Devon Cycle Routes
Devon is a beautiful county and is well served by a plethora of cycle routes and tracks.
Apart from the obvious splendid coastal scenery in the region one of the main attractions for cyclists is the wonderful Tarka Trail which is a 180 mile figure of eight stretch of footpaths and cycle paths in North Devon.
Highlights on the trail include the Exmoor National Park and some wonderful coastal views.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Devon Cycle Map
There are several National Cycle Network signed routes in the county many of which have been mapped and can be viewed and downloaded below.
For more information on NCN routes in the county (including free cycle maps) please click here
For more information on cycle routes in Devon including tips, advice and free cycle maps please click here
|Ashclyst Forest||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy miles of woodland cycling and walking trails in this large forest near Killerton. There are a number of waymarked trails to try starting from the National Trust Car Park. The forest is excellent for wildlife spotting with various birds and deer to look out for. It is also well known for its butterflies with white admiral, small pearl-bordered fritillary, dark green fritillary, purple emperor and silver-washed fritillary amongst the species. You can extend your exercise by heading to the nearby Killerton Park where there are more cycling and walking tracks to try.|
Ashclyst Forest is located just a few miles north east of Exeter.
|Axminster to Bridport||16 miles (25 km)||Follow NCN route 2 on this short route through the lovely Devon countryside along minor roads and tracks.|
The ride takes you from the pretty market town of Axminster in Devon through some pleasant rural scenery to the finish point at Bridport in Dorset.
|Axminster to Dorchester||34 miles (55 km)||Travel from Devon into Dorset following NCN route 2.|
The south coast is never far away as you travel through some lovely countryside on your way to the market town of Dorchester on the River Frome. The route takes you through many pretty Dorset villages including Little Bredy and Winterborne St Martin and has splendid views of the Dorset countryside and coast.
|Barnstaple to Tiverton||47 miles (75 km)||Follow NCN route 3 through Devon and Somerset from Barnstaple to Tiverton on the River Exe. |
The route begins with a lovely section along the River Taw before heading into Exmoor national park with its open moorland and variety of wildlife including red deer and the Exmoor ponies.
|Bellever Forest||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk around this lovely forest in the Dartmoor National Park. The circular route starts in the pretty hamlet of Bellever and passes Laughter Hole Farm, Laughter Tor, Bellever Tor and a number of interesting stone cairn circles. It's a delightful and peaceful area with lots of different walking trails to choose from. Cyclists are welcome but please keep to the stone roads. The East Dart River also runs through the forest so you can enjoy a waterside stroll and a picnic. Look out for Dartmoor Ponies as they graze the forest.|
|Bere Peninsula Circular||8 miles (13 km)||This circular ride takes you along the River Tamar and then the River Tavy with splendid views of the beautiful Tamar Valley AONB. You start at Bere Ferrers and head north along the River Tamar to Bere Alston before the route returns to its origin along the River Tavy. You will also pass near to the beautiful Lopwell Dam which is worth the small detour as you return. |
The ride is easy to access from Bere Ferrers railway. It includes a few steep climbs but with terrific views at the high points. Much of the route follows the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail so is also suitable for walkers.
|Bideford to Ilfracombe||31 miles (50 km)||This lovely route follows National Cycle Network routes 3 and 27 from Bideford to Ilfracombe on the north Devon coast.|
Much of the route is traffic free following first the Tarka Trail along the River Torridge and then the River Taw around Barnstaple. You then join the South West Coast path with its stunning coastal scenery, passing through the pretty villages of Woolacombe and Mortehoe as you go.
|Blackdown Hills - Hemyock Uffculme Culmstock Circuit||11 miles (17 km)||The Blackdown Hills AONB is a splendid place to cycle with so much beautiful countryside to enjoy. The Blackdown Hills AONB website has created a series of fantastic routes exposing some of the finest scenery of the area.|
This 11 mile circular route starts in Hemyock and passes Uffculme and Culmstock. There are views of the River Culm and a series of pretty villages to enjoy as you pass along several delightful country lanes.
