We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Day on Bikes”
Review of Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail
Ranked #144 of 872 things to do in Devon
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Tarka Trail is a pedestrian and cycle way within the North Devon Biosphere Reserve. This page is for the 48km, shared-use section between Braunton and Meeth which runs along the line of an old railway. It is part of the National Cycle Network and totally traffic free. Along this stretch, interpretation boards and other information help you discover the heritage, culture and natural features you can see. Horses are also welcome between Torrington (Servis bridleway) and Meeth. Further detailed information, including maps can be found in the Tarka Trail Guide available online from the website and in local bookshops, museums and Tourist Information Centres.
Reviewed 12 July 2013

The trail follows the path of a Nineteenth Century railway line as it ambles through the beautiful Devon countryside and because it was once a railway, the route is level with only the most shallow of inclines. The tracks have been replaced by a dedicated cycleway which makes riding it almost universally easy and you don't have to be a regular cyclist to enjoy the route.

We hired bikes at the trail centre in Barnstaple from 'Tarka Trail Cycle Hire' located at the railway station. My general experience of hired bikes is that they frequently tend to be somewhat hammered but this was a real exception. The bikes at the centre are in excellent condition, well maintained and very reasonably priced to hire.

The are no cars on the trail - only other cyclists and walkers - but the path is mostly wide enough for everyone to use it with plenty of room to spare. One thing to note is that the trail is not a loop so you should plan your outward journey based on the anticipation that you will have to come back.

The trail has plenty of pubs & cafes dotted along it for those wishing to refuel en route.

Can't be missed.

Thank Mnky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (181)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

153 - 157 of 181 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2013

Enjoyed a cycle ride along the Tarka trail from Barnstaple to Westleigh. Enjoy the views! Make sure to stop at the Fremington cafe for something to eat or drink!
The Tarka trail is very long but worth doing!

Thank AngeAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

We (4 adults) cycled the round trip from Meeth to Bideford which is all on the disused railway - about 35 miles and it was lovely. Surprisingly we had the vast majority to ourselves. It's a mixture of tarmac and gravelly/slightly muddy surface so recommend a mountain/hybrid bike not a road bike. It's really scenic and about as flat as you can hope for around this very hilly area - hills are long and gentle.
We stopped for a ginger beer at the lovely Yarde Café which is handily situated at the top of a bit of a climb on the way back to Meeth.

1  Thank JessieO111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013 via mobile

We hired bikes at Torrington, two bikes with my husband pulling a children's buggy behind him. The trail was fairly flat and I managed fine despite having not been on a bike for almost 20 years! The scenery was lovely if not a little windy along the estuary section. Everybody we met along the way was polite and kept to the 'trail rules'. Plenty of places to stop for a rest or a bite to eat. We stopped at the Instow Arms where the food was great before cycling back (much harder than the way there!). Thoroughly recommend the trail for all those willing to have a go! Torrington cycle hire was also excellent.

Thank Ruso199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

We decided to try the trail from Barnstaple to Bideford ( 18 miles round trip ). We hired bikes at Barnstaple and found. the track to be both level and tarmaced. We stopped off in Instow for a beer and then went to Bideford for Lunch. The route was not too busy and there are plenty of places to lock up your bike. On the way back we stopped off a cafe in Fremlington for coffee and cake... well we had burned off some calories. Overall a nice acctive day out, although legs are abit stiff the next day. Question Why after all these years bike saddles are still not comfortable.

1  Thank steve s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Tarka Trail also viewed


Been to Tarka Trail? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing