Ilfracombe to Plymouth to Devon Coast to Coast

 

Ilfracombe to Plymouth – Devonshire Coast to Coast. - 103 miles

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This suggested Devonshire Coast to Coast route guides you
from Ilfracombe to Plymouth and is approximately 103 miles long. On route you will cycle along ‘The Tarka Trail’ (one of the longest dedicated cycle trails in the UK), then on towards ‘The Granite Way’ and finally down ‘The Plym Valley Trail’ to Plymouth.
In between the cycle trails we have used a route which mainly follows the National Cycle Route No27 where we have used a mixture of ‘B’ roads and country lanes as much as possible. You can of course adapt the route to suit your own requirements.
On completion of this ride you will rightfully be able to boast you have completed a Coast to Coast ride… Good Luck………

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 the first part of this route you pass Willingcott, North Buckland, Braunton and Chivenor before arriving at Barnstaple along the estuary…

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

Ifracombe to Barnstaple - Click to enlarge

Park (about 150 yards). Bear right along Torrs Park.

Cycle along Torrs Park and after about 300 yards takes 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 Castle Quay at Barnstaple.

Once you reach Barnstaple the next part of the route takes out from Barnstable on One of the UK’s longest traffic free cycle and walking paths, ‘The Tarka Trail’. Initially following the Tarka Trail around part of Devon’s coastline via the Torridge Estuary down to Bideford and then it takes you onto Great Torrington and through the lovely Devonshire country side. Along the way there are a variety of wildlife habitats including such areas as the estuary mud flats, woodland, meadows and salt marshes etc. An interesting fact is that Barnstable did at one time have its own mint

Barnstaple to Petrockstow - Click to enlarge

Continue to cycle along the waterfront in the direction of the bridge which approx 30 yard away in front of you.
Cycle past the bridge keeping to the waterfront and continue along the river bank. After about half a mile you come to a second bridge across the river. Turn right and cycle across this small bridge to the other side of the estuary and at the end of the bridge turn immediate right along the cycle which goes back along the river bank towards the first bridge.

When you reach the bridge bear left and you meet with a roundabout. At the roundabout go straight across the roundabout and onto Sticklepath Terrace.
You cycle along Sticklepath Terrace for about 200 yards and then you bear right onto the cycle path at the end of the houses. Follow the cycle path which bends to the right and passes under the B3233.

Continue to cycle along the path which takes you out along the coast line and after about a mile the path bends around the coast to the left and shortly afterwards you come to The Quay Café at Fremington should you be ready for a quick coffee and a sandwich while you look out across the Taw Estuary.
From the café cycle across the small bridge across the estuary inlet, keeping to the coast line and continue along the path. After cycling for a further three quarters of a mile you pass the village of Yelland to your left and at this point if you look out to sea you will see the famous Yelland Stone Row.
The Yelland Stone Row is a double row of stones whose provenance is thought to date to the Bronze Age and possibly earlier.

Continue to cycle along the path and you will pass through Instow with Appledore across the estuary and you continue on along the river bank.
Approximately 2 miles after Instow you come to the outskirts of Bideford. Continue along the river bank past the first bridge which is the A39. The River Torridge is spanned at Bideford by the 13th century Long Bridge, which has 24 arches all of different sizes.

When you reach the second bridge carry straight on along the path which continues to follow the river bank and as the path follows the bend in the river to left you follow the path around the bend then turn right along the cycle path across the bridge over the estuary.

Now follow the path as it passes under and then across the A386 and then runs alongside the A386. The cycle path twists and turns along the way for approx. 2 miles and then it takes you across three small bridges over the river towards Great Torrington.
As you reach the outskirts of Great Torrington the path meets with Station Hill. At this point you keep to the path which bears right and takes you across another small bridge.

The cycle path now passes through a wooded area. If you where able to see across from the wooded on the hilly area on your right you would see Frithelstock Priory which was founded in about 1220.
The wooded area surrounding the cycle path stretches for approx. 3 miles. And about 1 mile after the wooded section you pass the disused Dunsbear Railway Station on the Tarka trail. Dunsbear Halt was a relatively well-used halt on the initially privately run North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway. Opened in 1925 and closed to passenger traffic 41 years later in 1965. Although the line remained open for freight between Barnstable railway station and Torrington until 1982.
A mile further along the trail and you come to the old Petrockstow Station which is another disused railway station which was open from 1925 up to 1965.
Continue along the path for about 500 yards where it meets with a lane which crosses its path, Bury Cross.

At this junction turn right off the Tarka Way cycle path and follow the lane named Bury Cross to the end which is about 600 yards. At the end of Bury Cross turn left onto Rectory Rise and cycle along it for 500 yards where you will come to a cross road junction of country lanes near the centre of the village of Petrockstow. Petrockstow is a small village which was mentioned in The Doomsday Book of 1066. It is also recognized as being the end of the ‘Tarka Trail’ which you have been following on your ride so far.

For reference, Cycle shops and Cycle hire in this area is available from:- Tarka Trail Cycle Hire, The Railway Station, Barnstaple. – Bike Trail & Sports, Stone Barn, Fremington Quay. And Bideford Cycle Hire, Torrington St., East The Water, Bideford.

Continue to cycle south eastwards along Rectory Rise and after 200 yards follow Rectory Rise as it bears right and takes past The Laurels Inn. As you pass the Laurels Inn the road changes its name to Brandise Hill (aptly named) as you start to cycle up hill. Then the road takes you onto the small village of Ash Barton.

Petrockstow to Okehampton - Click to enlarge

As you approach the village of Ash Barton which is about three quarters of a mile from Petrockstow the road changes its name to Ash Hill and as you reach the village turn right, which is opposite the farm entrance on your left. Cycle along this lane for 300 yards and then turn left along a country lane in the direction of the village of Sheepwash (cracking Name !!).
This lane runs onto East Street which will take you into the village of Sheepwash which approximately 2 miles from Ash Barton. As you reach the village you will cycle past private homes for a few hundred yards before reaching the end of East Street at the centre of the village of Sheepwash.

At the centre of the village turn left along South Street which takes you out of the village through country lanes and rolling hills towards Highampton which is about 1 mile past Sheepwash.

When you reach Highampton the lane you are cycling along meets at a junction with the A3072.

Turn left along the A3972 and then after approximately 50 yards the A3072 bears to the left and you take the lane on your right. DO NOT turn down Burndon Lane, but take the middle lane (Holstock Cross) which takes you towards the village of Northlew which is about 3 miles along this lane.

On reaching Northlew with its lovely thatched cottages, continue along the road you are on through the village which runs onto Harper’s Hill and then Rockery Lane. When you reach Rockery lane there is a very sharp bend in the road to the right after about 100 yards. Follow the road to THE RIGHT. Do not go along summer lane at this point. NOTE: – you may like to take a break at Northlew and admire the views across Dartmoor, some of the views are stunning..
Continue to cycle along this lane towards Oakhampton which incidentally is about 7 miles away at this point.

As you near Okehampton the lane you are on meets at a junction with the A386. Continue straight across this junction keeping to the lane you are on.

After about 100 yards the lane you are on comes to a ‘T’ junction. TURN LEFT along Beacon Down Hill towards the centre of Okehampton. After a short distance Beacon Down Hill runs onto New Road B3260.

After a few hundred yards New Street turns left at the centre of Okehampton onto East Street. Follow the road along East Street and take the first turning on your right, George Street.

Follow George Street to the end, about 120 yards and then turn right along Station Road.

Now follow Station Road for about 500 yards where you will come to Okehampton Railway Station. Which is placed at the start of the famous ‘Granite Way’ cycle trail? From Okehampton we will now travel towards Lydford using National Cycle Route No 27 ‘The Granite Way’ a fantastic dedicated cycle path which follows the old Great Western Railway line with spectacular views along the way.

Okehampton to Lydford - Click to enlarge

From station Road cycle down Parklands for 50 yards and then bear left onto the cycle path which runs alongside the railway line.

As you cycle another 250 yards keeping to the path you pass under Tors Road near by is Meldon. At Meldon Viaduct there is a railway station, Visitor Centre and café in the former buffet carriage all run by Dartmoor Railway.

Continue to cycle along the cycle track and after a few hundred yards the railway enters a short tunnel at the end of the tunnel you should bear left on the path that takes you across the railway line and you should have a quarry on your left hand side as you cycle along. At this point you should be climbing up a hill.

Continue to cycle along the path past Sourton. Sourton church and the views along this section warrant a stop for a picnic by the granite ‘seats’, after which you will cycle over the magnificent viaduct at lake,(you can imagine the site of steam trains thundering across this structure in days gone by) and after about another 5 miles after Sourton you reach Lydford. On your way to Lydford you will encounter quite a steep climb to Lydford.

