Devon is a cycling county with an unusual paradox. Its terrain is extremely hilly, which makes it hard for cycling. At the same time, this huge county is continuously committed to build new cycling infrastructure, which makes Devon one of Britain's most cycle-friendly counties and a premier cycling holiday destination.
The great marble is the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route ("Route 27"), stretching from the North Coast in Ilfracombe to the South Coast in Plymouth. This route features one of the longest continuous railway paths in Britain, the Tarka Trail. This route provides 32 miles of splendid reasonably flat traffic-free cycling from Braunton to Meeth, with the sections alongside the Rivers Taw and Torridge being the most scenic. Most of this cycle path has tarmac surface.
The Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route features three more scenic railway paths; the Granite Way, the Drake's Trail and the Plym Valley Way. Although all are much shorter than the Tarka Trail, all feature breathtaking views of Dartmoor National Park. If a cycling paradise existed in the UK, this is where it is. These three southern routes combined feature 10 high railway viaducts and two long spooky railway tunnels. If you are after a reasonably easy-going great ride in amazing countryside, this is the route you want to cycle!
Devon is working hard to provide even more top-class holiday cycle routes. In the west, the Ruby Way is under construction and near Exeter, the easy access Exe Estuary Trail is now completed; to have a great day out, use the local ferry between Starcross and Exmouth to create a full circular route! Between Totnes and Plymouth, an on-road traffic-calmed route is also open, signposted as "Route 2". You may also have read about the Dartmoor Way, but its signposted route between Okehampton and Exeter takes you on busier main roads with busy and/or fast moving traffic for a considerable distance.
For now, the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route is the best family-friendly cycling holiday you can have in Devon. You can cycle the route with our dedicated guidebook and GPS-tracks pack.
The guidebook (2017) features 81-117 miles (130-190kms) of routes, depending on the route options you choose. The guidebook of 40 pages allows you to fully explore the route and its sights. If you do all walks and activities listed in our guidebook, it could easily take you a week or more!
Special features: All the maps you need, full north-south directions, detailed visitor information, things to see and to do, help for tricky logistics, Plymouth station route, extra routes, including a 99.9% tarmac route for narrow tyres, South West Coast Path and Dartmoor walks and full facility listings (hotels, B&Bs, hostels, campsites, bike repair shops and bike rentals). The book comes in a convenient spiral-bound format, easily fitting in a standard bag on your bicycle's handlebars. You'll also receive GPS-tracks of the main cycle route via email as part of the deal.
Highlights: North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with various South West Coast Path walks, Woolacombe, Saunton Sands and Westward Ho! beaches, Braunton Burrows UNESCO Biosphere, Ilfracombe Harbour, historic Barnstaple, historic Bideford, Tarka Trail, Torrington, Tarka Country Park, Devon hills, Okehampton Castle ruins, Dartmoor National Park, Granite Way, Lydford Castle & Gorge, Brent Tor, historic Tavistock, Drake Trail, Plym Valley Way, Plymouth's historic Barbican Harbour and the Hoe seafront