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24 September 2014

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Cycle route: Braunton to Barnstaple
Cyclinga\long the estuary at Braunton
Estuary views from the cycle trail at Braunton
An ideal introduction to cycling for families and novices.

The popular Tarka Trail is a gentle off-road route along the scenic banks of the Rivers Taw and Torridge.
Other cycle routes:
Plym Valley trail
Granite Way
Devon coast to coast
Grand Western Canal
Torbay coast trail
Wessex Way
Devon cycling guides

Devon County Council

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The Tarka Trail stretches over 180 miles taking a looping route through North and Mid Devon, from the rugged Atlantic Coast to the northern slopes of Dartmoor.

Mostly off-road, the Tarka Trail can be broken up into easily managed sections for those who don't want a strenuous ride.

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The route along the riverbank between Braunton and Barnstaple forms part of the well known Tarka Trail.

This part of the trail offers easy, flat, traffic-free cycling suitable for all the family around the wide expanse of the Taw/Torridge Estuary.

Views across the estuary and tidal creeks towards Instow and Appledore help to make this a superbly scenic ride.

Taw Torridge Estuary
Looking across theTaw/Torridge estuary from the cycle trail
Visitors to this section of the Tarka Trail should try to take time out to visit Braunton Burrows, another haven for wildlife. This is an area which is made up of sand dunes and marram grass, rich in rare species of flowers, birds and insects.

The trail also takes you near to Crow Point where you can enjoy watching swans, ducks and moorhen in the drainage channels.

This year cyclists can enjoy a new traffic-free approach to Barnstaple along the quayside using the newly opened Yeo Swing Bridge.

For those with energy to spare the Tarka Trail continues from Barnstaple to Instow, Bideford, Torrington and on to Petrockstowe.

Tarka Trail
A glorious traffic-free route through rural countryside
This section of the Tarka Trail forms part of the spectacular Devon Coast to Coast cycle route. From Ilfracombe on Devon's north coast to Plymouth in the south.

Largely tracing the course of former railway lines, the 90 mile route passes through tunnels and across the breathtaking viaducts and bridges bequeathed by Victorian railway engineers.

For those starting at Braunton follow the signs from the town centre. At Barnstaple the route starts at the quayside near the North Devon District Council offices.

  Make sure you are prepared
Bike icon Suitable clothing for the time of year.
Bike icon Bottles of drink and snacks.
Bike icon Map and Guide.
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