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24 September 2014
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Cycle route: Devon Coast to Coast
View towards Dartmoor
The view towards Dartmoor near Hatherleigh
BBC Radio Devon Reporter, Liz Scott, continues her coast to coast cycle ride across Devon. This is an account of day two of her journey.

SEE ALSO
Other cycle routes:
Plym Valley trail
Granite Way
Grand Western Canal
Torbay coast trail
Tarka Trail
Wessex Way
Devon cycling guides

WEB LINKS
Sustrans
Devon County Council

National Cyclists Org

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FACTS

From start to finish the Devon coast to coast cycle route is 102 miles long.

 

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The Granite Way was a brilliant trail, cutting through Dartmoor’s hills on the old railway line.

I felt like I was flying as I cycled above the trees over viaducts and soaked up the stunning views of Dartmoor’s swelling hills and tors.

Toward the end of this section Okehampton’s castle caught my eye; the old keep’s walls seemed to stretch like fingers to the sky.

Ruins of Okehampton Castle
Stretching like fingers into the sky: the ruins of Okehampton Castle

I stopped off here to absorb some of the 1000-years worth of history amongst these atmospheric ruins before getting back on my bike towards Hatherleigh.

The blue cycle signs of the C2C steer you clear of the main roads, through Abbeyford woods and Jacobstowe.

The lanes were so quiet I almost felt like an explorer discovering them for the first time and the sweeping views looking South towards Dartmoor gave me a good excuse to stop off for a breather.

In winter Hatherleigh residents are renowned for rolling burning barrels down the street.

Riding through Hatherleigh
Market town: riding through Hatherleigh

I arrived on a Tuesday, market day; it was a great time to see the town as it filled up with farmers, visitors and stallholders.

From Hatherleigh I seemed to cycle two sides of a triangle through Sheepwash to get to Petrockstowe.

The lanes were hilly and so it was great to pick up the Tarka Trail at Petrockstowe and head up towards Bideford.

Local children helped to make the huge mosaic animal benches that emerge along the route, it made me smile to see this artwork materialising out of the bushes beside this old railway line.

Mosaic benches
Time for a break: lazing on one of the mosaic benches at Petrockstowe

I took a detour off the trail, up the hill to Great Torrington.

This town prides itself on its civil war history with its 1646 Centre, there’s also RHS Rosemoor Gardens, the Plough Arts Centre and the Dartington Crystal Factory where you can see glass being made and blown.

I rejoined the Tarka trail and continued for another five miles, beside the Torridge, ending my day at Bideford.

There’s a Tarka Trail Centre at the old Bideford station and the town has got many pubs and shops to please weary cyclists, which suited me fine as I settled down here for my second night, just another 25 miles to go until I reached Ilfracombe.


Liz's coast to coast ride Day 3 >>

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