Ilfracombe to Barnstaple Tarka Trail

Ilfracombe to Barnstable using National Cycle Route N0 27 and The Tarka Trail :- 19 miles

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Ilfracombe is a seaside resort town on the North Coast of Devon and one of its famous land marks is the Iron Age Celtic Fortress. Ifracombe is the starting point of this cycle ride which takes you from the quayside at Ilfracombe out into the Devonshire countryside and you travel some of the way along the traffic free Tarka Trail. Which is said to be one of the longest dedicated cycle routes in the UK. On route you pass Willingcott, North Buckland, Braunton and Chiveron before arriving at Barnstaple along the estuary. The ride is hilly in places, but should not be too difficult for most cyclists and the journey is approximately 19 miles long.

Starting from the ‘Statue of Verity’ at the harbour proceed along the Quay and TURN LEFT into Broad Street on the quayside at Ilfracombe cycle away from the water front
along Ropery Road. After about 150 yards you reach the end of Ropery Road and you turn left at the junction onto Wilder Road.

After 400 yards turn right along Runacleave and follow it round until it meets with Torrs Park (about 150 yards). Bear right along Torrs Park.

Cycle along Torrs Park and after about 300 yards take the second turning on your left, Osborne Road. After about 70 yards Osborne Road bends sharply to the left. At this point you turn right and cycle along the path at the edge of the grassed area in front of you. After about 100 yards you come to the end of the path and you TURN Left onto Church Hill and then after 50 yards turn right onto Belmont Road.

Continue along Belmont Road for 350 yards and then TURN LEFT along Richmond Road.

At The end of Richmond Road TURN RIGHT along Station Road. After approx 300 yards

Station Road bears slightly to the right near to a factory. Follow Station Road along the front of the factory and as Station Road comes to an end you will see a cycle path Route 27 in front of you to your left near some small trees.

Cycle along the cycle path (Route 27) and it will begin to take you away from the suburbs of Ilfracombe and out into the countryside along part of the old railway line, and after about three quarters of a mile you will pass two small lakes on your right. Continue to cycle along the cycle path and after a further one and a half miles the cycle path comes to a junction with Morthoe Station Road. Continue STRAIGHT ACROSS the junction along the cycle path which will take you past the disused Mortehoe and Woolacombe railway station which was once part of the London and South Western Railway Ilfracombe Branch Line between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe in North Devon. The station originally opened in 1874 and was eventually closed in 1970.

Continue along the cycle path for about 500 yards where the path meets with Georgeham Road at a ‘T’ junction. TURN RIGHT onto Georgeham Road. Follow the road along through the rural countryside for just under a mile and you will come to a small cross road junction. At the junction go STRAIGHT ACROSS the junction along Oxford Cross and cycle along Oxford Cross for about three quarters of a mile. At this point note that Oxford Cross bears left, make sure you follow Oxford Cross to the left and to its end which brings you to a ‘T’ junction with Buckland Road.

At this junction TURN LEFT AND THEN IMMEDIATE RIGHT along Northfield Road. Cycle along Northfield road towards Braunton and after about three quarters of a mile Northfield Road meets with a road joining from the right. At this junction turn left towards Braunton and after a further 300 yards you will come to a cross road junction. Braunton is said to be the largest village in England.
At this junction TURN LEFT along Buckland Cross. Follow the road past Frog Lane and Scurfield Close, both on your right.

Immediately after Scurfield Close turn right along the path which runs parallel with Scurfield Close and takes you along a grassed area. When you reach the end of the grassed area at Caen Street you cross Caen Street and follow the path which is slightly to your right on the opposite side of the Caen Street and runs along the left hand side of the stream.

After 150 yards the path meets with Chapel Street. TURN LEFT along Chapel Street and then immediate RIGHT down Station Road. After 70 yards TURN RIGHT onto Station Close and as you do so you TURN IMMEDIATE LEFT onto the cycle path which runs between the lines of trees.

Cycle along the cycle path and you come to a roundabout after 500 yards. Continue STRAIGHT ACROSS the roundabout keeping to the path which bears to the left after the roundabout and past a small pond on your left.

Continue along the cycle trail which takes you past Wrafton and Chivenor(home of The Royal Marines). After about a mile you will pass Chivenor with the Royal Marine base on your right as you approach Chivenor and the Caravan Park on your left and as you leave Chivenor you pass The Tarka Inn overlooking the Torridge Estuary, is time for refreshments ??

Continue to cycle along The Tarka Trail cycle path along the river bank towards Barnstable and after about 3 miles after Chivenor you will reach the outskirts of Barnstable. When you approach Barnstable you will first pass a business park on your left followed by Barnstable Council Offices as you round the bend and then come to the end of this cycle ride at Castle Quay, Barnstaple.

Should you wish to extend your cycle ride the Tarka Trail goes all the way to the village of Petrockstow which is about another 19 miles further along the trail.

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