Duration icon
 
Duration
2 or 3 Riding Days
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    Duration - 2 or 3 Riding Days
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Suitable Bike
Mountain Bike / Hybrid
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    Suitable Bike - Mountain Bike / Hybrid
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Fitness Grade
2 - 3
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    Fitness Grade - 2 - 3
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Skills Grade
A
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    Skills Grade - A
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Navigation
Self Guided
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    Navigation - Self Guided

The Devon Coast to Coast Full Itinerary 


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The Cycling - Introduction

The Devon Coast to Coast is a north to south ride from the craggy cliffs that overlook IIfracombe to the imposing citadel at Plymouth’s bustling seafront. Along the way you follow many old railway lines, riding over viaducts and through tunnels, as well as contouring round the beautiful Dartmoor National Park. Whilst the route has no climbs on the scale of the classic C2C across the north of England, there are numerous shorter climbs on the rolling backroads of mid-Devon.

  • Total distance: 102 miles
  • Days of cycling: 2 or 3
  • Terrain: Quiet backroads and traffic free cyclepaths
  • Support vehicle: A vehicle will be used to move bags from place to place but will not follow you directly. We provide a telephone number for the driver if you require assistance.
  • Tour staff: Will meet you at the beginning of the tour to answer any question you may have. This member of staff will be move the luggage and over seeing the tour.

We offer this ride as either a two-day package, which presents a good weekend challenge, or a three-day package which gives a more leisurely bike ride for those of moderate fitness.

The following information gives you more details on the cycling and the way this tour operates. If you want to find out more about the journey, the package or anything else about our C2C tours – please just give us a call. Our office team is always ready to help with enquiries. 

Contact us to find out more or reserve your space:
Email: admin@cycleactive.com
Call: + 44 (0)1768 840400


Summary Itinerary - Cycling over threes days

Day 1 (Friday). Arrive at guesthouse in Exeter inthe late afternoon or evening. Overnight here and prepare for cycling.

Day 2. Transfer to ride start on north coast atIlfracombe. Cycle to Petrockstowe in the heart of rural Devon.

Day 3. Cycle to Lydford, on the western edge of Dartmoor. Overnight here.

Day 4. Cycle through South Devon to the finish in Plymouth. Transfer back to Exeter and head home.

Summary Itinerary - Cycling over two days

Day 1 (Friday). Arrive at guesthouse in Exeter inthe late afternoon or evening. Overnight here and prepare for cycling.

Day 2. Transfer to ride start on north coast atIlfracombe. Cycle to Hatherleigh in the heart of rural Devon. Overnight here.

Day 3. Cycle through South Devon to the finish in Plymouth. Transfer back to Exeter and head home.

In this section we describe the full route so those riding over two days or over three days can see where they take their overnight breaks in the 102 mile journey.
 
 

 

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Your trip begins on Friday evening when you arrive at our chosen guesthouse just outside Exeter. Once you’ve checked in and freshened up you're free to head to the local pub or make the short trip into the heart of Exeter to enjoy some great food in one of the restaurants that surround the picturesque cathedral square.
 
After breakfast you and your bike will be transported to the North Devon coastal town of Ilfracombe to begin your ride (note that If you travelled to the trip by car we will show you where to leave it until you return on Sunday or Monday). The journey to the coast takes about an hour and a half, giving time for breakfast to go down before the pedalling begins. This is a last chance to make any last minute bike adjustments, and our CycleActive member of staff will be there with spares and tool kit to assist, if needed.
 
Leaving Ilfracombe along the magnificent craggy coastline of North Devon you tackle the first steep climb of the journey, and the only really steep section in the first third of the route. At the high point there are panoramic views of the coastline, and from here you can also choose a slightly extended option that takes you right along the stunning three mile beach at Woolacombe.
 
 
 
The countryside rolls gently until, at the town of Braunton, you join the traffic free Tarka Trail. This almost level section follows the serene tidal scenery of the Taw and Torridge estuaries as you pedal through the busy market town of Barnstable and on to Bideford, where the route heads inland.
 
This section of the journey is a winding traffic free trail that takes you deeper and deeper into the beautiful Torridge Valley. Riding alongside the river, crossing it often, and passing through open fields, old English woodlands and passing small homesteads, you are really starting to enter rural Devon. For those cycling the route over three days your first night is usually spent here, at one of the country pubs or guesthouses between Great Torrington and Petrockstowe. If you are riding the route over two days you’ll get further into the heart of Devon before overnighting in Hatherleigh.
 
 
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The next part of the journey takes you into the hills as you ride the backroads on the way to Dartmoor. You reach the edge of the National Park just beyond Okehampton and head for the high point of the journey just beyond the magnificent viaduct at Meldon (built in 1874).
 
The scenery now is quite breathtaking as the green fields roll away to your right, while the giant Tors of Dartmoor rise up immediately to your left. The route follows the park boundary for much of the way now as we pass several small villages. Those riding over three days will take their next overnight on this section of the journey.
 
