Did you know that the beginning of June is the start of National Bike Week? The week is part of a initiative from Cycling UK and is an annual celebration to showcase cycling and the benefits it can have, not just to you but also to the environment. As there are some incredible cycling routes to be found in North Devon, we thought we’d pull together a couple of our favourites for you, so you can plan the perfect routes ready for Bike Week 2022.
Bike Week 2022 will be running from 6th June to the 12th June and is a great excuse for getting out and exploring the region. According to statistics, cycling regularly will lower your chances of getting seriously ill by 46%. With this in mind, here are some of our favourite North Devon cycle routes.
Ilfracombe to Ossaborough
For a short route that is suitable for kids and those that aren’t as confident on two wheels, give this one a try. It is just five miles long and follows disused rail lines from Ilfracombe Pier towards Ossaborough along the National Cycle Network Route 27. It is mostly off road, so is a relatively safe and traffic free option.
Barnstaple to Tiverton
The National Cycle Network Route 3 starts in Barnstaple and takes you down towards Tiverton. It’s a 47 mile long route, so isn’t for the faint hearted but if you fancy a challenge, there are some beautiful sights through the Exmoor National Park where you can enjoy the red deer and Exmoor ponies.
Once you’ve cleared the park, you can continue to follow the route down through Bampton and then Tiverton.
Ilfracombe to Minehead
Another route that gives you the chance to take in the sights of the Exmoor National Park is the Ilfracombe to Minehead route which follows the Regional Route 51. This route is just under 40 miles and includes some amazing views across Combe Martin and Lynton before finally finishing at Minehead station in Somerset.
You can’t come to North Devon and not follow the route taken by Tarka the Otter really can you? This is one of the most famous routes in North Devon and like many of the trails in this region, features a mixture of tarmac and packed stones following around 30 miles of disused rail lines. You don’t even have to imagine following Tarka the Otter, there is a sculpture along the route for you to look out for and as it intersects with the South West Coast Path, the Dartmoor Way and the Two Moors Way, no two visits are the same.
Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route
This is a great option for serious cyclists, it is 99 miles in length and includes two of the national cycle network routes so you get to experience a range of terrains and the chance to see more of Devon than you will have otherwise!
The route starts at Ilfracombe before going to Braunton and then following a thirty mile traffic free area that takes in some of the region’s former railway lines. Once you reach Oakhampton, the route becomes part of the Granite Way and then once you get down towards Tavistock, becomes Drake’s Trail which will then take you on to Plymouth.