|Bude to Bideford||40 miles (65 km)||Cross from Cornwall to Devon following National Cycle Network route 3 from Bude to Bideford. This section follows the Tarka trail: a popular off road cycle path which follows the River Torridge for a scenic and traffic free ride.|
You start by following the River Neet and the Bude Canal to Helebridge on a lovely traffic free path. Country roads then take you through Holsworthy and then Black Torrington before joining the Tarka Trail near Petrockstowe. This takes you all the way to Bideford on the River Torridge.
|Bude to Okehampton||35 miles (56 km)||Follow National Cycle Network routes 3 and 27 from Bude in Cornwall to Okehampton in Devon. You start by following the River Neet and the Bude Canal to Helebridge on a lovely traffic free path. Country roads then take you through Holsworthy and then Hatherleigh before a pleasant run through Abbeyford Woods takes you to Okehampton. There are also lovely views of the rivers Torridge and Okement as you approach Okehampton.|
|Burrator Reservoir||4 miles (6.5 km)||The area surrounding this reservoir in Dartmoor is well worth exploring on foot or by bike. As well as waterside paths along the reservoir there are miles of lovely woodland trails, brooks, streams and waterfalls in the surrounding area. You'll also pass a number of rugged Dartmoor Tors and the River Meavy at the western end of the reservoir. |
This route starts at the Nosworthy Bridge car park at the eastern end of the reservoir and heads to the dam along the trail at the southern side of the water. You'll pass mixed woodland and Sheeps Tor - one of Dartmoor's most imposing tors. The route then passes through the mixed woodland on the northern side of the reservoir, passing Peek Hill, Leather Tor and Sharpitor. The final section takes you into Norsworthy Woods to Leather Tor Bridge and then back to Nosworthy Bridge. Look out for Dartmoor ponies on your way through this lovely area.
If you enjoy this route then you could head to the nearby Plymbridge Woods for a great trail running along a disused railtrack.
Burrator Reservoir is located near to Yelverton and Tavistock.
|Devon Coast to Coast||99 miles (160 km)||This is the complete National Cycle Network route from Ilfracombe on the North coast of Devon to Plymouth on the south. The route follows NCN routes 27 and 3 through this beautiful county, making use of miles of disused railway lines. Most of the ride is traffic free making for a really fabulous cycling experience.|
The first section runs from Ilfracombe to Barnstaple and includes a coastal section around Woolacombe and a run along the Tarka Trail and the River Taw into Barnstaple.
You continue along the Tarka Trail from Barnstaple to Bideford with more waterside cycling along the River Taw and the River Torridge.
The next section runs from Bideford to Okehampton, along the Tarka trail and quiet country lanes. You'll pass Great Torrington and Hatherleigh while there are also waterside stretches along the River Torridge and then the River Okement into Okehampton.
The final section takes you from Okehampton to Plymouth through Dartmoor National Park following a series of quiet roads and traffic free paths along National Cycle Network route 27. The first section takes you along the Granite Way to Lydford on a lovely off road path. You then continue on road to Tavistock with the impressive Brent Tor a highlight on this section. After passing through Tavistock you cross the Grenofen Bridge over the River Walkham before a long traffic free woodland section takes you through Bickleigh Vale to Yelverton and Clearbrook. You then join the River Plym and the West Devon Way taking you to Plymouth.
|Exe Valley Ride||7 miles (11 km)||This lovely easy ride or walk follows the River Exe, the Exeter Canal and NCN route 2 from Exeter to Exminster.|
Highlights include Exeter's attractive quay, views of the Exe esutaury and the Riverside Valley Park.
