwall's main road which enters Cornwall at Launceston and ends at Land's End. This road carries the bulk of dual carriageway in Cornwall.

There are four places in Devon which might be important to your travel plan - Barnstaple, Exeter, Okehampton and Plymouth.

For North Cornwall from North Devon
If you are coming from or plan to arrive in Cornwall via North Devon then you will need to head towards Barnstaple and then Bideford and thence down the A39 to Bude.
: Barnstaple to Bideford is 7 miles, Bideford to Bude is 27 miles.

For the majority of travellers Exeter is the linchpin in route planning. All roads lead to Exeter, as it were, and here there are two options in your decision making (other than North Devon).

For Torpoint/Saltash, Callington, Looe/Polperro, Liskeard, Fowey/Lostwithiel and St. Austell areas
It is probably wisest to travel via Plymouth - A38.
: Exeter to Plymouth is 45 miles, Saltash (Cornwall) is 3 miles from Plymouth.
An alternative route is to Callington (for Liskeard and area), from Okehampton via Tavistock A386 which takes you across Dartmoor.
: Okehampton to Callington is 23 miles.

For North Cornwall, Newquay, West and rest of Cornwall
Travel via Okehampton A30 which will take you to Launceston.
: Exeter to Okehampton (Sourton) is 26 miles, Okehampton to Launceston is 15 miles.

The 'length' of Cornwall: from the Devon border to Land's End is approximately 75 miles. Cornwall varies in width dramatically: from coast to the coast, Bude to Torpoint is approximately 40 miles, Newquay to St. Austell is 15 miles, Godrevy Point to Lizard Point is 21 miles and Hayle to Marazion is 4 miles. From the high points of Bodmin Moors, at the widest point of Cornwall, and on a clear day, you can see the coast on both sides of the county.

If you are travelling from anywhere outside of Devon and heading to the west of Cornwall, you will see the most direct route is likely to include the M5 and then the A30.

Google maps is one of the best resources available for travellers. You can zoom in to the exact location and learn distances, alternative routes and view by satellite.


View Larger Map

.Contact
Website http://maps.google.co.uk

It is valid to point out that once away from the main roads things change dramatically and interestingly. Narrow country lanes become tunnels of greenery and colour in spring and summer. Behind this foliage often lurks a centuries old stone hedge, beware contact with a cornish 'hedge'. For every linear metre of standard highway 'hedge' there is approximately two tonnes of stone and soil, all hand built into place and designed to stay there for a very long time. Work out the width of your car, its tonnage and then calculate the equivalent tonnage in the cornish 'hedge'. Not an argument to involve your vehicle in. Coastal roads will often awe you with the magnificence of the scenery you come across and the back lanes can have a similar affect on you.

Distance Conversion: Miles to Kilometres = multiply by 1.6090 Kilometres to Miles = multiply by 0.6214

 
Traffic conditions    

It is very difficult to predict traffic conditions in Cornwall during the height of the summer holiday season if you are travelling in Cornwall tune into one of the local radio stations which give regular traffic reports. Apart from the main holiday periods road travel in Cornwall is usually uncomplicated and can often be a great pleasure if you choose one of the more scenic routes. The Cornwall County Council's map showing annaul average daily traffic flows gives a good inication of the most popular roads.

Contacts
Highways Agency information Line 08457 50 40 30
(calls charged at local rates)
AA Roadwatch 09003 401 100
RAC Traffic Information 0906 470 1740
(calls are charged at premium rate)
Recommended website Traffic England
and
Frixo real-time traffic reports

     
Ready reckoner    

To give you approximate travelling distances in Cornwall we have listed the major towns and strategic travelling points. The detail in brackets shows the route which we have used to calculate the distance.

Bodmin Indian Queens Helston St Austell
Bude Launceston Penzance Truro
Camelford Liskeard Redruth Wadebridge
Falmouth Newquay St Ives

