Cycling in the West Country - MorTraveling: Budget Travel,Tips and Destination Insights

Cycling in the West Country

The West Country is the perfect destination for a cycling vacation because of its seaside views, country lanes, and enormous natural spaces. Whether you are planning to visit Dorset, Somerset, Devon, or Cornwall, there are cyclist-friendly trails in all four counties that open up the countryside to cyclists. Get ready to take in the sights, explore local villages and feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your back – though, of course, packing a waterproof is recommended!



Tarka Trail


Named after the fictional Tarka the Otter, the North Devon Tarka trail runs through Lynmouth, Barnstaple, Bideford, Torrington, Okehampton, and Ilfracombe, making the trail easily accessible with no need to drive or take a train out to the sticks.

Being connected to towns like Barnstable also makes it easy to stop off for a refreshment or break up the journey. The trail is also relatively easy and completely traffic free, making it ideal for children or less experienced cyclists. Take in views of the estuary and enjoy the welcome shade of North Devon’s wooded valleys.

Northport Greenway and Sika Cycle Trail


This safe, child-friendly cycle route runs from Wareham Quay to Wareham Forest in Dorset. Being primarily off-road, it is ideal for less experienced cyclists or those wanting to cycle with their kids.

The Northport Greenway route runs through the quiet streets of Wareham, then through Northmoor towards Wareham Forest, where the Sika part of the route goes around in a circle in the forest.

This cycle route offers all the best Dorset has to offer: rolling hills, secret, wooded lanes, and stunning views of the Jurassic Coast.

The Camel Trail


Meanwhile, in Cornwall, the 18-mile Camel Trail attracts local cyclists and tourists alike. Again this is a relatively traffic-free route that boasts some of the best Cornish countryside.

The trail runs along a quaint disused railway line, before joining the wooded Camel Valley, passing through some of Cornwall’s lushest countryside and most attractive seaside towns along the way. Padstow, Wadebridge, Bodmin, and Wenfordbridge all offer bike hire, meaning you can join the trail wherever is most convenient for you.

The Dartmoor Way


The beauty of Dartmoor astounds tourists and locals alike and the 95-mile-long Dartmoor Way makes the most of its fascinating rock formations, craggy terrain, and panoramic views.

The figure of eight routes makes it easy for less experienced cyclists to plan a shorter route and you will pass by a number of places to eat, drink and recuperate. Part country lanes and part moorland roads, the Dartmoor Way trail is a fantastic way to explore Dartmoor.

Porlock


Recognized as one of Britain’s best mountain bike trails, the Porlock Exmoor route is a 6-mile cycle trail ideal for more experienced cyclists. The steep, rocky trail runs through Horner Wood, Brockwell, Dunkery Beacon, Hawkcombe Head, and Worthy Wood, taking you into the very heart of Somerset’s countryside.

Follow this trail in late summer for a higher chance of warm weather and to see the heather in full bloom. This cycle trail may be more challenging, but it is well worth it for the thrilling journey and beautiful views – just be sure to enjoy a hearty meal in Porlock before setting off.

With a little creativity, all of these trails can be both shortened or extended, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop off along the way, either with a picnic or at a quaint local pub. So, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist accustomed to roaming the countryside by bike, or a more casual bike rider looking to explore the countryside with the family, there is a West Country cycle trail for you.
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