Devon Coast to Coast Tour

ENGLAND'S ULTIMATE FAMILY-FRIENDLY CYCLING ADVENTURE

This arrangement is a true cycling exploration. It covers the Devon Coast to Coast cycle route, which is developing into a must do amongst UK cyclists. Most of the route is on well maintained cycle paths on dismantled railway lines, offering great views of the Devon countryside. The total distance is relatively small, meaning it is possible to cycle the route as a mini break when you are an enthusiastic cyclist, but the route is also ideal for novice cyclists and children who would like to have a relaxed active holiday for a week. Just watch our video to get a good impression of the route:

Our offer is based on Bed & Breakfast accommodation. You can choose between two, three, four, five or six days of cycling. We offer hybrid bike hire and electric bike hire on this route. All our partners are well established small businesses in the area, meaning you'll be fully supporting the local economy!

Note: If you do not want to book a package holiday, but like to explore the route completely independently, look at our Devon Coast to Coast Guidebook, published in 2017. Also, if you want things all organised for you, you'll receive a copy of this book as part of your package holiday!

Route Summary:

Whatever your means of transport, in Exeter you'll board the Tarka Line train. From Barnstaple station you will be transfered to your first B&B accommodation, where you can check in from 4 pm onwards. If you brought your own bikes on the train, you'll be cycling to the accommodation. If you are renting bikes via us, you'll be collected by taxi from the B&B next morning and brought you to our local bike hire partner. After you selected your bikes, you can start cycling! If you brought your own bikes, you can obviously start cycling from the accommodation straight away!

Depending on the length of your tour and the extras chosen, you can opt for the extra ride from Woolacombe to Barnstaple. In this situation, we'll transfer your party and your bikes to spectacular Woolacombe Beach, from where you'll cycle back to Barnstaple. On our six-day tour, this will be the full stage of the day. On any other package, this distance would be added to the itinerary of your first cycling day. Please check our distances table to judge whether you'd like to cycle this extra distance or not!

Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

Don't worry if you want to skip the Woolacombe ride, because you'll see plenty of coastal scenery when setting off from Barnstaple towards Bideford. The traffic-free Tarka Trail hits the North Devon Coast at Instow, where you can enjoy the scenic, slightly inland beach. Just around the corner is pretty Bideford, the gateway to the splendid Atlantic beach of Westward Ho!

From Westward Ho! you will return to Bideford to rejoin the Tarka Trail. The dismantled railway route follows the beautiful Torridge valley and criss-crosses the river several times. You also cycle through a former railway tunnel. It doesn't take long before you get the feeling you are away from it all. Near the attractive small town of Hatherleigh you get off the Tarka Trail to follow a route along quiet country lanes with great views of Dartmoor on the horizon. You also cycle across Abbeyford Forest before you make your way to Okehampton. This town is in the heartland of Devon and a major hub for those who want to explore Dartmoor National Park; its high steep slopes dwarf the buildings in the town, such as the impressive ruins of the local castle.

Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

The next dismantled railway route is the Granite Way which guides you across some impressive railway viaducts, offering you superb views of Dartmoor. You'll pass Lydford Castle and Brent Tor before arriving in Tavistock. This touristy place filled with plenty of shopping opportunities is the birth place of Sir Francis Drake and you won't be surprised to hear that the route now continues via the Drake's Trail, another dismantled railway path with great railway viaducts.

The final section of the route is the Plym Valley Trail. This traffic-free route leads through a wooded valley on the southwestern edge of Dartmoor, guiding you to Plymouth's seafront. You finish the ride in Plymouth Hoe, the pleasant old part of Plymouth, located on a pretty bay along the English Channel. Your B&B accommodation is within walking distance of the city, old harbour and seafront. Rental bikes will be collected at the end of the afternoon.

The next morning you'll be transferred by taxi to Plymouth's station from where you take the train back to Exeter. If you brought your own bikes, you cycle your own bikes to the station. The last treat of your tour is the spectacular train ride from Plymouth back to Exeter via the famous English Riviera coast. Between Newton Abbot and Exeter, the railway hugs the beautiful coast line, guaranteeing spectacular views! The holiday package ends on arrival at the Exeter station of your choice.

Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

Check your Cycling Profile:

This arrangement is designed for both enthusiastic cyclists (2/3 days of cycling) and novice cyclists and families with children who like to take their cycling easy (4/5/6 days of cycling). Most of the route is on traffic-free paths along the courses of dismantled railways without steep gradients. However, the links between these paths are made by some quiet country lanes on which you will encounter both very steep climbs and steep descents. As long you are fit and happy to walk your bike along these stretches (up to half a mile per stretch) you can do the Devon Coast to Coast. Note that children should be supervised by an adult at all times. We also expect them to be able to cycle according to Bikeability Level 2 of the National Standard. If you are unsure, please contact us.

Our bike hire partner has aluminum frame comfort bikes available with semi-slick tyres, ideal for off-road and on-road usage. All adult rental bikes have at least 18 gears, mud guards and luggage racks fitted. Children bikes will have at least 6 gears. Smaller bikes won't have mud guards and luggage racks. The use of a helmet is also included in the rental price. We also have now electric bikes available. These Raleigh E-bikes (or equivalent) come with 6 gears and 3 modes of power (low/medium/high), naturally fitted with mud guards and luggage racks. Please note all E-bike riders much be at least 16 years of age due to insurance requirements.

If you bring your own bikes, bear in mind the route is not suitable for racing bicycles with narrow tyres, as there are some sections of gravel tracks. It is wise to use a bike with at least 18 gears. This makes it possible to deal with the occasional steep climb.

Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

Overview cycling times (estimated at easy pace) and info on when you can start:

Six cycling days (our extended classic family package):
Day 1: Train transfer Exeter - Barnstaple (always on a Saturday)
Day 2: Transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe and Woolacombe - Barnstaple: 2.5 hours
Day 3: Barnstaple - Westward Ho!: 2 hours
Day 4: Westward Ho! - Torrington: 2.5 hours
Day 5: Torrington - Okehampton: 4 hours
Day 6: Okehampton - Tavistock: 3 hours
Day 7: Tavistock - Plymouth: 3 hours
Day 8: Train transfer Plymouth - Exeter

Five cycling days (our classic family package):
Day 1: Train transfer Exeter - Barnstaple (always on a Sunday)
Day 2: Barnstaple - Westward Ho!: 2 hours
(for extra option Woolacombe - Barnstaple, incl. transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe: add 4 hours all-in)
Day 3: Westward Ho! - Torrington: 2.5 hours
Day 4: Torrington - Okehampton: 4 hours
Day 5: Okehampton - Tavistock: 3 hours
Day 6: Tavistock - Plymouth: 3 hours
Day 7: Train transfer Plymouth - Exeter

Four cycling days:
Day 1: Train transfer Exeter - Barnstaple (always on a Monday)
Day 2: Barnstaple - Torrington: 2.5 hours (when riding via Westward Ho! add 2 hours)
(for extra option Woolacombe - Barnstaple, incl. transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe: add 4 hours all-in)
Day 3: Torrington - Okehampton: 4 hours
Day 4: Okehampton - Tavistock: 3 hours
Day 5: Tavistock - Plymouth: 3 hours
Day 6: Train transfer Plymouth - Exeter

Three cycling days:
Day 1: Train transfer Exeter - Barnstaple (always on a Monday or Tuesday)
Day 2: Barnstaple - Torrington: 2.5 hours (when riding via Westward Ho! add 2 hours)
(for extra option Woolacombe - Barnstaple, incl. transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe: add 4 hours all-in)
Day 3: Torrington - Lydford: 5 hours
Day 4: Lydford - Plymouth: 5 hours
Day 5: Train transfer Plymouth - Exeter

Two cycling days:
Day 1: Train transfer Exeter - Barnstaple (always on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday)
Day 2: Barnstaple - Okehampton: 5 hours (when riding via Westward Ho! add 2 hours)
(for extra option Woolacombe - Barnstaple, incl. transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe: add 4 hours all-in)
Day 3: Okehampton - Plymouth: 5 hours
Day 4: Train transfer Plymouth - Exeter

When selecting your itinerary, please ensure all members of your party will be able to keep up with the chosen travel plan. If you are unsure, please contact us.

You'll need to book this arrangement at least three weeks in advance.

Keen cyclists who would also consider a serious walk on the South West Coast Path in combination with the Coast to Coast cycle route should look into our Devon & Somerset Explorer Tour.

Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

Prices 2017:

Prices per person for booking by five people:
2 cycling days: £309 / 3 cycling days: £349 / 4 cycling days: £389 / 5 cycling days: £429 / 6 cycling days: £489.

Prices per person for booking by four people:
2 cycling days: £319 / 3 cycling days: £359 / 4 cycling days: £399 / 5 cycling days: £439 / 6 cycling days: £499.

Prices per person for booking by three people:
2 cycling days: £329 / 3 cycling days: £369 / 4 cycling days: £409 / 5 cycling days: £449 / 6 cycling days: £509.

Prices per person for booking by two people:
2 cycling days: £359 / 3 cycling days: £399 / 4 cycling days: £439 / 5 cycling days: £479 / 6 cycling days: £539.