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Bodmin    

Bodmin - Bude (Camelford -> A39) = 28 miles

Bodmin - Indian Queens (A30) = 13 miles

Bodmin - Launceston (A30) = 24 miles

Bodmin - Liskeard (A38) = 13 miles

Bodmin - Newquay (A30 -> A392) = 21 miles

Bodmin - Penzance (A30) = 50 miles

Bodmin - St. Austell (A389 -> A391) = 12 miles

Bodmin - Truro (A30 -> A3076) = 20 miles

Bodmin - Wadebridge (A389) = 7 miles

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Bude    

Bude - Bodmin (A39 -> Camelford -> B3266) = 28 miles

Bude - Boscastle (A39 -> B326) = 16 miles

Bude - Camelford (A39) = 16 miles

Bude - Indian Queens (A39) = 39 miles

Bude - Launceston (A3072 -> B3254) = 18 miles. (A39) = 29 miles

Bude - Liskeard (Launceston -> Callington -> A390) = 34 miles

Bude - Newquay (A39 -> A3059) = 42 miles

Bude - Penzance (A39 -> A30) = 76 miles

Bude - Redruth (A39 -> A30) = 56 miles

Bude - St. Austell (Wadebridge -> Bodmin) = 46 miles

Bude - Truro (Wadebridge -> St. Columb) = 36 miles

Bude - Wadebridge (A39) = 27 mile

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Camelford    

Camelford - Bodmin (B3266 -> A389) = 12 miles

Camelford - Boscastle (B3266) = 5 miles

Camelford - Bude (A39) = 16 miles

Camelford - Launceston (A39 -> A395) = 17 miles

Camelford - St. Austell (Wadebridge -> Bodmin) = 30 miles

Camelford - Wadebridge (A39) = 11 miles

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Falmouth    

Falmouth - Lizard Point (A393 -> A3083) = 26 miles

Falmouth - Penryn (A39) = 5 miles

Falmouth - Penzance (A394) = 31 miles

Falmouth - Redruth (A393) = 13 miles

Falmouth - St. Ives (A393 -> A30 -> A3074) = 29 miles

Falmouth - St. Mawes (By Ferry) = 1 mile

Falmouth - St. Mawes (Via Truro) = 31 miles

Falmouth - Truro (A39) = 12 miles

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Helston    

Helston - Falmouth (A394) = 16 miles

Helston - Land's End (A394 -> A30) = 24 miles

Helston - Lizard Point (A3083) =10 miles

Helston - Penzance (A394) = 15 miles

Helston - Redruth (B3297) = 11 miles

Helston - St. Ives (B3302) = 15 miles

Helston - St. Keverne (B3293 = 12 miles

Helston - Truro (A394 -> A30) = 18 miles

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Indian Queens

 

 

 

