Guided Devon & Cornwall Cycling Tour
At a Glance
Cycle across Devon and Cornwall on this 6 Day Guided Adventure
Venture to the South West, into Devon and Cornwall, and experience England’s spectacular coastline at its finest. With over 70% of this tour on disused railway tracks, this guided cycling tour takes you off road, following scenic bike trails crossing wild moors, stunning estuaries and beautiful beaches.
Pedal the north coast of Devon, passing the famous surf beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe, before descending into Cornwall on the world-famous Camel Trail. Along the way, stop in iconic locations such as Dartmoor and Padstow, while our experienced local guides fetch you the best cream tea around or point you toward cosy pubs in smugglers’ coves. And at the end of each day, rest up in tried-and-tested hotels and B&B’s.
The South West is just waiting to be explored, and with Active England to guide you, we promise a tour of Devon and Cornwall that will take your breath away.
Arriving into Tiverton Parkway for 11.00am, our local guides meet you at the station before transferring to dramatic north Devon coast. After enjoying lunch in the picturesque harbour town of Ilfracombe, we don our cycling gear and bike around some of North Devon’s famous surf beaches. Lungs filled with coastal air, we continue into the ancient river-port town of Barnstaple, where we check in for the night before beginning our crossing of inland Devon.
Joining the Tarka Trail, named after Henry Williamson’s famous 1927 novel, Tarka the Otter, we cycle along the stunning Taw and Torridge estuaries via Bideford and Great Torrington. Stopping at a quirky railway-station-turned-café for lunch, we then pick up the Tarka Trail again and bike along converted railway lines to Hatherleigh. One of Devon’s smallest but liveliest towns, we check in here to The George Inn, enjoying a pint of local ale, a plate of fresh food and a well-deserved rest.
Starting north of Okehampton, we take a slight detour up to Dartmoor, where we’ll be treated to stunning views and a magical atmosphere. After lunching in the charming market town of Chagford, we cycle high onto the moors and ride all the way into the Tavistock. The only town in Devon to hold World Heritage status, we stop here for the night. There’ll be plenty of opportunity for our guides to help you trial Devon’s famous cream tea. Just remember while in Devon to put cream on the scone before jam!
Our final day in Devon takes us on Drake’s Trail, a mostly downhill ride into Plymouth, where we visit the place from which the Founding Fathers set out for America in 1620. Continuing into Tinside, we’ll have chance for a dip in the iconic waterside lido before we transfer into Cornwall. Our final stop is the picturesque estuary town of Padstow, our home for the next two nights.
Travelling a few miles to the top of the famous Camel Trail, we bike down the coast toward Padstow. One of the most enticing destinations in all of Cornwall, and famous for Rick Stein’s fish and chips, we’ll take a good look around this gorgeous harbour town. In the afternoon, there’ll be opportunity to visit locations made famous by Poldark and Doc Martin, before spending our final night together in Padstow.
Our tour ends after breakfast, when we help with your onward travel arrangements. Most of our guests transfer to Bodmin Parkway or Tiverton Parkway railway stations. Wherever your journey takes you next, though, our guides will be on hand to provide all the help you need.
The George Inn, Hatherleigh
Having first been established around 1450 The George Inn is one of the oldest pubs in the county of Devon, and located in the smallest town in Devon. Famous for its welcoming and homely atmosphere, they offer freshly cooked food served by friendly staff.
Old Custom House, Padstow
Holding prime on Padstow's South Quay, the hotel overlooks the medieval harbour full of fishing boats. Just the place if you love fresh, quality food and drink while soaking up one of Cornwall’s finest seascapes.
What our guides say...
Seeing the best of the South West on two wheels is a great way to earn a cream tea (cream first in Devon) or fish & chips!
- All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
- All breakfasts and x2 dinners (excluding dinner drinks)
- Bikes / E-bikes available on request
- GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
- All special events, iconic points of interests, expert guests and entrance fees
- All transportation from rendezvous to farewell locations
- All baggage transportation
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
- Services of a professional local guide
We have handpicked the best family run, independent and country hotels, pubs and guest houses. Cosy and with informal dining, these country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales. Our handpicked accommodation is 3* with the option to upgrade to 4* for an additional cost.