Prices per person for booking by one person only:
2 cycling days: £419 / 3 cycling days: £509 / 4 cycling days: £559 / 5 cycling days: £599 / 6 cycling days: £699.

Included are:
- Bed & Breakfast accommodation: number of nights is always one more than total number of cycling days
- Devon Coast to Coast Guidebook, including maps, route directions and visitor information
- GPS-tracks via email, which you can import to your outdoors navigation device (optional)
- Train tickets Exeter -Barnstaple and Plymouth-Exeter (no seat reservation, off peak trains only)
- Transfers in Barnstaple and Plymouth between B&B accommodations and stations
- Transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe (only included in the standard package with six days of cycling, for all other packages, this is an extra service)
- High visibility vests
- Emergency assistance when required
- VAT
Prices are based on people sharing rooms in Bed & Breakfasts. On a booking for 3 people or more we expect 2 people to share a double bed.

Not included are:
- Entrance fees for museums and attractions
- Lunch / Dinner / Additional Drinks and Snacks
- The return journey between your home and Exeter
- Luggage transport between accommodations
- Bicycle Rental or Electric Bike Rental
- Pannier bags rental (bring your own small handlebars bag (for our route book) and pannier bags (if you intend to transport your own luggage))
- Transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe (this transfer is only included in the standard package with six days of cycling)
- All extra costs related to emergency assistance
- Travel and Cancellation Insurances

Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

Prices extra options:

Please note: all extras need to be booked at the same time as the booking of the main package!

Bicycle Rental:
Prices per bicycle for booking by five people:
2 cycling days: £90 / 3 cycling days: £110 / 4 cycling days: £130 / 5 cycling days: £150 / 6 cycling days: £170.

Prices per bicycle for booking by four people:
2 cycling days: £100 / 3 cycling days: £120 / 4 cycling days: £140 / 5 cycling days: £160 / 6 cycling days: £180.

Prices per bicycle for booking by three people:
2 cycling days: £110 / 3 cycling days: £130 / 4 cycling days: £160 / 5 cycling days: £170 / 6 cycling days: £190.

Prices per bicycle for booking by two people:
2 cycling days: £130 / 3 cycling days: £150 / 4 cycling days: £170 / 5 cycling days: £190 / 6 cycling days: £210.

Prices per bicycle for booking by one person only:
2 cycling days: £210 / 3 cycling days: £230 / 4 cycling days: £250 / 5 cycling days: £270 / 6 cycling days: £290.

These charges include a taxi transfer for you from the B&B accommodation in Barnstaple to the local bike rental and a pick up service of all rented bikes in the B&B in Plymouth for transport back to Barnstaple.

All bike rentals come with lock, pump and puncture repair kit. We expect all parties to be able to fix punctures themselves without assistance. For any serious repairs, the free breakdown repair service applies. In that case, taxi transport will be provided to the bike repair shop in the next town, for two riders with their bikes only. We can arrange the same service to people who bring own bikes, but in that case you pay the cost for taxi transfers and repairs yourself.

Devon Coast to Coast Electric Bike   Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast Hybrid Bike

Electric Bike Rental:
Prices per E-bike for booking by five people:
2 cycling days: £120 / 3 cycling days: £160 / 4 cycling days: £200 / 5 cycling days: £240 / 6 cycling days: £280.

Prices per E-bike for booking by four people:
2 cycling days: £130 / 3 cycling days: £170 / 4 cycling days: £210 / 5 cycling days: £250 / 6 cycling days: £290.

Prices per E-bike for booking by three people:
2 cycling days: £140 / 3 cycling days: £180 / 4 cycling days: £220 / 5 cycling days: £260 / 6 cycling days: £300.

Prices per E-bike for booking by two people:
2 cycling days: £160 / 3 cycling days: £200 / 4 cycling days: £240 / 5 cycling days: £280 / 6 cycling days: £320.

Prices per E-bike for booking by one person only:
2 cycling days: £240 / 3 cycling days: £280 / 4 cycling days: £320 / 5 cycling days: £360 / 6 cycling days: £400.

These charges include a taxi transfer for you from the B&B accommodation in Barnstaple to the local bike rental and a pick up service of all rented bikes in the B&B in Plymouth for transport back to Barnstaple.

All E-bike rentals come with lock and pump. For any repairs, the free breakdown repair service applies. In that case, taxi transport will be provided to the bike repair shop in the next town, for two riders with their bikes only. We can arrange the same service to people who bring own E-bikes, but in that case you pay the cost for taxi transfers and repairs yourself.

