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Tour

England - Devon

England - Devon

Degree of difficulty - B/C

This biking vacation in England will take you through journey through the Devonshire Countryside and through the beautiful Dartmoor National Park.

This tour offers a chance to see the beautiful Devonshire region of England; this tour incorporates a great blend of picturesque countryside and exhilarating rides offering a chance to take in some of the most unspoilt landscapes in the U.K. whilst riding along quiet country roads.

This week long cycling tour takes in some of the quintessential villages this region is renowned for. The Dartmoor National Park is an area pretty much universally renowned as beautiful and essentially English heritage. Many picture postcard views will leave you wanting to return here time and time again. If you enjoy stunning views coupled with great cycling you will fit right in here in the Devon.

please contact us or more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com)

DAY 1 Arrival Okehampton
Arriving in Okehampton, Dartmoor is visible to the south. This national park is renowned for its beauty and breathtaking landscapes. Depending on the time available to you why not check out some of the many attractions in Okehampton. Only a few minutes’ walk away from the town centre is Okehampton Castle. Adjacent to the River Okement is the stone built castle thought to date from as early as 1172 although it was listed earlier in the Domesday Book. Also, worth a visit is the Museum of Dartmoor Life depicting how early settlers lived and worked this land. If you simply want to relax after your journey head to Simmons Park. Simmons was a local man born in the 1830’s, devoted his time and money to Okehampton. and this park is a lasting memory to him. He was described as “a man who had the head to make money and the heart to give it away”.

DAY 2 Okehampton Loop 27 miles / 43 km
Leaving Okehampton heading towards Crediton over the rolling hills that the Dartmoor area is well known for you get a sense of how tranquil this area really is. You will pass The Finch Foundry in Sticklepath which has a fantastic visitors centre and well worth a look. This days cycling visits many small and unspoilt towns, the largest being Hatherleigh. Little is known of Hatherleigh’s earliest history but in Anglo-Saxon times a small town known as Haegthorn Leah (possibly a hawthorn glade) had been established on the right bank of the River Lew. During the fourteenth century the householders of the borough were given the right to graze stock and gather gorse for fuel on the five hundred acres of Hatherleigh Moor. These rights are retained to this day and the householders are known as ‘pot-boilers’. The storm of January 25th 1991 caused the medieval spire to crash through the roof of the Parish Church. The restoration work to the church and the rebuilding of the spire will probably be remembered as the most memorable event of the latter part of the twentieth century. There is a lot of choice for lunch in Hatherleigh and some stunning views from the top of the hill.

DAY 3 Okehampton to Crediton 32 miles / 52 km
Heading out of Okehampton along the north east edge of Dartmoor towards Crediton you will get a real sense of tranquillity as you cycle along quiet country roads. Passing through small towns and hamlets, many left as a true reflection of their difficult past. One such town, Bow, has had a very hard past. Bow, due to its location, failed to attract enough trade to justify its status as a town and remained a de facto street village or one of Devon’s many “failed towns”. The market ceased in 1792. Nymet Tracey was effectively absorbed into Bow following two fires which destroyed Nymet Tracey (then about 60-80 cottages) in 1833 and 1835, after which the bulk of the populace of Nymet Tracey proper decamped to Bow.
Continuing on your cycle you will pass though Zeal Monachorum, the village itself is on the south-facing hillside of the Yeo valley looking towards Dartmoor. The present name, written earlier as Sele and Zele, is said to derive from the fact that the manor of Zeal Monachorum had been given to the Abbey of Buckfast in 1018 by King Cnut (along with the manor of Down St Mary), hence a “cell of the monks” (“celle” in Old French and “cella” in Latin). Through the valleys to Crediton will offer some great photo opportunities of the Dartmoor landscape.

DAY 4 Crediton to Bovey Tracey 24 miles / 39 km
Leaving Crediton heading south into the quiet country roads, heading towards Dartmoor. Moretonhampstead is an ideal lunch stop with a variety of cafes and a large selection of food and drink on offer. The hustle and bustle of this market town and the amount of tourists browsing the gift shops, shows that this town really is the heart of Dartmoor life. Cycling on into the hills of Dartmoor through the Laployd Plantation affords some great photo opportunities and stunning views of Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford Reservoirs’. These three bodies of water with dams constructed in the late 1800’s make up most of the drinking water for the area east of Dartmoor. Dropping down from the heights of Dartmoor into Bovey Tracey, your base for the next two nights, this beautiful town with its busy centre is affectionately known as the “Gateway to Dartmoor”. Bovey Tracey was an established Saxon community and takes its name from the River Bovey. The town gained its second name from the de Tracey family who were “lords of the manor” after the Normon Conquest.

DAY 5 Bovey Tracey Loop Circular 29 miles/ 47 km
Today’s route will gave you a chance to see Dartmoor at its best, cycling along many traffic free roads and through quiet forests with only the birds for company. Cycling through the beautiful towns of East Ogwell and Ipplepen on the way to Dartington Hall, the main attraction of today’s route. Over the Railway line at Stavereton, if you time it right you might have a chance to see one of the steam trains rolling into the station. Dartington Hall School, founded in 1926, offered a progressive coeducational boarding life. When it started there was a minimum of formal classroom activity and the children learned by involvement in estate activities. The gardens were created by Dorothy Elmhirst with the involvement of major landscape designers Beatrix Farrand and Percy Cane and feature a tiltyard (thought actually to be the remains of an Elizabethan water garden) and major sculptures, including examples by Henry Moore and Peter Randall-Page. There is an ancient yew tree (Taxus baccata) reputed to be nearly 2000 years old and rumour has it that Knights Templar are buried in the graveyard there, although there is no evidence to substantiate this. The return trip to Bovey Tracey takes you up the quiet roads to the east of Dartmoor, over the rolling hills.

DAY 6 Bovey Tracey to Okehampton 23 miles / 37 km
Into the National Park we go on your trip back to Okehampton. Today you will get to see a lot of the unspoilt beauty that Dartmoor is renound for worldwide. Passing through small towns on the way to the beautiful town of Chagford, this is a thriving community with high property prices, busy streets, and an unusually wide range of shops for a town of this size. There is One Tea Room/Cafe which offers a range of homemade food to suit everyone’s pocket, including cream teas with locally-produced Devonshire clotted cream. Crossing country on your way down into Okehampton completes this day’s route.

DAY 7 Granite Way Circular 30.5 miles / 49 km
Out of Okehampton on “The Granite Way”, a completely traffic free cycleway built along the old Southern Region Railway Line. Stunning views of the Meldon Viaduct await you, built from local stone, this is a sight to behold. You will head off the Granite Way to Bridestowe along the country lanes and onwards to Lydford. Looping back round to Bridestowe, along the rolling hills of west Dartmoor, back to the Granite way for your return to Okehampton.

DAY 8 Departure
Tour is complete after breakfast.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

2016 Devon self guided tour price

€920 per person sharing

€1325 single room occupancy

Tour Includes

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast accommodation
  • 24 speed touring bike with a pannier bag, bike lock, repair kit, pump
  • Tour Information pack
  • Route details/Maps
  • Luggage transfer each day

Self Guided Tour Information

Tours can start daily from May to September

The information is currently being updated. New content coming soon.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

How to get to the start point:
By Plane
To Bristol or Exeter. From Bristol train to Exeter and then bus/taxi to Okehampton.
By Train
To Exeter and then bus or taxi to Okehampton.
Trains
National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950 rail.co.uk

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,
Ireland.

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168

info@cyclingsafaris.com

Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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