Why is Devon the best place for cycling holidays?
With two incredible coastlines and two National Parks, plus winding country lanes and spectacular scenery, Devon has all the ingredients for the perfect cycling holiday. Whether you’re looking for picturesque traffic free routes, or off road forest adventures, cycling holidays in Devon can be perfectly curated to fit your interests and abilities.
Coast and countryside
Take your pick between cycling the wild North Devon coast, with its rugged cliffs and sweeping golden sands, or exploring the secluded coves and sandy shores of the South Devon coast. Or head inland to enjoy miles of country roads, patchwork fields and beautiful scenery on two wheels. Even better, plan a coast to coast route and you can take in all three. Cycling holidays don’t get much better than that.
The Granite Way Cycle Path
Cycling holidays in Devon aren’t renowned for being easy. In fact, it’s one of the hilliest counties in the UK. So you might be surprised to hear that there are any undemanding routes at all, let alone a leisurely cycle route through rugged Dartmoor National Park. But it’s true! Described as easy to moderate, the Granite Way Cycle Path is almost completely traffic free and cyclists can enjoy unspoilt views over Dartmoor and surrounding countryside. The route makes up part of the National Cycle Network - it is route 27 ‘Devon coast to coast’ and is 11 miles long in total. Watch out for Dartmoor ponies and take in Meldon Viaduct, Okehampton Castle and Ledford Gorge along the way. This route will be one of the highlights on your Devon cycling holiday.
The Tarka Trail
At 180 miles long, The Tarka Trail is officially the UK’s walking and cycling route, including a section of shared use path, which follows a former railway line and the contours of the two main rivers - the River Taw and the River Torridge - so you’ll enjoy wonderful views over both during your cycle. This section of the trail begins at Braunton and ends at Meeth, just outside of Okehampton and offers 32 miles of traffic free cycling and lovely scenery. It’s perfect for family bike rides and a wonderful route to consider when planning your cycling holidays to Devon.
Take on a challenge
For those who prefer their cycling holidays to be more of a challenge, why not plan your trip around an organised cycling race in Devon? The Dartmoor Classic takes place every year in early July. With three different distances across Dartmoor to choose from, it’s a fantastic way for keen cyclists to see this beautiful part of the country. In October, there’s the Moor to Sea Sportive, with distances from 34 miles to an impressive 112 miles and, as the name suggests, takes in the beauty of Dartmoor as well as the stunning South Devon coast.
Hit the trails
If you prefer an off road experience when it comes to cycling holidays, then head to Haldon Forest, just 35 minutes from Okehampton, where you’ll discover a network of bike trails criss-crossing through the towering trees. From beginner routes to the more extreme routes, there’s an option for every ability. It’s great for family bike rides too. Plus, if you are just starting out or want to build your confidence, then they also offer guided rides with qualified and experienced mountain bike leaders.
All weather cycling
Britain isn’t known for its predictable weather, so you’ll need to be prepared for all conditions during your Devon cycling holiday no matter what the time of year. So make sure you pack your waterproofs and your factor 50. Parts of the south west are considered to have their own microclimate though due to the Atlantic jet stream currents, which push warmer air into the area. So you’ll almost always enjoy milder days compared to the rest of the UK.
Refuel with a Devon cream tea
It’s essential to keep your energy up during cycling holidays, and what better way to fuel up than with a traditional Devon cream tea. You won’t have to go far to find one - most cafes and pubs in the county have this delicious sweet treat on the menu, including The Bearslake Inn, so make sure you plan in a pit stop or two. And remember, it’s cream first in Devon.
A well deserved rest
Cycling holidays can be tiring, so you’ll need somewhere to rest your weary legs after a day exploring on two wheels. The Bearslake Inn offers a cosy retreat where you can revive and replenish your energy, ready to take on the next day. Plus, we are quite literally moments from the Granite Way Cycle Path, so you can park your bike and be enjoying a refreshing drink, or a relaxing soak in no time. Plan your trip today.