The Tarka Trail | Walks | Dartmoor Walks | Dartmoor | Cycling in Devon | Exe Estuary Trail | The Devon Coast to Coast
The Coast to Coast National Cycle Route (NCN) route 27. From Plymouth on the South Coast, skirting Dartmoor, following wooded river valleys, using the Tarka Trail, on to North Devon, the Coast to Coast offers a opportunity to explore Devon using mainly country roads, or off road trails much of which is, or will be once the route is assembled, along the track bed of disused rail lines.
Plymouth to Okehampton 30 miles. Where can a nicer spot to begin Cycling Devon using the the Coast to Coast than Plymouth Hoe, looking out over Plymouth Sound with Smeaton's Tower behind you? Cycling on road follow around the Citadel down to Plymouth's Historic Barbican. Cross at the lock gates then pass the National Marine Aquarium and continue northwards.
Once safely cross the A379 the route is then off mainly off road firstly along the Plym Estuary, and then through Plym Valley Woods. The colours a golden delight in Autumn. Along minor roads, through sleepy villages, Dousland, Peter Tavy, Mary Tavy, skirting the western edge of Dartmoor , and the upper reaches of the River Tavy. Lydford with its famous gorge, castle and Inn makes a nice place for a break.
From Lydford plans are in hand to continue the route along a former railway to Okehampton. Except for a short 8 mile stretch leading to Meldon Viaduct one has to continue along minor roads at present, through Bridestowe and on to Okehampton.
Granite Way Meldon Viaduct to Prewley nr Okehampton
Crossing the West Okement River Valley at high level. A nice off road cycle ride along a disused railway line, around the Northern Edge of Dartmoor, taking in a engineering masterpiece with stunning views.
The LSWR (London and South Western Railway) to Plymouth reached Okehampton from Exeter in the early 1870's. In 1874 a viaduct was constructed to carry the line some 150 feet above the West Okement Valley, and around the Moor, on to Tavistock and hence Plymouth. The viaduct itself is a unique example of a warren truss supported on wrought iron trestles. In summer the Dartmoor Pony Rail Link runs a service to Exeter from Meldon Station. In winter take the Dartmoor Railway Santa and Mince Pie Steam specials delight children and parents alike. Christmas.
The Tarka Trail. From Okehampton the Coast to Coast continues heading northwards, crossing the West Okement River at Knowle Bridge on the towns outskirts, taking the same route as the Tarka Trail, along country roads, through sleepy towns and villages such as Hatherleigh with its thatched cottages and 14th century Inns.
At Meeth, the Trail takes the route of a disused rail line down the Torridge Valley, to Bideford, then Instow, up the Taw to Barnstaple, across to Braunton. There is even a tunnel to negotiate at Ironbridge, don't worry it is usually lit. Then along the North Devon Coast using the South West Coast Path to Ilfracombe.
From Hatherleigh there is a on road link via Holsworthy to Bude on the North Cornwall Coast, and the start of the Cornishway stretching for 15? miles as far west as Lands End. Part of which takes in the equally delightful Camel Trail.
NB Much of the Coast to Coast is 'on road'. Wear approved safety gear. Ride with care. Coast to Coast Cyclists. Give way to walkers. be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary. Don't expect to cycle at high or reckless speeds. Be especially careful at junction, bends and entrances. Remember that others may not either see or hear you approaching.
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The Devon Coast to Coast