Please click here for more information on this route.
|Exeter to Dawlish||16 miles (25 km)||Follow NCN route 2 along the River Exe from Exeter to Dawlish. Much of this route is off road following the towpath/track along the river and the Exeter Canal before a short on road section along the south west coast path, finishing near the train station in the pretty town of Dawlish. Route highlights include the lovely views of the river and canal, with the lovely deer park and castle at Powderham another draw. The final stretch into the seaside town of Dawlish is also delightful.|
|Exeter to Exmouth||12 miles (20 km)||This easy route follows NCN route 2 from Exeter to Exmouth.|
The route starts near Exeter train station and heads south along the River Exe to the coastal town of Exmouth.
Much of this route is off road and very flat making it a comfortable ride.
Highlights on the route include the river views, the Exe Reedbeds Nature Reserve and the nearby River Exe Country Park.
|Exmouth to Axminster||34 miles (55 km)||Follow NCN route 2 through Devon from Exmouth to Axminster. |
This ride includes some beautiful coastal scenery and attractive countryside as you travel through Devon. Highlights on the route are the spectacular scenery along the Jurassic Coast and the lovely seaside towns of Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth and Seaton.
|Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Railway Path||4 miles (7 km)||This is a nice easy cycle or walk along the disused railway path running from Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton.|
It runs along NCN route 2 through rolling countryside and woodland. The path is ideal for families looking for a safe, easy route.
|Exmouth to Lyme Regis||31 miles (50 km)||Follow NCN route 2 through the Devon countryside from Exmouth to Lyme Regis. You will cross the border from Devon to Dorset on this attractive route which follows the spectacular Jurassic Coast. The route starts near Exmouth train station and heads east along off road paths and a dismantled railway line to Budleigh Salterton. A series of quiet country roads then takes you onto Sidmouth and then Seaton before finishing in Lyme Regis.|
|Exmouth to Sidmouth||12 miles (20 km)||This short route takes you along NCN route 2 from Exmouth to Sidmouth. The route starts near Exmouth train station and heads east along off road paths and a dismantled railway line to Budleigh Salterton. A series of quiet country roads then takes you onto the finish point at Sidmouth. |
Highlights include the wonderful coastal views as you approach Sidmouth and the Otter Estuary Nature reserve near Budleigh Salterton.
|Granite Way||11 miles (18 km)||This lovely, largely off road trail runs from Okehampton to Lydford through the
Dartmoor National Park. It passes along a disused railway path and forms part of National Cycle Network Number 27 but is suitable for both cyclists and walkers.|
The route begins in Okehampton and takes you towards Meldon where you will pass Meldon Viaduct and a delightful bluebell wood. You continue onto the pretty village of Sourton before passing Lake Viaduct where the scenery is particularly lovely. The final section then takes you to the village of Lydford where you will pass the noteworthy castle and church. You then come to the finish point at the impressive Lydford Gorge with its dramatic scenery which includes waterfalls and and a series of whirlpools known as the 'Devil's Cauldron'.
For an excellent full guide to the trail please click here
|Haldon Forest Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this 3500 acre forest near Exeter. The cycling trails are well laid out and colour coded according to difficulty. There is a nice easy trail named the 'Discovery Trail' which is well surfaced and great for families looking for a safe ride or for walkers looking for a pleasant stroll. It has fun features for children and takes in some stunning views over Exeter and Dartmoor. |
The blue Challenge trail is a moderate mountain bike trail with a combination of surfaces, some narrow sections and gentle gradients for intermediate cyclists. More experienced riders can try the red graded 'Ridge Ride Trail' which is a technical, fast and flowing trail with tight corners and lively descents to test your reflexes. Bike hire is available from Forest Cycle Hire. Walkers can enjoy a number of waymarked trails of varying lengths and difficulty. The Butterfly Trail is a three mile circular walk with views across the forest and over the Teign valley. The Mamhead Trail is an easy 1.5 miles trail with it breathtaking views over the Exe estuary and along the Jurassic Coast. The Raptor Trail and Tree Trail offer more challenging walks with some steep climbs.