Indian Queens - Bodmin (A30) = 13 miles

Indian Queens - Bude (A39 -> A30) = 39 miles

Indian Queens - Falmouth (Truro -> A39) = 25 miles

Indian Queens - Launceston (A30) = 37 miles

Indian Queens - Liskeard (A30 -> A38) = 26 miles

Indian Queens - Newquay (A392) = 8 miles

Indian Queens - Penzance (A30) = 37 miles

Indian Queens - Redruth (A30) = 17 miles

Indian Queens - St. Austell (A39 -> A3058) = 19 miles

Indian Queens - St. Ives (A30 -> A3074) = 33 miles

Indian Queens - Truro (A39) = 13 miles

Indian Queens - Wadebridge (A39) = 12 miles

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Launceston    

Launceston - Bodmin (A30) = 24 miles

Launceston - Bude (B3254 -> A3072) = 16 miles

Launceston - Camelford (A395 -> A39) = 17 miles

Launceston - Indian Queens (A30) = 37 miles

Launceston - Liskeard (A388 -> A390) = 18 miles

Launceston - Newquay (A30 -> A392) = 45 miles

Launceston - Penzance (A30) = 74 miles

Launceston - St. Austell (A30 -> A391) = 32 miles

Launceston - Truro (A30 -> St. Columb) = 44 miles

Launceston - Wadebridge (A30 -> A389) = 31 miles

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Liskeard    

Liskeard - Bodmin (A38) = 13 miles

Liskeard - Bude (Callington -> Launceston) = 34 miles

Liskeard - Callington (A390) = 8 miles

Liskeard - Fowey (A38 -> B3269) = 19 miles

Liskeard - Launceston (A390 -> A388) = 18 miles

Liskeard - Looe (B3254) = 9 miles

Liskeard - Lostwithiel (A390) = 13 miles

Liskeard - Newquay (A38 -> A30 -> A392) = 34 miles

Liskeard - Penzance (A38 -> A30) = 63 miles

Liskeard - Plymouth (A38) = 15 miles

Liskeard - Saltash (A38) = 12 miles

Liskeard - St. Austell (A390) = 21 miles

Liskeard - Torpoint (A38 -> A374) = 15 miles

Liskeard - Truro (A38 -> A390) = 35 miles

Liskeard - Wadebridge (A38 -> Bodmin) = 20 miles

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Newquay    

Newquay - Bodmin (A392 -> A30) = 21 miles

Newquay - Bude (A3059 -> A39) = 42 miles

Newquay - Indian Queens (A392) = 8 miles

Newquay - Launceston (A392 -> A30) = 45 miles

Newquay - Liskeard (A392 -> A30 -> A38) = 34 miles

Newquay - Penzance (A3075 -> A30) = 35 miles

Newquay - Redruth (A3075 -> A30) = 15 miles

Newquay - St. Agnes (A3075 -> B3277) = 14 miles

Newquay - St. Austell (A3058) = 19 miles

Newquay - Truro (A3075 -> A390) = 17 miles

Newquay - Wadebridge (A3059 -> A39) = 15 miles

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Penzance    

Penzance - Bodmin (A30) = 50 miles

Penzance - Bude (A30 -> A39) = 76 miles

Penzance - Falmouth (A394) = 31 miles

Penzance - Helston (A394) = 15 miles

Penzance - Indian Queens (A30) = 37 miles

Penzance - Land's End (A30) = 9 miles

Penzance - Launceston (A30) = 74 miles

Penzance - Plymouth (A30 -> A38) = 77 miles

Penzance - Redruth (A30) = 20 miles

Penzance - St. Ives (B3311) = 7 miles

Penzance - St. Just (A3071) = 7 miles

Penzance - Truro (A30 -> A390) = 30 miles

Penzance - Wadebridge (A30 -> A39) = 49 miles

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Redruth    

Redruth - Bodmin (A30) = 30 miles

Redruth - Bude (A30 -> A39) = 56 miles

Redruth - Falmouth (A393) = 13 miles

Redruth - Hayle (A30) = 11 miles

Redruth - Helston (B3297) = 11 miles

Redruth - Indian Queens (A30) = 17 miles

Redruth - Land's End (A30) = 29 miles

Redruth - Newquay (A30 -> A3075) = 15 miles

Redruth - Penzance (A30) = 20 miles

Redruth - Portreath (B3300) = 4 miles

Redruth - St. Agnes A30 -> B3277) = 7 miles

Redruth - St. Austell (Truro) = 26 miles

Redruth - St. Ives (A30 -> A3074) = 16 miles

Redruth - St. Just (A30 -> A3071) = 27 miles

Redruth - Truro (A30 -> A390) = 10 miles

Redruth - Wadebridge (A30 -> A39) = 24 miles

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St. Austell    

St. Austell - Bodmin (A391 -> A389) = 12 miles

St. Austell - Bude (Bodmin -> Wadebridge) = 46 miles

St. Austell - Camelford (Wadebridge -> A39) = 30 miles

St. Austell - Launceston (A391 -> A30) = 32 miles

St. Austell - Liskeard (A390) = 21 miles

St. Austell - Newquay (A3058) = 19 miles

St. Austell - Truro (A390) = 16 miles

St. Austell - Wadebridge (A391 -> A389) = 19 mile

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St. Ives    

St. Ives - Land's End (A30) = 16 miles

St. Ives - Penzance (B3311) = 7 miles

St. Ives - Redruth (A3074 -> A30) = 16 miles

St. Ives - St. Just (B3306) = 12 miles

St. Ives - Truro (A3074 -> A30 -> A390) = 26 miles

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Truro    

Truro - Bodmin (A3076 -> A30) = 20 miles

Truro - Bude (St. Columb -> Wadebridge) = 36 miles

Truro - Falmouth (A39) = 12 miles

Truro - Helston (A39 -> A394) = 18 miles

Truro - Land's End (Penzance -> A30) = 31 miles

Truro - Launceston (A3076 -> A30) = 44 miles

Truro - Liskeard (A390 -> A38) = 35 miles

Truro - Newquay (A390 -> A3075) = 17 miles

Truro - Penryn (A39) = 7 miles

Truro - Penzance (A39) = 30 miles

Truro - Redruth (A390 -> A30) = 10 miles

Truro - St. Austell (A390) = 16 miles

Truro - St. Ives (A390 -> A30 -> A3074) = 26 miles

Truro - St. Mawes (A39 -> A3078) = 19 miles

Truro - Wadebridge (A3076 -> St. Columb) = 28 miles

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Wadebridge    

Wadebridge - Bodmin (A389) = 7 miles

Wadebridge - Bude (A39) = 27 miles

Wadebridge - Camelford (A39) = 11 miles

Wadebridge - Indian Queens (A39) = 12 miles

Wadebridge - Launceston (A389 - A30) = 31 miles

Wadebridge - Liskeard (Bodmin -> A38) = 20 miles

Wadebridge - Newquay (A39 -> A3059) = 15 miles

Wadebridge - Padstow (A39 -> A389) = 8 miles

Wadebridge - Polzeath (B3314) = 6 miles

Wadebridge - St. Austell (Bodmin -> A389 -> A391) = 19 miles

Wadebridge - Truro (A39 -> A3076) = 28 miles

Wadebridge - Penzance (A39 -> A30) = 49 miles

Wadebridge - Redruth (A39 -> A30) = 29 miles

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Safety

 

 

Remember to carry with you

  • Torch or lamp which can be powered from the car battery
  • Warning triangle
  • Approved fire extinguisher suitable for petrol and electrical fires
  • First Aid kit
  • Tow rope
  • Jump leads

What to do at an accident

Action taken at the scene of an accident in the first few minutes can save lives. Ensure your own safety first. Do not be hasty, assess the situation from a safe distance. Protect the scene from other road users and alert them to the presence of an accident - use warning triangle and hazard warning lights.

Call for help - 999 for Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade.

Prevent fire by switching off the ignition of crashed cars. Do not smoke Establish priorities among casualties. Do not move casualties unless they are in danger. Do not let dazed people to wander off. Do not attempt to move crashed cars except to prevent another accident. Make the scene safe. On motorways or dual carriageways to help prevent further accidents call the police first, then warn other drivers. On single carriageway roads the danger from high speed traffic is less. Warn other drivers first and then find a telephone and dial 999.

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Taxis & Car Hire

This is just a suggestion, if you want to get about in Cornwall, who knows all the local beauty spots, the best way to get from A to B? Correct! Taxis. Before you leave for your holiday it might pay to check out what prices and availability are like, perhaps make a tentative booking. Car hire is worth thinking about and if its in your mind to hire a car, same as taxis - ring around.