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Plus 27-mile route across the moor for hill fiends

Fancy a challenge this weekend? The Dartmoor Way is a 95-mile route around the eponymous national park, launched this week by cycling writer and TV presenter Robert Penn.

And if 95 miles of Dartmoor terrain doesn’t sound like enough of a challenge, there’s a 27-mile addition that cuts across the moor, opening up the possibility of a 150+ mile figure-eight epic.

The route links numerous Dartmoor hamlets, villages and towns. It has been signed with brightly coloured way markers and passes through or near Bovey Tracey, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Ivybridge, Yelverton, Tavistock, Okehampton, Chagford and Moretonhampstead to name a few. It is mainly on quiet roads or hard ground.

In addition to the main circular route, the a 27-mile long High Moorland Link trail, cuts across Dartmoor via Princetown.

Robert Penn officially launched The Dartmoor Way at  Dartmoor National Park's headquarters in Bovey Tracey earlier this week.

Robert, who recently cycled the Trans-Amazonian Highway with Freddie Flintoff to make a documentary series for Sky TV, has presented on the BBC and authored a Sunday Times bestselling book It's All About the Bike: the Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels.

He said: "I have been a passionate cyclist for many years and have often thought how wonderful it would be to cycle through Dartmoor. Thanks to Sustrans and its partners, this is now possible. I can't wait to get on my bike and explore this beautiful national park."

Sustrans' Devon Manager Paul Hawkins, added: "This route intentionally takes people into lesser known areas of Dartmoor, bringing economic benefits to settlements around the moor."

Dartmoor Way chairman George Coles, said: "We hope  businesses along the route will gain an uplift in trade throughout the year as a result of the predicted extra daytrippers and holidaymakers it will attract.  Public interest in the route has already surpassed expectations and all those that have tried it out have commented on the stunning scenery and sense of achievement felt."

For more information, visit www.dartmoorway.co.uk

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

8 comments

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monty dog [462 posts] 3 years ago
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Never mind the .jpg, where's the .gpx?

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Metjas [362 posts] 3 years ago
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monty dog wrote:

Never mind the .jpg, where's the .gpx?

it's a signed route - would you like the braille version?

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graham_f [204 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

I have been a passionate cyclist for many years and have often thought how wonderful it would be to cycle through Dartmoor. Thanks to Sustrans and its partners, this is now possible.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that there's a new signed route, but it's not like that's what's made it possible to cycle through Dartmoor. The roads have been there for a very long time.

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SideBurn [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Who is going to be the first to do it and report back?  105

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Bedfordshire Clanger [344 posts] 3 years ago
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Can you do it on a road bike? Sustrans are a bunch of hippies with mountain bikes. I've seen their idea of 'traffic free cycle tracks' in Bedford and Somerset, they are bridleways replete with pedestrians and dogs on the loose. I would much rather see proper signage for good routes on quiet lanes than constantly have to dive off road on to poorly maintained shared use paths.

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 3 years ago
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Not a speedy route by any means but tough all the same. I know the southern sections well. Shame it misses the 20% inclines from Ashburton to Poundsgate. Choose your day wisely as weather changes on the Moor are dramatic. Tavistock to Clearbrook are on windy surfaces sustran cycle tracks.

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theSplund [5 posts] 9 months ago
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graham_f wrote:
Quote:

I have been a passionate cyclist for many years and have often thought how wonderful it would be to cycle through Dartmoor. Thanks to Sustrans and its partners, this is now possible.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that there's a new signed route, but it's not like that's what's made it possible to cycle through Dartmoor. The roads have been there for a very long time.

And sadly they've sent cyclists up a section at Bovey that is a) heaving with dog-walkers and b) then has a nasty section up to the reservoirs that is an ultra-narrow short-cut for cars (and up until recently missing a lot of road surface) - the ride out the back of Bovey a much more cycle friendly one IMHO and would be my preferred climb - obviously not thought out by a local.
(A passionate cyclist too)

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theSplund [5 posts] 9 months ago
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Bedfordshire Clanger wrote:

Can you do it on a road bike? Sustrans are a bunch of hippies with mountain bikes. I've seen their idea of 'traffic free cycle tracks' in Bedford and Somerset, they are bridleways replete with pedestrians and dogs on the loose. I would much rather see proper signage for good routes on quiet lanes than constantly have to dive off road on to poorly maintained shared use paths.

See my other post re dogs @ Parke at Bovey, though it can be done on road bike but it's not fun (too wet in winter for <25 tyres, too busy in summer) unless you're happy to proceed gently - it is a pleasant place to take a stroll though and far more suited to small kids on bikes out with parents walking on a summer's day or dogwalking - I tend to laugh at both MB-ers (especially) and roadies that cut down through there as I used to take my daughters to Parke to learn when they were in single digits.
I'd consider it on a road bike but I'd make a few detours - still, you're guaranteed of a pretty ride.
I think this might be a gpx source https://ridewithgps.com/routes/3548338