Cycling Devon c2c Plymouth to Barnstaple
Single / Double
Start Any Day March to November
A five centre self-guided cycling tour Devon Coast to Coast in South West England. Includes 5 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, 4 days cycling, luggage transfers, train ticket for journey back to Plymouth, route guide and maps. Hire of a 21 speed all-terrain bike would be extra. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
The Devon Coast to Coast Cycle 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 breathtaking views from old Victorian viaducts over lush green valleys of West Country rivers. Off-road sections include the ‘Granite Way’ which provides a hint of the challenging northwest flanks of Dartmoor. Other traffic-free sections include the ‘Plym Valley Trail’ and the famous ‘Tarka Trail’. Devon is an ideal place for more adventurous cyclists, offering a varied type of scenery with alternative routes and local links to explore.
START and FINISH: Plymouth on the South West Coast of England.
ARRIVAL DAY: At Plymouth. Your 1st night’s accommodation will be in Plymouth near the start of the cycle route. There are many places to eat in the town from fish and chip shops and traditional pubs to luxury restaurants. Overnight: Plymouth, Devon.
DAY ONE: Plymouth to Tavistock. Distance approx. 21 miles (34 km). After breakfast you begin the ride out of Plymouth on the first of many traffic-free sections, the ‘Plym Valley Path’ which is very flat. There is a choice of route on this section. One takes you to the edge of Dartmoor National Park, a hilly route but the scenery makes the extra effort all worthwhile. The alternative route is easier but still with a few hills along quiet country roads through Devon’s beautifully green countryside. A handy pub at this point provides a lunch stop and you can decide which route to take. Either way you have a river valley or two to descend and ascend before reaching the busy market town of Tavistock, your next overnight stop. There are a selection of pubs and restaurants for you to choose from for an evening meal. Overnight: Tavistock, Devon.
DAY TWO: Tavistock to Okehampton. Distance approx. 20 miles (32 km). As you leave Tavistock you’ll start with a stiff hill climb, rising onto the northwest flanks of Dartmoor. The next place you will encounter is Lynford, a pretty little village with a castle, river gorge and a pub. This would be a good opportunity to stop for lunch. Rising again to the highest point of the tour (Sourton Down at 290 meters), provides more stunning views over North Devon’s lush green countryside and river valleys. Descending to Meldon there is a steam train that can take you the final part of the today’s ride to Okehampton. A busy little market town, Okehamptom has several places to enjoy your evening meal. Overnight: Okehampton, Devon.
DAY THREE: Okehampton to Great Torrington. Distance approx. 23 miles (37 km). After a short climb out of Okehamption (don’t worry, there aren’t many hills today), you will start riding on the famous ‘Tarka Trail’. It is predominantly downhill as you leave Dartmoor behind you. This is ideal cycling country with villages like Jacobstowe, Hatherleigh and Sheepwash providing you with plenty of opportunities for refreshments and to have a look around. Rejoining the Tarka Trail this off-road section takes you to your destination for today, Great Torrington. Try one of the many restaurants or pubs here for your evening meal. Overnight: Great Torrington, Devon.
DAY FOUR: Great Torrington to Barnstaple. Distance approx. 17 miles (27 km). This is the shortest and easiest day of the tour, allowing you time to explore a bit more if you like. This section is quite different in character from the high moors and valleys you have already passed through. Almost entirely off-road now, the trail follows the River Torridge to its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean. Heading inland along the River Taw estuary, take in the beautiful marshland Nature Reserves before reaching your final destination of this tour, Barnstable. There are many heritage sites to visit here and a good variety of places to eat in the town to celebrate completion of the tour. Overnight: Barnstable, Devon.
FINAL DAY: Return to Plymouth. Today you catch the train with your bike back to Plymouth.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to PLYMOUTH (NOT included in tour price): The nearest rail station is Plymouth.
RAIL TRAVEL from BARNSTAPLE to LONDON (NOT included in tour price): There is a regular train service to London (Paddington). Presently the 10:10am train from Barnstaple arrives London (Paddington) 13:50pm (change Exeter St David).
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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GRADE C cycling: Between 17 - 23 miles (27 - 37kms) a day. The route is principally a hilly ride. WE recommend that clients bring their own bicycle equipment helmets, clothing and shoes. If you have clip-on shoes we suggest that you bring your pedals too. 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 fitness.