Daily luggage transport service:
Prices per piece of luggage, with a total quantity of five pieces of luggage:
2 cycling days: £25 / 3 cycling days: £40 / 4 cycling days: £50 / 5 or 6 cycling days: £60

Prices per piece of luggage, with a total quantity of four pieces of luggage:
2 cycling days: £30 / 3 cycling days: £45 / 4 cycling days: £55 / 5 or 6 cycling days: £70

Prices per piece of luggage, with a total quantity of three pieces of luggage:
2 cycling days: £35 / 3 cycling days: £50 / 4 cycling days: £60 / 5 or 6 cycling days: £80

Prices per piece of luggage, with a total quantity of two pieces of luggage:
2 cycling days: £40 / 3 cycling days: £60 / 4 cycling days: £80 / 5 or 6 cycling days: £100

Prices per piece of luggage, with a total quantity of one piece of luggage only:
2 cycling days: £50 / 3 cycling days: £60 / 4 cycling days: £80 / 5 or 6 cycling days: £100

Note: there is a weight limit of 25 kilograms per piece of luggage. You'll be required to present your luggage for transport by 9 am daily. The courier will deliver the bags at the next accommodation by 6 pm at the latest. On the tour with 6 cycling days, there is no luggage transport on the first cycling day (you travel back and forth to Barnstaple). Note, when booking this service, you'll still have to carry your own luggage from Exeter to your Barnstaple accommodation and from the Plymouth accommodation back to Exeter.

Transfer Barnstaple - Woolacombe:
This transfer is only included in the standard package with six days of cycling. Otherwise there are charges for transport of the person and rider. Depending on demand, bikes and people may be transported simultaneously via different vehicles.

Prices: £25 per bicycle and rider. Note there is an extra charge of £25 when this service is required for one person only. When booking this service for five people or more, the charge is £20 per bicycle and rider.

Luggage storage:
If you book our regular bike rental service, it is also possible to store luggage which you don’t need during your cycling days. In that case, you present this luggage at the bike rental when collecting the bikes. The bike rental will return your luggage at the accommodation in Plymouth. Note; this service is only available if you also book the bike rental service!

Prices per piece of luggage:
2 cycling days: £2.50 / 3 cycling days: £3.50 / 4 cycling days: £4.50 / 5 cycling days: £5.50 / 6 cycling days: 6.50

Map   Devon Coast to Coast   Devon Coast to Coast

Travel Information:

By train: We recommend you travel to Exeter by train. Great Western Railway runs a direct link with London Paddington. Cross Country Trains also serves Exeter with a good connection to Birmingham and beyond. Both companies carry bicycles for free, but reservations are recommended. Total travel time from London to Exeter St. Davids station: approximately 3 hours.

By plane: If you travel from further afield, Exeter Airport is the airport to which to fly. The airport is the hub of carrier FlyBE. Take a bus to Exeter St. Davids station or a taxi to Digby and Sowton station to continue by train from there to St. Davids station. Total travel time from Exeter Airport to Exeter St. Davids station: approximately 1 hour.

By car: Exeter is located on the M5-corridor. Note the Exeter St. Davids station car park is expensive for long stay parking. The housing estates west of the station and Exe river offer free on-road parking and are approximately a 20 minute walk away from the station. You could also park your car on-road in a housing estate nearby Digby & Sowton station and take the the train to Exeter St. Davids station from there. Take exit 30 on the M5 and follow signs to the Blue Park & Ride Car Park at Sowton (no overnight parking!), then to Digby & Sowton station. Total travel time from London to Exeter St. Davids station: approximately 4.5 hours.

Bringing own bikes on trains:

If you bring your own bikes on the trains, please note that trains have limited spaces for bikes. If you travel on trains to Exeter, please make sure to make reservation for your bikes on long-distance services. These can normally be obtained at no extra cost.

The Exeter-Barnstaple line has officially two bike spaces only, allocated on a “first come, first served” basis. During the summer months and in holidays this service is very in demand. Conductors will normally try to get as many bikes on the train as possible. It may well be though that railway staff will make you wait for the next train, if the train is full. Trains between Exeter and Barnstaple normally run once per hour, on Sundays only once every two hours. When bringing own bikes on trains, we recommend you travel on this line between Exeter and Barnstaple during the quiet hours between 11 am and 3 pm or after 7 pm.

A bike reservation system is in place on the line between Plymouth and Exeter. When bringing own bikes, we’ll make bike reservations for this route alongside with your tickets. This will require you to travel on a booked train only. We’ll make these reservations for a train leaving Plymouth between 9.30 am and noon on the last day of the arrangement (usually the first train on which bike spaces are available).