Wednesday 28th July 2021

Tarka Trail Adventures

The Tarka Trail is a great way to explore the stunning North Devon landscape. Made up of traffic-free footpaths and cycleways, the 180 mile trail is largely flat and suitable for enjoying on foot or two-wheels.

The figure-of-eight layout of the trail gets its name from the route taken by the fictional character Tarka the Otter. Follow in the same footsteps and take in a combination of countryside and coastal views as you explore the trail. The perfect way to get outdoors on your holiday and discover landmarks and places to see in the area.

One of the benefits of enjoying a North Devon holiday at Willingcott Valley are the great walks nearby. Not far from our holiday village entrance is part of the Tarka Trail's northern loop. Which makes it easy to join the path and begin your Tarka Trail adventures!

Cycling on the Tarka Trail

Cycling is one of the most popular ways to explore the The Tarka Trail. The even stretches of pathway mean that the terrain is suitable for most ages and abilities. Some cyclists like to bring their own bikes on their North Devon holiday, however there are plenty of cycle hire companies along the trail.

A large part of the Tarka Trail was previously a railway line. Following its conversion it now provides long flat sections, perfect for cycling. The part of the trail which runs between Braunton and Meeth is 30 miles of fully tarmacked cycleway. This traffic-free section is the longest one of its kind in the country!

Tarka Trail cycling Photo credit: Stuart Berry on Flickr

A walker's paradise

The Tarka Trail is great for walks and there are a number of enjoyable routes to enjoy. Devon County Council have produced a very useful walking guide with 11 easy to follow way marked circular walks. Most have easy access to pubs and cafés.

A total of 55 miles of the trail is shared with the South West Coast Path. Consequently, there are plenty of stunning North Devon coastal views to admire en-route. The series of short walks available should take in the region of 2-4 hours to complete, which allows time to explore sights along the way.

Points of interest on The Tarka Trail

Located at the centre of the trail is the historic market town of Barnstaple. This makes it one of the ideal places to begin adventures on the trail.

The northern section runs through Exmoor National Park, Lynton and the Valley of Rocks. The Southern loop follows along the river Torridge, Okehampton and the edge of Dartmoor National Park.

Tarka Trail bridgePhoto credit: Andrew on Flickr

Tarka Trail code of conduct

It's important to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone using the Tarka Trail, please follow the official code of conduct.

 Main photo credit: Stuart Berry on Flickr

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