After joining the river Tavy before the town of Tavistock the route gradually heads for more level ground, and you start to see lush common land being grazed by Dartmoor ponies. Continuing south you eventually join the river Plym and follow the riverside trail into Plymouth, and our finish at the imposing Citadel on the seafront.
 
At the finish you can enjoy a glass of champagne at the sea front bar while we load up the bikes for the transfer back to Exeter.
 

 

2 Day Ride Option

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3 Day Ride Option

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FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Choosing the Right Holiday
At CycleActive we carefully grade our trips according to both the level of fitness you need and, for mountain biking, the level of skill you need. We also offer personal advice to anyone who needs it, by email or on the phone, to ensure that you find a holiday suitable for your abilities and desires.
 
Fitness grade 2-3. This means you need to be a moderately fit cyclist as the Devon C2C does involve two or three full days of cycling over hilly terrain. You can take your time as this tour is not guided, so you don’t have to stay at the pace of others, but you do need reasonable stamina. For those who want extra challenges we have additional off-road options planned too.
 
Skill grade A-B. The main route follows backroads and well graded tracks so you do not need experience at off-road riding to be able to enjoy it. 
 
Geography & Climate
The climate in Devon is one of the most predictably warm and sunny through UK spring, summer and autumn, but still with a chance of showers and cool spells. This is a ride through varied terrain including smooth traffic free cycle paths, quiet backroads and hilly roads in mid-Devon and around Dartmoor. The high point of the ride is 982 feet. We recommend that you travel with a good variety of cycle clothing to allow for the range of conditions. A full kit list will be sent to you on booking.
 
Accommodation & Food
We use guesthouse accommodation for this tour and the price is based on shared occupancy of twin or double rooms. If you wish to guarantee a private room for yourself then a single supplement is payable. We aim to let you enjoy comfortable evenings with tasty food available at nearby pubs or restaurants. On arrival at the guest house in Exeter you will be told where the best place to park for the weekend is. There may be parking charges, dependant on availability of free on-road parking.
 
Cycling Support
This trip is unsupported (A van doesn't follow you at all time) and unguided so once you head out on your cycling days you are responsible for your own safety and your own journey from point to point. A CycleActive member of staff is transporting luggage and can be telephoned if you have a problem out on the bike. The route is well signed and there is a detailed map produced by Sustrans (available from us) specifically for the route, so finding your way should not be a problem.
 
Cycle Rental
If you want to use your own bike we recommend either a mountain bike, hybrid bike with large tyres or a sturdy touring road bike. You can complete the ride on regular road bikes but some sections of tracks such as the old railway paths may be slippery or too rough for skinny tyres. If you want to rent a bike please contact us to discuss your needs and we will reserve a bike for you.
 
Clothing and equipment
On booking, a detailed list of useful and essential items will be sent to you. You must bring your own cycle helmet that must be worn for all cycle rides. All clothing and equipment must be packed in one small to medium sized bag, either a soft holdall or soft rucksack. This is the maximum luggage allowed as all bags are carried in a minivan and space is limited.
 
Pre-Travel Information
An official Sustrans map is available from us (at an extra cost – please order when you reserve your space) which, combined with the official signage, should ensure a smooth crossing of the country.
 

Testimonials

CycleActive doesn't edit the reviews

Published straight from clients feedback


Even after burning +6000 calories over 3 days, we still weren't calorie neutral ...all those lovely devon beers!

Craig Wiggins


9 members of the Brailes Cycling Club (BCC) from the village of Brailes in south Warwickshire had a brilliant 3 days on the Devon C2C. We're not really a proper club, or proper cyclists but know how to enjoy ourselves when given the opportunity both on and off our bikes.

Tim Porter


We had an absolutely fantastic time negotiating the wonderful Devonshire countryside on the Coast to Coast trip. The scenery was stunning. There are some steep climbs but some great down hill runs too! We met some lovely people sharing the trip and the whole things was a great adventure. Just keep well hydrated and carb'd up (home made granola bars came in handy!) Enjoy!

Carmel Moore


An excellent all round experience . Well organised and very supportive service.

Emma


A well organised weekend that left little effort for the group except the cycling

Jane langford


Enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to my next cycling holiday. Well organised, no hassle.

Brian French


Very enjoyable C2C Devon trip - fantastic scenery and great organisation. A big thanks to the CycleActive team

Jane London


Fantastic scenery, a real challenge make sure you research the route well to get the full value.

Tim Rose


The off road sections were excellent, the finish at Plymouth could be better signposted and many did not go to the Admiral Hard. Enjoyable fun exercise , some of it quite tough.

Chris Thorogood


Our Devon coast to coast cycle ride was great fun and CycleActive organised the trip extremely well and were efficient and so friendly.

Catherine Toms


8 ladies cycling what fun we had. great pubs, tracks and mates laughing.

Sally Ayto