Lydford to Tavistock - Click to enlarge

As you reach Lydford continue to Cycle along the path in a southerly direction which will take you past the village of Lydford and onto the old disused Lydford Railway station after about three quarters of a mile and then out past West Blackdown and North Brentor.

After cycling along the path for about four and miles past West Blackdown you come to Tavistock and as you cycle along the cycle path after about 300 yards you will pass the site of the old Tavistock North Railway Station. Immediately after the old station you leave the cycle trail and TURN LEFT onto Drake Road. Near to Tavistock Council Offices.
Cycle along Drake Road towards the centre of Tavistock and its town hall. After 200 yards you come to a roundabout go STRAIGHT ACROSS the roundabout onto Abbey Place and after a further 100 yards as you pass over the River Tavy you come to a second roundabout.

Tavistock to Plymouth - Click to enlarge

At this second roundabout TURN RIGHT onto St Johns Ave., which takes you along the bank of the River Tavy. Cycle along the riverside for about 600 yards and at the end of the parkland area you will come to a junction with Plymouth Road A386. TURN LEFT along Plymouth Road and after 120 yards you come to a roundabout.

At the roundabout bear right keeping to Plymouth Road. Cycle along Plymouth Road for 300 yards and then TURN RIGHT along Brook Lane (part of national cycle route No 27).

As you cycle along Brook Lane you will leave the outskirts of Tavistock and be cycling along a rural country road. As a matter of interest you will pass Dartmoor Cycles on your right after 200 yards of joining Brook Lane. A specialist cycle store of the area.

After cycling along Brook Lane for about 700 yards you come to a small lane on your left, which is in fact the fourth turning on the left after joining Brook Lane.
TURN LEFT along this small lane which takes you in the direction of the village of Grenofen. After 500 yards you come to a small cross road junction, go STRAIGHT ACROSS this junction continuing in the direction of Grenofen. After a further 600 yards you will cross over a junction with the A386 and then after a few yards reach the end of the lane at a ‘T’ junction at Grenofen. TURN RIGHT at this junction and you will pass through the village with most of the dwellings on your right as you cycle along.

Continue to cycle along this lane for about a mile after which you will come to the village of Horrabridge. (Famous for salmon fishing on the nearby River Walkham)
As you enter Horrabridge and pass The Old School Guest House on your left you TURN RIGHT along Graybridge Road. Cycle about 200 yards along Graybridge Road and then TURN LEFT onto Station Road and the TURN IMMEDIATE LEFT onto Walkhampton Road which will take you out of the village past the Community School.

Cycle along this road for about three quarters of a mile and then you come to the village of Walkhampton, with its 17th century Walkhampton Inn.

As you enter the village of Walkhampton the road you are cycling along comes to a ‘T’ junction. At the ‘T’ junction TURN RIGHT, which will take you out of the village and in the direction of Yelverton.

As you approach Yelverton (three quarters of a mile) the road you are cycling along meets with the B3212 and changes its name to Dousland Road. Follow Dousland Road into the centre of Yelverton.

At the centre of Yelverton Dousland Road meets with a roundabout but you need to TURN LEFT onto Westella Road which is just a few yards on the left before the roundabout.

As you turn onto Westella Road bear right and follow Westella Road along past the roundabout and as you pass the roundabout you come to a path on your left after about 50 yards. TURN LEFT along this cycle path, which is the start of the traffic free section of Route No27 taking you down towards Plymouth. It is this section of the ride that is known as ‘The Plym Valley Ride’.

Now cycle along Route 27 cycle path through the wooded section and after about three quarters of a mile you will reach the disused Clearbrook Railway Station. This station was once part of South Devon and Tavistock Railway and was originally opened in 1859 (quite a long time ago!!)

As you cycle along this dedicated cycle path you will pass Goodameavy and shortly after you will reach the famous Shaugh Tunnel, which is lit up inside during daytime hours. As you continue along the trail for about another half a mile you will come to Bickleigh viaduct, and just after the viaduct you past The Royal Marines base on your right. As you travel along you pass over another viaduct near to Cann Wood.

After about another 2 miles you reach the outskirts of Plymouth and the cycle trail comes to an end where it meets with the B3416. TURN LEFT along the B3416 and then after 400 yards turn right onto Cot Hill. Follow Cot Hill to the end, about 500 yards and then TURN RIGHT along Merafield Road.

After 200 yards TURN RIGHT along a small lane. (This is where Merafield Road bends sharply to the right).

This lane will take you across the A38 and into Saltram Park, which is owned and run by The National Trust.
The end of your ride….. enjoy…………

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