The Exe Estuary Trail
The Exe Estuary Trail offers 23 miles of
safe cycling often taking in fantastic views
across the water.
Discover the beauty of Devon and have a
great day out on the trail. Take life at your own
pace and stop off at some of the fantastic
towns and villages on the way around.
Starting from Exeter’s beautiful Quayside, you have a great choice of shops including Saddles n Paddles
, cafes, restaurants, bars, a ten pin bowling alley; lots of activities to keep the kids entertained! The Quay climbing centre with a Clip n Climb
A short pedal from The Quayside to
for some excellent coffee and cake!
Onward to explore more of the trail, this next stretch is shared with many, including walkers, dogs and young families with push chairs and small wondering children, so please ride with care and “share this space”. The next stop is The Double Locks for a fine pint and a pork pie!
Upon exiting Exeter you are given a choice. The choice is Exmouth or Dawlish?
Turn left for Topsham
Plenty of shops, from galleries to winery bistro bars, Topsham has a lovely main street with character and only the odd chain owned store. The water front has several restaurants and bars that serve good food throughout the day and you will also find a cycle themed cafe. Route 2 serves food and drinks and also is a cycle shop and accommodation
moving on towards Exmouth you will find Darts Farm just outside of Topsham.
Local produce, outdoor clothing, cafes, deli, butchers, off licence, aga store, spa and treatment rooms are just some of the things on offer at Darts Farm shopping village.
The next stop en route is The Puffing Billy at Exton. Enjoy a coffee or perhaps stop for a bite. The food is excellent!
The board walk between Exton and Lympstone. A stunning piece of cycle path alongside the beautiful Exe Estuary Trail.
The Swan Lympstone, a perfect spot to stop for a while. Punters can watch the world go by and enjoy a selection of Ales and excellent food.
Upon leaving The Swan Inn you pass through the pretty village of Lympstone and encounter one of the few hills of the trail. This climb is short and sweet and once done provides a slight down hill towards a great estuary view bench spot on the other side.
Exmouth offers accommodation, pubs and clubs, restaurants, watersports, fishing, a floating cafe and a ferry across the estuary to Starcross to link the East and West Estuary trail for a full day out.
Or at Canal Bridges you can also turn right towards The Turf, Starcross and Dawlish.
Travel along the Exeter Shipping Canal until it meets the Exe Estuary at The Turf Hotel, Exminster. Perhaps you will spot a kingfisher or a Heron on the way? The Topsham Lockkeepers Cottage is available to rent for a peaceful family break by the water. Situated between the Canal and the Rievr at Topsham. This little hideaway offers the tranquility of a country retreat but is a stones throw from the Historic Quayside Town of Topsham. http://topshamlockcottage.co.uk/
Just a short ferry ride to Topsham from The Lock Keepers Cottage jetty or onwards for The Turf.
The Turf now have a yurt situated immediately on the banks of the Exe Estuary! Available for hire for functions, family and group stop overs or holidays. Click the link to find out more: http://www.yurtnights.com/
The turf is a stunning venue for a quiet drink, family meal or summer bbq party. Only accessable by foot, bike or boat, the turf is unique in the area and offers outstanding views across the Exe Estuary towards Lympstone and Exmouth. The Topsham to turf ferry operates from Trouts Yard in Topsham. http://www.topshamtoturfferry.co.uk/#
The Bike Bus can collect and deliver you bike to our local business partners around the Exe Estuary Trail area.
The Devon Coast to Coast
The Devon Coast to Coast takes in some spectacular scenery and crosses the county from North to South. This route can be traveled in either direction, most groups tend to start in Ilfracombe and head South. A comfortable pace of between 30 to 50 miles per day can be achieved with the majority of the riding on quiet back roads or off road trails. Upon leaving Ilfracombe habour the tradition is to dip your back wheel in the Bristol channel via the slipway. If you plan to stay overnight in Ilfracombe before your ride then there are several good places to stay. Have a look at http://www.oceanbackpackers.co.uk/ or http://www.coastalfringes.com/ for quality accommodation.
The route climbs out of Ilfracombe alongside the A361, this is quite steep and a very good warm up for the rest of the day. Taking the quiet lanes around the hills to Braunton, the rider can take a dip at Woolacombe with a minor detour or continue on to Barnstaple for a bite to eat or a cream tea at Tea by the Taw. There are some great cycle friendly accommodation options listed here at: http://www.bedsforcyclists.co.uk/search_cycle_friendly_accommodation.php?q=Devon+Coast+to+Coast
Leaving Barnstaple the route follows the beautiful Taw Estuary around the corner to Fremington. This is an ideal rest spot – http://www.fremingtonquay.co.uk/
The cycle way between Bideford and Torrington is some of the most beautiful of the 105 miles in our opinion. This section winds through wooded landscape with interjecting rivers edge scenery provided by the Torridge. Why not stop for a wild swim?
The accommodation around the Torrington area can be found here: http://www.great-torrington.com/places-to-stay/
The Yarde Orchard at East Yarde is a favourite for us: http://www.yarde-orchard.co.uk/
Smytham Manor also has some very
nice camping options, pods, chalets and pitches are all available on this site.
Located minutes from the route with bike storage and all the usual facilities.
After a good breakfast it’s onwards towards Tavistock, via Hatherleigh, Okehampton and Lydford and of course Dartmoor. The route winds through trees and lanes where the Tarka trail ends at Meeth. The market towns of Hatherleigh and Okehampton offer shops for lunch supplies and pubs and restaurants for those that prefer to be catered for.
Market auctions occur on most week days, so to avoid the “Devon traffic” ie: Land Rovers and Tractors. Plan to arrive on a weekend!
The old Railway Station at Okehampton is a step back in time. It is also home to a YHA which can provide an option for accommodation on your ride if you wish.
The road to Lydford is busy and best avoided as much as possible by following the NCN signage. When in Lydford why not visit the Gorge?
Our package offer price of £35 for a day out on the Granite Way is amazing value. The Bike Bus can transport you and your group to the start of the trail and collect you when you’re done. That’s 11 miles of cycling, a cream tea and a Lydford Gorge visit. All this for as little as £35 per person!
The Dartmoor crossing
Lydford to Tavistock using the NCN 27, free rolling along quiet tree lined cycle paths passing the impressive Lydford gorge just before you start to climb up on to Dartmoor. These hills are steady and long but easily achievable by those with a reasonable level of fitness.
The journey between Lydford and Tavistock can include a summer route option through Peter and Mary Tavy if desired. Depending on your desired route the journey will be approximately 9.5 miles in length.
Tavistock is a bustling Market Town with ample accommodation options, eateries, shops and leisure facilities. We would reccommend http://www.tavistockbunkhouse.com for reasonably priced, clean and well provided cyclists friendly accommodation.
The Drakes Trail
The route to Plymouth is approximately 21 miles long via this NCN path. Spectacular views from some very impressive bridges and viaducts nestled amongst the woodland of the Plym Valley.
We would definately reccommend a pit stop at http://www.dartmoorbakery.co.uk. The cheese and marmite baked rolls are a favourite and the carrot cake slices are enormous!
Entry to Plymouth via the grounds of Saltram House gives shelter and a quiet alternative to the main road in to Plymouth. The bars and restaurants of the Barbican and Plymouth Hoe can offer plenty of options for a well deserved celebratory meal or a drink with fellow cyclists.
More info coming….