Haldon Forest Park is located about 6 miles south west of Exeter town centre.
|Ilfracombe to Minehead||39 miles (62 km)||Travel through Devon and Somerset along Regional route 51 and enjoy the splendid countryside and coastal views of Exmoor.|
You start in Ilfracombe and head east to Lynton via Combe Martin. There are splendid coastal views to enjoy at Combe Martin Bay and Woody Bay before arriving at Lynton with its pretty harbour.
From Lynton you continue east towards Porlock with a pleasant riverside section along the East Lyn River. At Porlock you will pass the beautiful Porlock Bay and the Bird of Prey Centre near Allerford. The final stretch takes you through the countryside to the finish point at the train station in Minehead.
This route is fully signed from start to finish and includes several challenging climbs. You will be rewarded, however, with some spectacular views. Most of the route takes place on country lanes, although there are some short off road sections to enjoy too.
|Ilfracombe to Ossaborough Railway Path||5 miles (8.5 km)||This is a nice easy short walk or cycle along the disused London and South Western Railway Ilfracombe Branch Line, from Ilfracombe to Mortehoe and Woolacombe railway station.|
The route starts off by the pier in Ilfracombe and soon joins the railway path on the outskirts of the town. It then heads south passing Slade Reservoirs while giving a great view of the beautiful surrounding countryside. The route follows NCN route 27 for the duration and with most of it traffic free it's a good choice for families.
|Killerton Park||3 miles (5 km)||The Killerton Estate is 6,400 acres of parkland and countryside containing over 60 miles of footpaths and cycle tracks. It is located near Broadclyst in the Exeter region of Devon.|
The estate also contains a beautiful landscaped garden with rhododendrons, magnolias and rare trees surrounded by rolling Devon countryside. The walk also passes Killerton House - an 18th-century house with a marvellous collection of 18th- to 20th-century costumes.
The route below is devised for walkers but there is also a cycle track at Killerton. It is great for families and follows a safe circular route around the beautiful parkland at Killerton, starting and finishing at Killerton's stable-block. Please click here to download the gpx file for the Kilerton Park cycle route (it follows a similar path to the walk).
If you'd like to continue your exercise then you could head a couple of miles east to Ashclyst Forest where there are more cycling and walking tracks to try.
|Mount Edgcumbe Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||With 865 acres of parkland, beautiful landscaped Cornish gardens and stunning coastline, Mount Edgcumbe Country Park is a fantastic place to visit. |
This circular walk begins at the parking lot, near the Cremyll Ferry which you can catch from Plymouth to the park. The path then joins the coastal path to Raveness Point, passing the beautiful Barn Pool (see video) and the Raven's Cliffs. You continue to Picklecombe Point before returning to the start point through the delightful deer park, passing the magnificent Mount Edgcumbe House on the way.
NB. The route below is designed for walkers but National Cycle Network route 2 runs through the park. Also see the Plymouth to Looe cycle route for a ride through Devon to Cornwall which runs through the park.
|Newton Abbot to Brixham||16 miles (25 km)||This route starts near Newton Abbot train station and heads south east along future NCN route 28 towards Torquay. You'll then follow a coastal path to Paignton and then onto the finish point at Brixham breakwater.|
Highlights on this route include the splendid coastal views at Torbay.
|Newton Abbot to Totnes||22 miles (35 km)||This route starts near Newton Abbot train station and heads south east along future NCN route 28 towards Torquay. You'll then follow a coastal path to Paignton before heading inland towards Totnes on a series of quiet roads and tracks. You'll finish by crossing the River Dart in Totnes.|
Highlights on this route include the splendid views of Torbay.
