This wonderful walk through Devon follows the path taken by Tarka the Otter in the book of that name. It is a circular walk starting and finishing in Barnstaple on the River Taw. After following the river for a short section you will head through Landkey Newton and East Buckland to the Exmoor National Park. The route then reaches Lynmouth where a splendid coastal section that takes you through Ilfracombe, Woolacombe and Croyde. The final section follows the estuary of the River Taw through Braunton and then back into Barnstaple. This part of the route passes the beautiful Braunton Burrows Nature Reserve.
The reserve covers nearly 900 hectares making it the second largest dune system in England.
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Tarka Trail Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Tarka Trail Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Tarka Trail OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Tarka Trail Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Instow is a pleasant place to stop off for some refreshments. The Boathouse is in an excellent spot overlooking the beach and the river here. They serve great seafood which you can enjoy from the splendid ‘Top Deck’ terrace. You can find them on Marine Parade at postcode EX39 4JJ.
The village is worthy of exploration with features including a lovely riverside beach and a church dating back to the 13th century
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just to the south of Barnstaple the trail passes very close to Codden Hill at Bishop's Tawton. You could take a small detour from the route to climb to the summit where you'll find the monument to Caroline Thorpe, wife of local MP Jeremy Thorpe who became embroiled in the Thorpe scandal of the 1970s. There's also some splendid views over the area and waterside trails along the pretty Venn Stream to enjoy in this area.