This tour is rated moderate, requiring guests to be competent cyclists with the ability to consistently bike 30 miles. There are hills to climb, but we’ll be well-rewarded with some truly wonderful descents.
- Phone mounts
- Bike accessories
- Guests are free to bring their own pedals / saddles, which we will fit to the bikes
Pick-up location: Tiverton Parkway railway station. Our cycling holidays are designed to be completely relaxing, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Tiverton Parkway, a direct 2-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Tiverton Parkway or Bodmin Parkway.
Where is Devon and Cornwall?
Cornwall is in the far South West of England, bordered by the famous English Channel and Celtic Sea. Known for its natural beauty, rugged coastline, idyllic coastal villages, beaches and walking and cycling trails, Cornwall is an outdoor enthusiast’s ideal playground!
Devon is Cornwall’s wild neighbour, with craggy coasts to the North and South and ancient hills on Dartmoor! It has inspired authors and painters from afar and is a beautiful area in all weathers.
What is the best way to get to Devon and Cornwall?
The best way out of London and into Devon and Cornwall is by train. From Paddington direct to Exeter St David’s or Tiverton Parkway in around 2 hours, or continue to Bodmin Parkway in 4 hours. The South West is also easily accessible from Bristol and the Midlands by train. If you prefer to drive, there is station parking available at all train stations.
To get a bit deeper into both counties it is easy to get a taxi from the train station.
Can I do a cycle tour as a solo traveller?
All our trips are open for single travellers to join, these trips are a great way to meet social, like-minded people, active and looking for a great holiday. Over 30% of our guests travel alone. Solo guests have the option to have a room on their own or share with another guest.
Are the roads safe to cycle on in Devon & Cornwall?
Our carefully curated routes try to stick to quiet country roads, off-road gravel paths or dedicated cycle trails.
How hilly is Devon & Cornwall?
There are hills, but with hills come great views and it means you feel like you’ve earned your fish & chips, cream tea or Cornish pasty!
You can also choose an electric bike if you’d prefer to have a boost!
What to pack for a cycling holiday?
A sense of adventure! We’ll provide bicycles and helmets but you are welcome to bring your own saddle and pedals which we’ll fit to our bikes for you.
Which cycling holiday should I choose?
Guided or self-guided…
Our guides are the beating heart of our tours and can make all the difference to the enjoyment of your holiday – so we make sure to choose them VERY carefully! They are driven, knowledgeable, know how to have A LOT of fun and importantly will do their best to make your trip magical and memorable.
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the independent traveller or groups of travellers; those who wish to explore at their own pace and speed. With Ride With GPS and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Cycle at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is always on standby.
The choice is yours, but choosing Devon & Cornwall is a great start!
How fit and active do I need to be to come on a cycling tour?
Our trips have different length route options for those wishing to travel further or faster, and for those looking for a more leisurely ride. Daily route options vary from 30-50 miles on average. You can always upgrade to an e-bike if you prefer!
What’s the weather like in Devon & Cornwall?
Changeable! Devon & Cornwall has a much more tropical climate than the rest of England so it is often warmer and wetter – it’s not uncommon to have sunshine and showers in the same day, or even the same hour! It’s generally very pleasant and settled during the summer.
Want to extend your trip?
Add a few extra nights to your trip with a visit to London or the charming Cotswolds.
What’s the Number?
Nearly everything has a carbon footprint. Together with ecollective, we’ve measured the carbon impact of not only every tour we operate but our entire business. We’ve taken into account greenhouse gas emissions across the business including office, travel, website, vehicles, accommodation, activities, food, suppliers…
What does the number mean?
We’re going to improve this by measuring and reducing our footprint each year. That means working with our suppliers to make changes that have a more positive impact on us and the planet. What does this look like in reality?
- Redesign trips to reduce our carbon impact
- Working closely with all our suppliers across England to join us on our decarbonisation journey
- Switching up our vehicle fleet to electric
- Investing in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for any emissions that remain.
We’ve got a long way to go but we’re on our way to net-zero
We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future. We’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.