|Okehampton to Plymouth||40 miles (65 km)||This lovely route passes through Dartmoor National Park and follows a series of quiet roads and traffic free paths along national cycle network route 27 from Okehampton to the popular port of Plymouth. The first section takes you along the Granite Way to Lydford on a lovely off road path. You then continue on road to Tavistock with the impressive Brent Tor a highlight on this section. After passing through Tavistock you cross the Grenofen Bridge over the River Walkham before a long traffic free woodland section takes you through Bickleigh Vale to Yelverton and Clearbrook. You then join the River Plym and the West Devon Way taking you to Plymouth.|
|Plymbridge Woods||4 miles (6 km)||This is the delightful Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail. It runs alongs the trackbed of a disused railway line through oak woodland, with the River Plym by your side for part of the ride. It's largely flat and uses a well surfaced track so it's a nice safe ride for children or for anyone looking for an easy introduction to cycling. You'll pass a series of viaducts, a disused railway station and pretty bridges over the river. There's also an abundance of wildlife to look out for including butterflies, foxes and deer. Birdlife includes dipper, grey wagtail, little grebe, grebe, heron and kingfisher. From the Cann Viaduct you may also see peregrine falcons breeding in the summer months. |
The route starts at the National Trust car park at Plymbridge Woods and follows the Great Western Railway track north passing Cann Wood and Bickleigh Vale before finishing at Dewerstone Woods. It's a lovely trail which is suitable for cyclists and walkers.
If you'd like to continue your exercise then you could head to the nearby Burrator Reservoir which has miles of footpaths and cycleways to enjoy. Also nearby is the Cadover Bridge to Dewerstone Rocks walk which also runs along the River Plym.
|Plymouth to Looe||22 miles (35 km)||This route follows NCN routes 27 and 2 from Plymouth in Devon to Looe in Cornwall. The route starts on the south west coast path in Plymouth following it to the Cremyll Ferry which will take you across the water into Cornwall. There is then a nice off road section through Mount Edgcumbe Country Park before rejoining the South West Coast path with its splendid views of the beautiful Whitsand Bay (below). The route continues to Looe with more spectacular coastal scenery to enjoy including views of Tregantle fort and the lovely seaside village of Seaton.|
|Plymouth to Tavistock||20 miles (32 km)||Follow NCN route 27 from Plymouth to Tavistock on this attractive largely traffic free route. The route starts near the Plymouth town centre and then heads north along the River Plym and the West Devon Way, passing by the impressive Saltram House - a George II era mansion. There is then a long traffic free stretch through woodland taking you through Bickleigh Vale to Clearbrook and Yelverton. You then cross the Grenofen Bridge over the River Walkham before an on road section takes you to Tavistock on the River Tavy.|
|Plymouth to Totnes||27 miles (43 km)||This beautiful ride along NCN route 2 , takes you through Dartmoor National Park and the South Devon AONB.|
You start at the marina in Plymouth and follows the River Plym towards Longbridge. The ride continues to Ivybridge on a mixture of on road and traffic free sections. At Ivybridge you will cross the River Erme before heading through the countryside on quiet country lanes towards South Brent, Harbourneford and Dartington. The final traffic free section from Dartington to Totnes is very pleasant with a short spell along the River Dart to finish.
|Roadford Lake||9 miles (15 km)||This beautiful 730 acre lake and country park in Dartmoor is perfect for a waterside cycle or walk. The route starts at the car park by the lakeside cafe and then takes you around the lake on quiet country lanes.|
There are also two way-marked cycle trails starting near the cafe/visitor centre. The green trail is an easy ride through the woodland and as ideal for families. The blue trail is more adventurous and will suit anyone looking for a fun off road trail.
For walkers there are 5 way-marked trails taking you to the cob shelter, bird hide and Jubilee Sundial. Look out for a wide variety of wildlife in the woodland and on the lake.
|Slapton Ley||6 miles (10 km)||This walk takes you along Slapton Sands and the Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve in Devon. The lagoon at Slapton Ley is the largest natural freshwater lake in South West England. It's a beautiful area with the lovely shingle beach and the ocean on one side and the stunning lake on the other. There are a number of walking trails taking you through the reserve, including a family trail which takes about 45 minutes. You can also easily continue to the nearby village of Slapton.|
The reserve is fantastic for wildlife with a number of bird hides around the lake. Look out for Cetti's warbler, Swallows, Badgers and Otters as you make your way through the reserve.
For cyclists there is a super coastal road taking you past the lake and Slapton sands.
