- Distance: 99 miles. Map shows 103 miles of route, of which 71 are traffic-free
- Terrain: Largely traffic free and flat
- National Cycle Network: National Route 27 and Route 3
The route combines the beaches and estuaries of North Devon with the lush green valleys of the Torridge, the Tavy, the Walkham and other evocative West Country rivers. The route also skirts round the western flank of Dartmoor offering superb views of Cornwall and the surrounding area. There are also many local links and spurs to explore. Largely tracing the course of former railway lines, the route takes you through tunnels and across the breathtaking viaducts and bridges bequeathed by Victorian railway engineers.
eading south from Ilfracombe there’s a good traffic free section to set you on your way before joining quiet roads with great views south to Braunton. Here the route starts a 30 mile traffic free section on almost entirely level former railway lines beside the beautiful Taw and Torridge estuaries via Barnstaple, Bideford and Great Torrington to the villages of Petrockstowe and Meeth. Further south to Okehampton on quiet roads the route from there to Lydford is known as the Granite Way. Its along the western fringes of Dartmoor to Tavistock and south from there by more traffic free sections along the superb Plym Valley Trail that leads to Plymouth Hoe. – See more at:
Leaving Ilfracombe, the route travels south and takes you initially on a traffic free path before joining quiet roads that provide superb views of Braunton. At Braunton the route starts a 30 mile traffic free section on almost entirely level former railway lines beside the beautiful Taw and Torridge estuaries via Barnstaple, Bideford and Great Torrington to the villages of Petrockstowe and Meeth. This section of the route is known as the Tarka Trail and is perfect for families and novice cyclists.
Further south to Okehampton on quiet roads the route from there to Lydford is known as the Granite Way. Between Tavistock and Plymouth the Devon Coast to Coast route is known as the Drake’s Trail. This has recently been developed in to a fully traffic-free stretch of National Cycle Route with the addition of the dizzying Gem Bridge.
On arrival in Plymouth the route travels along the seafront, past the National Marine Aquarium and Tinside Lido – a fantastic sea water pool in an Art Deco style.
Onwards to Europe
The Devon Coast to Coast route also makes up part of the Velodyssey, an Anglo-French cycle route which continues down the West Coast of France to the Spanish border. This route uses the Plymouth to Roscoff ferry connection.
Things to see and do
- Ilfracombe Quay
- Woolacombe Sands
- The North Devon Museum, Barnstaple
- The Pannier Market, Barnstaple
- Gem Bridge, above the Walkham River
- Meldon viaduct, near Okehampton
- Ham Green viaduct, Plym Valley
Almost 30 years since it was begun by Sustrans, Devon County Council are on the verge of completing the Plym Valley Trail, which is the southern section of the Devon Coast to Coast route National Route 27. Devon County Council have been keen supporters of this route and have invested heavily and consistently in its development over many years; that investment is greatly valued by the thousands of locals and visitors who use it every year, enjoying this spectacular pathway through the superb south Devon countryside, over soaring viaducts and through spooky tunnels along the old railway. The final section to be completed will replace the rough steep track south of Clearbrook. People will soon be able to enjoy a gradual easy gradient on a well surfaced path, instead of a mountain bike challenge. It is due to open before Christmas. A well signed but steep on road diversion is in place in the meantime.