This stunning ride takes you from the north coast of both Cornwall and Devon to their respective southern shores. Riding from Ilfracombe to Plymouth across Devon and from Bude to Port Wrinkle in Cornwall's Whitsand Bay, much of this spectacular route is on disused railway track taking you through tunnels and across breathtaking viaducts and bridges. Every day brings gorgeous scenery and grand views, with a day's riding in Dartmoor National Park as a special highlight.
Enjoy sandy beaches, long estuaries and lush green valleys, peppered with characterful towns, and charming hamlets. With a magic of its own, the Cornish coast has dramatic inlets sheltered by cliffs in the north and well-loved coves and beaches to the south. There are a few hills but much of this ride is traffic free as it slices through the countryside using the bike paths of the 'Velodyssey route' - Tarka Trail, the Granite Way, Drakes Trail and the Plym Valley. Let the adventure begin...
from £1,240 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
There are no extras, however you’ll love what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Barnstaple. Finishes Barnstaple or Plymouth. By train, Barnstaple is 4 hours from London Paddington
Two small hotels, a village inn and a b&b in Tavistock
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Not so gentle cycling. More info...
3 days of cycling and 3 days of optional cycling 26 - 43 miles (42 - 69 km) per day
A few slopes on most days
- Additional nights en route
- A day fly fishing on day 4
- Take the ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff and continue cycling the Velodyssey route in France
You folks are really, really responsive on email. Kudos for splendid customer service.
Mike and Cathy
We are very satisfied with our tour, the landscapes are breathtaking, the route is exceptional. The OS maps were great and the bikes were very good. We would certainly recommend The Carter Company to family and friends.
Veronie and Tjeerd
We had a fantastic time and would not hesitate to recommend your company and return for more trips. We can’t wait!!!
David and Anne
1. Day one
Arrive in Barnstaple and make your way to your hotel which is located adjacent to the heart of this attractive town. Situated at the head of the Taw estuary, the town has a long and interesting history with plenty to explore. At a time to suit you make your way to our base close by in Barnstaple, which is open from 9.15 to 17.00 every day, to pick up your cycling equipment. Your host will meet you there, organise your bicycle and run through your itinerary.
2. Day two
Barnstaple to Ilfracombe and back
This idyllic ride leads around the Taw estuary and takes you to the north Devon coastal resort of Ilfracombe. The route includes the steepest section of railway line in the UK, now a cycle path and a freewheel along the coast at Woolacombe sands where surfers gather. The estuary riding is traffic free and flat and with the wind in your hair, you can pedal along the waters edge and spot the wildlife. Return to Barnstaple for a second night at your hotel.
Optional 36 miles (58 km)
3. Day three
Barnstaple to a North Devon Hamlet
Most of today's ride follows the Tarka Trail and the course of an old railway line as it hugs the estuary to Bideford and then follows the River Torridge through scenic woodlands, over bridges and through cuttings and tunnels. Virtually traffic free, with just a couple of slopes towards the end of the day, the route includes marshlands, old quays, a beach great for a dip and welcoming cafes in old railway stations. It's worth a detour across the 14th Century bridge to explore Bideford whilst the characterful market town of Great Torrington also boasts the Dartington glass factory. It's a day packed with variety that ends with a warm welcome at your overnight inn nestled in a picturesque hamlet where you will spend the next two nights.
26 miles (42 km)
4. Day four
A Circular Ride to Bude and back
Experience the typical rolling and peaceful rural landscapes of the area as you ride west from Devon into Cornwall and to the Atlantic coast at Bude. Follow swirling valleys, ride through stone built villages and stop in traditional market towns brushing woodlands and marshes, cliff tops and beaches. The ride has everything including the fascinating Cornish town of Bude. Enter along the marshes, count its many beaches, dip into the saltwater swimming pool, smell the Atlantic sea and love its old charm and harbour. Pick up a postcard or two before wending your way back into Devon. What an exhilarating day!
Optional 43 miles (69 km)
5. Day five
A North Devon Hamlet to Tavistock
Pedalling south towards Dartmoor, you are rewarded with amazing views and unexpected finds. We won't spill the beans but simply tempt you by mentioning market day, a pottery and a hidden gorge. Another old railway route leads you into Dartmoor National Park with 11 miles of traffic free cycling along The Granite Way. On this spectacular ride which includes the long Meldon Viaduct, the moor and the surrounding countryside are yours to savour. Tavistock where you will spend the next 2 nights, sits just off the moor and is a historic and unspoilt town where you may enjoy ambling among the specialist shops and the market stalls.
34 miles (54 km)
6. Day six
A Circular Ride on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is such a unique landscape that a days' riding here is a highlight. This vast moorland area is known for its hills or tors topped with craggy outcrops. Its an outstanding scene of grand views and majestic landscapes, bogs and streams, mines and lakes, forests and villages, myths and legends. Take in the odd famous film location, an old prison and a cosy pub or two before heading back into Tavistock.
Optional 30 miles (48 km)
7. Day seven
Tavistock to Plymouth
Leaving Tavistock behind your riding route to the south coast of Devon at Plymouth is almost all on a variety of disused railway tracks. Start in pretty wooded valleys and then freewheel through tunnels and viaducts down into Plymouth. This traffic free roll takes you right to the coast and around the famous Hoe in Plymouth where so many ships have passed in and out of this maritime city. Marvel at the view and then either relax at your overnight stay close to the Hoe or hop on the ferry, just open to hikers and bikers to cross into Cornwall. Enjoy a wonderful circular ride along the coast here to Port Wrinkle- some cliff top pedalling as well as some narrow and twisting Cornish lanes. Enjoy fab views, the wind in your hair, a sandy cove and a refreshment stop before taking the short ferry back into Devon for your final night in Plymouth.
20 or 37 miles (32 or 59 km)
8. Day eight
Bid farewell to your steed and we will transfer you back to Barnstaple. If you are returning to London, the train from Plymouth takes 3.5 hours to London.