The South West Coast Path runs past the site so there is scope for continuing your walk along the coast towards Dartmouth or Salcombe.
|Sticklepath Cycle Route||29 miles (46 km)||This circular route takes you through some splendid Devon countryside around Okehampton and Sticklepath.
You first head north from Sticklepath to Hatherleigh, enjoying a stretch along the River Taw before a wooded section through Abbeyford Woods. You then cross the River Okement and continue through Honeychurch and Sampford Courtenay. The final stretch takes you back to Sticklepath through Taw Green and South Zeal with more fine views of the River Taw.
The ride takes place on a series of country lanes and involves a few challenging climbs.
|Stover Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore over 114 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland and lakes on this circular walk through the peaceful Stover Country Park, near Newton Abbot in Devon. The walk takes you around the delightful Stover Lake before following the canal outlet through the woodland. The park also includes the Ted Hughes Poetry Trail which takes in specially designed Poetry Posts each displaying a poem by Ted Hughes on a theme relating to wildlife of the natural world.
The route below is designed for walkers but there is also a designated cycle route through the northern part of the Park. See this leaflet for more information about the park.
The Templer Way runs through the park so you could pick this up to continue your walk. Heading north would take you to Bovey Tracey while heading south would take you along the Stover Canal to Newton Abbot.
|Tiverton to Bridgwater||39 miles (62 km)||Travel from Devon into Somerset on this lovely largely traffic free ride along NCN route 3. |
You start with a cruisy long stretch along the Great Western Canal before country roads take you to Taunton. At Taunton you can enjoy another waterside stretch along the Bridgwater and Taunton canal which takes you all the way to Bridgwater.
|Totnes to Ivybridge||19 miles (30 km)||Follow NCN route 2 through Dartmoor National Park from Totnes to Ivybridge. The route starts nears the River Dart in Totnes passing Totnes Weir before heading through the pretty village of Dartington and into the Devon countryside on off road paths. There is then a long on road stretch through the beautiful Dartmoor National Park taking you to Ivybridge on the River Erme. You finish near the tourist information centre in Ivybridge.|
|Totnes to Salcombe||25 miles (40 km)||Follow the Dart Valley Trail and other tracks and minor roads through the beautiful Devon countryside from Totnes to the Salcombe ferry. You start in Totnes and follow the trail along the River Dart before heading on road through Blacklawton and Slapton to the coast. A lovely coastal section then follows through Slapton Sands to Torcross with some splendid scenery to enjoy. You then head inland towards Salcombe on quiet roads via Chivelstone.|
|Woodbury Common Devon||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy miles of walking trails through this large area of common land in Woodbury, Devon. The common consists of heathland, gorse, heather and pebblebeds from rivers which once flowed across the basin.
You can also climb to the ancient hill fort of Woodbury Castle where there are great views of the Exe estuary, Haldon Hills, Otter Valley, and Portland Bill on the coast. The fort was built around 500-300 BC and has a moat which you can walk through. |
The area is a really good place for wildlife spotting. Look out for birds such as Dartford Warbler and butterflies including High Brown Fritillary and Silver Studded Blue. You can extend your walk by continuing south to Bystock pools nature reserve where there is a lilly-pad filled lake, heathland, wildflower meadow and boardwalks. It's a great place to look out for dragonflies and birds such as willow warblers, blackcaps and stonechats. Also at the southern end of the common you will find Blackhill Quarry and its lake.
This circular route starts from the car park near the Woodbury castle. The whole of it is more suitable for walkers but the area is also good for mountain biking. Start from the same start point and follow the tracks to Colaton Raleigh Common and then round to the quarry for a fun off road ride.
The East Devon Way runs through the common so you can pick this up to continue your walk. If you head north east you will come to the Hawkerland Valley and the Aylesbeare Common RSPB nature reserve. To the south west is the town of Exmouth and the lovely Exmouth Nature Reserve. Also nearby is the River Otter and the Otter Estuary where you can enjoy waterside walking trails and a variety of wading birds.