Bike Ride Across Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route
Single / Double
Start Any Day March to November
A five centre self-guided bike tour ‘Coast to Coast’ across Devon in southwest England. Includes 5 days of cycling, 6 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, hire of a 21 speed all-terrain bicycle, luggage transfers, route guide, maps, and transport back to Plymouth. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
This tour starts and finishes in the historic maritime city of Plymouth. The ‘Devon Coast to Coast Bike Route’ is one of the most spectacular and memorable elements of our emerging National Cycle Network. It combines the beaches and superb estuaries of North Devon with the lush green river valleys of the West Country. With delightful traffic-free sections, including the ‘Granite Way’, spectacular views abound from the northwest flanks of Dartmoor, the Plym Valley Trail and the famous ‘Tarka Trail’. In addition there are breathtaking viaducts and tunnels bequeathed by Victorian railway engineers of yesteryear. Devon is an ideal place for cycling offering a varied type of scenery with alternative routes and local links to explore.
START & FINISH of TOUR: Plymouth is on the South West Coast of England.
ARRIVAL DAY: Your first and final nights’ accommodation is in the naval city of Plymouth near the start of the bike route. There are many places of interest here with museums relating to Plymouth’s maritime history. There is also a good variety of places to eat in the city from fish and chip shops to traditional pubs or luxury restaurants. Overnight: Plymouth, Devon.
DAY ONE: Plymouth to Tavistock. Distance approx. 21 miles (34 km). After breakfast you pick-up your bikes from the hire shop and begin the ride out of Plymouth on a disused railway line with no worries about traffic, allowing you time to get used to the bikes. Minor country roads lead through beautifully green countryside with one or two hills to negotiate. An alternative steeper route takes you to the edge of Dartmoor National Park. A handy pub at this point provides a good lunch stop where you can decide which way to go. Both routes have a few river valleys to ascend and descend before reaching the busy market town of Tavistock. There are a selection of pubs and restaurants to choose from for an evening meal. Overnight: Tavistock, Devon.
DAY TWO: Tavistock to Okehampton. Distance approx. 20 miles (32 km). Leaving Tavistock you’ll start with a stiff climb back up onto the northwest flanks of Dartmoor. This is a spectacular section of the tour with breathtaking views as you cross river valleys over Victorian viaducts. The next place you will encounter is Lynford. This pretty little village has a castle and a pub! Climbing again you reach the highest point of the tour at 290 meters (Sourton Down), providing more stunning views over North Devon. Descending down to Meldon there is an old steam train operating a regular service to Okehampton (should you feel a bit tired). Okehampton is a busy little market town with a good variety of places to eat. Overnight: Okehampton, Devon.
DAY THREE: Okehampton to Great Torrington. Distance approx. 23 miles (37 km). Today starts on a traffic-free section known as the ‘Tarka Trail’. After a short climb out of Okehampton the ride is predominantly downhill on minor country roads through beautiful surroundings and picturesque villages. On the right day this is a never to be forgotten bike ride. A final off-road section takes you to your destination for today, the pretty town of Great Torrington. An enjoyable night is ahead for you checking out the many places to eat. Overnight: Great Torrington, Devon.
DAY FOUR: Great Torrington to Barnstable. Distance approx. 20 miles (32 km). This section is quite different in character from the high moors and valleys you have passed through. Almost entirely off-road the trail follows the River Torridge to Bideford with many tourist attractions including an art gallery, museum, a working quay and a long medieval bridge. Heading inland along the River Taw estuary the route crosses a beautiful marshland nature reserve before reaching Barnstable where you will stay for 2 nights. Barnstable has many heritage sites to visit and a variety of restaurants in the town. Overnight: Barnstable, Devon.
DAY FIVE: Barnstable to Barnstable. Distance optional. Today there are various circular rides you can choose from, or you may decide to have a rest day. A traffic-free cycle trail leads to Braunton. This route joins quiet country roads to the coast at Georgeham. A lovely coastal section takes you alongside a surf beach at Woolacombe Sand, an ideal place to have a swim and a picnic. At any point you can return to Barnstable, but for the more adventures there is another cycle trail that will take you to Ilfracombe. This very popular tourist seaside resort is well worth the 40 mile circular ride. Back at Barnstable the many cafés, pubs and restaurants will ensure another enjoyable night out. Overnight: Barnstable, Devon.
FINAL DAY: Barnstable to Plymouth. Today after breakfast you and the bikes will be picked up and transported back to Plymouth. At Plymouth you can choose to stay another night or continue your journey from the rail station. Overnight: Plymouth, Devon.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to PLYMOUTH (NOT included in tour price): The nearest rail station is Plymouth.
RAIL TRAVEL from PLYMOUTH to LONDON (NOT included in tour price): There is a regular train service to London (Paddington). Presently the 10:10am train from Plymouth arrives London (Paddington) 13:50pm.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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An overnight stay in Plymouth after the tour would be about £40 pp extra.
GRADE C Cycling between 17 - 23 miles (27 - 37kms) a day. The route is principally a hilly ride with moderate climbs using miner roads and gravel tracks with a hard surface. We recommend a Hybrid/Touring bike or a hard tail Mountain bike and that clients bring their own equipment; helmets, clothing and shoes. If you have clip-on shoes we suggest you bring your pedals too, these can be fitted to hire bikes. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your level of fitness.