Devon Cycling Routes - Advice Needed

by The Good Shepherd   August 14, 2012  

afternoon folks! I'm heading down to Bideford for a few days at the start of September and I'd like to get a few miles in whilst I'm there. Can anyone recommend any good routes and climbs, or places to avoid?

Many thanks!

13 user comments

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north of Barnstaple, out towards Lynton and Lynmouth is amazing. the climb up countisbury is as beautiful a road as you'll find. it's possible to take the tarka trail to braunton then ride the coast road along through croyde, ilfracombe, coombe martin. or go straight through barnstaple and up to loxhore, then onto exmoor.

be aware that North Devon is ferociously, seriously, relentlessly hilly. if you want flat, stick to the tarka trail.

going out towards torrington will involve some big hills. essentially, it's a bermuda triangle of country lanes. plot a route at random, going out to torrington, across to shebbear and bradworthy, maybe hartland, then loop back along the coast. it's amazing.

posted by pj [139 posts]
14th August 2012 - 15:12

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Thanks pj - that sounds just the ticket!

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posted by The Good Shepherd [54 posts]
14th August 2012 - 16:46

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Avoid the link road (A361), A39, A377 and A386 particularly during weekdays they are just racetracks. The Tarka Trail is great, mostly tarmac (Bumpy tarmac) but is very busy with bike riders and dog owners at certain times of the day. I would agree with pj above; have a look at the route(s) for the North Devon Black Rat first (take Tarka trail to Braunton where it starts)this is the Croyde, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin pj describes. Also the Exmoor Beast route(s) (Minehead start) but bring your climbing legs and small gears! But the scenery makes it worthwhile. There are some great bike shops round here BikeIt (Barnstaple) Southfork (Braunton) Enjoy....

posted by SideBurn [790 posts]
15th August 2012 - 15:18

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Brilliant, cheers guys!

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posted by The Good Shepherd [54 posts]
15th August 2012 - 20:23

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bring big legs and lungs. it is a well known fact that Devon hills make boys from Surrey cry.

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
16th August 2012 - 20:29

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Good job I'm not from Surrey, then.

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posted by The Good Shepherd [54 posts]
16th August 2012 - 20:38

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The Good Shepherd wrote:
Good job I'm not from Surrey, then.

ha ha phew! you should be fine then Smile

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
16th August 2012 - 22:02

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It's not THAT hilly, (or maybe I'm just used to it), but a fun fast ride from Barny is along the A377 to Exeter if you're not into slopes.

Or from Bideford, head up the river to Torrington, then on to Hatherleigh, then back up to Holsworthy, (or carry on to Bude if you're feeling hardcore) and then back to Bideford - that's a good one.

posted by localsurfer [162 posts]
17th August 2012 - 19:01

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Bideford to Bude via Bradworthy to Launceston to Holsworthy to Bideford will give you a cracking days riding with some serious climbing.

It's tough country down there, the only bits of flat land they keep in museums Smile

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posted by CycCoSi [22 posts]
18th August 2012 - 19:19

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Down 'ere we get quite competitive with our Strava segments, you might even be able to plan a whole roue without ever leaving "segmented" territory! If you need anything there is a great roadie shop in Bideford, along the road next to the Post Office, worth a drop in! Make sure youo bring climbing legs, you can't get anywhere without going uphill!

posted by Jaltham [67 posts]
19th August 2012 - 0:32

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Cheers folks - much appreciated!

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posted by The Good Shepherd [54 posts]
19th August 2012 - 16:40

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Are you looking for the scenic option (hills) or the not so scenic (flat(ish))option?

posted by SideBurn [790 posts]
19th August 2012 - 20:56

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I have experienced biking in Devon and it's quite awesome. I suggest you take a look at this blog http://thecyclingdutchman.blogspot.com/2013/06/london-lands-end-cycle-ro.... It lists awesome routes to take. There are also cottages along the area in case you want to stay over and take a night's rest. I have stayed in one of Blue Chip Holidays' cottages, you may check their cottages here: http://www.bluechipholidays.co.uk/devon-holiday-cottage

posted by oaurvey [1 posts]
13th June 2013 - 13:01

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