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24 September 2014

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Cycle route: Grand Western Canal
Horse drawn boat on canal at Tiverton
Horse drawn boat on the Grand Western Canal as photographed by John Eustace
Step back in time by cycling this tranquil stretch of waterway through the Devon countryside.

Enjoy some superb open views of the landscape as you ride along the towpath between Tiverton and the Somerset border.
Other cycle routes:
Plym Valley trail
Granite Way
Devon coast to coast
Torbay coast trail
Tarka Trail
Wessex Way
Devon cycling guides

Devon County Council

National Cyclists Org

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

The towpath runs for 16 miles between Tiverton and the Somerset boundary.

The canal was closed as a commercial waterway in 1925.

If you are travelling by train, Tiverton Parkway station is a short way from the canal.

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The cycle route along this quiet stretch of waterway follows the Grand Western Canal as it meanders through the Devon countryside.

The towpath provides an easy ride for the cyclist and the ever-changing scenery varies from sheltered woodland to open countryside with sweeping views of the Blackdown Hills. This route is ideal for families with children.

This year a new cycle link has been opened up from Willand and Tiverton Parkway Station joining the canal near Sampford Peverell.

Cycling along the towpath
Cyclists should take special care on the canal towpath
Designed by John Rennie and built at the end of the nineteenth century, the canal was closed as a commercial waterway in 1925. Since 1971 it has been restored as a country park and is enjoyed by walkers, anglers and passengers on a horse drawn boat.

Cyclists are advised to take special care when riding along the towpath and be prepared to dismount when passing beneath bridges.

The Grand Western Canal forms part of the West Country Way cycle route which runs from Padstow to Bristol.

Pond near Tiverton Station
A new link from Tiverton Parkway Station joins the canal near Sampford Peverell
There are good car parks and picnic sites at Tiverton, Tiverton Road Bridge on the A373, Halberton (Greenway Bridge), Sampford Peverell and Burlescombe.

For those wishing to start at Tiverton, the canal basin is well signposted with brown tourism road signs. Otherwise the towpath is accessible from all road bridges in the villages mentioned.

A detailed route map for the entire West Country Way including the Grand Western Canal is available from Sustrans.

  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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