Off-road Devon Biking Tour
At a Glance
Cycle across Devon and Cornwall on his 6 Day Guided Adventure
If you prefer cycling on trails rather than road, this is the trip for you. This fully guided cycling tour is perfect for those wanting to experience one of England’s most treasured counties, Devon. Riding coast-to-coast, our itinerary takes us off-road and onto the trails, with scenic bike trails crossing wild moors, stunning estuaries and lush woodlands and parks. Cycle past the famous surf beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe, before heading into the heart of Devon and onto the romantic wilds of Dartmoor as we make our way to Plymouth.
Along the way, visit iconic local landmarks and beautiful wild swimming spots. Enjoy a pint in the oldest pub on the moors and have our hand-picked local guides point you toward the best Devonshire cream tea around. Cycle on the famous Drake’s Trail, visit the brooding landscape that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles and rest up at the end of each day in tried-and-tested hotels and B&B’s.
Devon is just waiting to be discovered, and with Active England to guide you, we promise a guided tour that will take your breath away.
Arriving into Tiverton Parkway for 11.00am, our local guides meet you at the station before transferring to the wilds of Dartmoor. After stopping for 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.
We start north of Okehampton, locally known as the “Gateway to Dartmoor,” and begin our moorland adventure by cycling the trails to Devon’s finest stone circle at Gidleigh Common. Leaving the bikes for a moment, we hike up to the surrounding tors, immersing ourselves in the wild expanse of this unique corner of England. Following a picnic lunch, we return to the cycle trails and trace our way to the charming market town of Chagford. There’ll be plenty of opportunity here for our guides to help you trial Devon’s famous cream tea, as well as to take a refreshing dip in the River Teign. We end the day by resting up and enjoying a delicious dinner at the homely Three Crowns Inn.
Continuing our moorland adventure, we bike down the old railway line toward the picturesque town of Bovey Tracey. We then skirt back around and climb on foot from Haytor to Hound Tor, said to be the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, before making our way to the highest and most remote pub on the moors. Standing 434 metres above sea-level and with a fire that’s been burning for 200 years, we stop here for lunch before looping back around for a second evening in Chagford.
For the next leg of our journey south, we bike along The Granite Way toward Lydford and onto the famous Drake’s Trail. Along the way, we’ll have the opportunity to hike to one of the stunning filming locations for War Horse, and to cycle around Burrator Reservoir, passing through the labyrinth of prehistoric fields around Down Tor. From here, we continue to Plymouth, riding on downhill gravel trails toward the imposing 17th century fortress, the Royal Citadel. Upon arrival in Tinside, there’ll be chance for a dip in the iconic waterside lido to mark the end of your coast-to-coast cycle, before we enjoy a final evening together in Plymouth.
On our final morning, we say our goodbyes. For most guests, this will organise a transfer back to Tiverton Parkway or parting ways at Plymouth Railway Station. 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.
Three Crowns, Chagford
Behind its imposing granite facade, the Three Crowns is a magical mix of 13th century features and contemporary comfort and style. From beamed ceiling and huge inglenook fireplaces, to a glass atrium and stunning courtyard garden, the Three Crowns is a delightful place to enjoy great food and a comfortable stay.
What our guides say...
This trip is epic! Off-road cycling on some beautiful trails and across the moors of Devon.
- 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 easy-to-moderate, requiring guests to be competent cyclists and proficient walkers. Guests wanting to make use of the swimming options must be able to swim 300m unsupported before joining this tour. Every activity remains flexible and dependent on weather conditions, tides and seasonal variations.
- 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: Plymouth railway station.
Where is Devon?
Devon is in the South West of England, with craggy coasts to the North and South and ancient hills on Dartmoor in between! 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?
The best way out of London and into Devon is by train. From Paddington direct to Exeter St David’s or Tiverton Parkway in around 2 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.
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.
How hilly is Devon?
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.
Why choose a guided cycling holiday ?
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.
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?
Changeable! Devon 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?
Perhaps you’d like a few days of active sight-seeing in London before your off-road adventure? Or maybe you fancy exploring the charming villages of the Cotswolds? Check out some of our other trips or chat to the team about options.
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.