KEEN cyclists are planning to visit 70 St Austell Brewery pubs on a 280-mile bike trek across the South West to raise money for charity.

The Ale Trail Cycle Challenge has been organised to raise funds for the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust, which supports good causes and charities in the South West of England.

A team of cyclists made up of brewery staff and professional world-record breakers, intend to ride part of the brewery’s popular ‘ale trail’ – a route which includes the furthest flung mainland pubs in St Austell Brewery’s 168 strong estate stretching from Bristol to Land’s End.

The cyclists will leave the brewery’s most easterly pub, The Albion in Clifton, on May 24th and cycle 280 miles to the pub furthest west in the region, The Old Success Inn at Sennen Cove, over a three-day journey which will pass by 70 of St Austell’s establishments.

Charlie Mason, design assistant at St Austell Brewery, and organiser, said: “This is an ambitious challenge for the team and won’t be an easy ride at all, but we hope the willingness of these cyclists to undertake such a long bike ride will encourage a lot of people to dig deep and sponsor them – and help generate vital funds for the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust to continue its great work supporting South West charities.”

The Ale Trail Cycle Challenge has been broken into three stages, with 100 miles covered from Bristol to Exeter on May 24th for day one; 100 miles from Exeter to St Austell Brewery on May 25th for day two, and 80 miles from St Austell Brewery to Sennen Cove on May 26th for the third and final day of the trek.

One of the riders taking part and inspiring the cyclists will be champion Cornish racer Vin Cox, an Analyst Programmer at the Brewery, who once held the world record for cycling around the globe in 2010 after riding 18,225 miles through 17 countries in just 163 days.

Part of the funds raised by the cyclists will also be donated to the Cycling Touring Club, the national charity devoted to inspiring and helping people to cycle and keep cycling. Founded in 1878, many St Austell Brewery pubs became regional Headquarters for the charity in its early days and the famous winged wheel symbol can be seen adorning the walls of, amongst others along the planned route, the Globe at Topsham and the Hawkins Arms at Probus.

The Ale Trail Cycle Challenge will cover the south westerly part of the brewery’s Ale Trail route. The Ale Trail offers people the chance to sample as many of St Austell Brewery’s 168 pubs, hotels and inns as possible – with a range of tasty prizes including food and drink vouchers, Brewery tours and accommodation at some of the West Country’s favourite hotels and inns. A map and passport are available from any St Austell Brewery pub.

Since it was started in 2003, the trust has donated more than £400,000 to well-known charities including Children’s Hospice South West.

St Austell pubs and employees have held darts tournaments, organised sponsored walks and hosted quizzes to raise funds.

A sportsman’s dinner was held in February at the Exeter Chiefs rugby ground which generated £20,000, and last month a partnership between the trust and the Salvation Army Trading Company saw kind-hearted customers donate unwanted clothes and shoes which raised more than £12,000 for the charity.

You can sponsor the team embarking on the Ale Trail Cycle Challenge and donate to the trust by visiting the website at