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You are here: Things to Do > Activities > Cycling

The Exe Estuary Trail

Cycling in the Heart of Devon

Leisurely rides through the beautiful countryside of Mid Devon, peaceful waterway routes along the River Exe and Grand Western Canal, or exciting off road trails at Haldon Forest and scenic coastal paths of East Devon, the Heart of Devon has an excellent choice of cycle routes for all ages and abilities. 

Discover Devon by bike

Cycling is an easy way to get around the Heart of Devon's towns, click on the links below to view town cycle maps and ideas for scenic cycle routes in the surrounding countryside:

National Cycle Network


There are nearly 150 miles of National Cycle Network in Devon, with routes designed for novice cyclists, offering a safe and enjoyable way to discover the area by bicycle. The West Country Way NCN 3 and the South Coastal Route NCN2 pass through the Heart of Devon, with sections including the popular Exe Estuary Trail, a scenic, mainly flat and off-road route suitable for all abilities.

Also passing through the area is the Devon Coast to Coast NCN Route 27. Sections of this route include the Tarka Trail, a mainly off road route along the old railways between Ilfracombe and Hatherleigh/Meeth; and the Granite Way, a scenic, traffic free cycle/walkway between Okehampton and Lydford on Dartmoor.

The Buzzard Cycle Route (Regional Route 52) is a circular route in East Devon taking in Sidmouth, Seaton, Axminster, Honiton, Woodbury and Exmouth. Some of the route follows the National Cycle Network Route 2 along the south coast of Devon.

The Tour de Manche is one of the three routes developed within the framework of the Cycle West project. From Roscoff to Carentan, the Tour de Manche follows the EuroVelo 4, a network linking European countries. The section from Okehampton to Axminster has something for everyone: verdant hills and pastures, a beautiful coastline designated a Unesco World Heritage site, and city attractions. You’ll also ride through some of Devon’s most picturesque villages.

 Regional Cycle Network 


 Where to hire a bicycle?

Cycling is a great way to explore the city and countryside and if you don't have your own bicycle there are plenty of cycle hire companies in the area to offer advice on where to cycle and bicycles for all ages and abilities, as well as equipment for families such as trailers and tag-a-longs!:

Watch a video of the Exe Estuary Trail below!)

Further information

With scenic rail routes to the north and south of Exeter, along the Tarka Line to Barnstaple, Avocet Line to Exmouth and Riviera Line to Paignton, it is easy to have a completely car free day out with your bike. Bikes are welcome on branch line trains on a first-come first-served basis, and sometimes it is possible to book a space for your bike. See First Great Western's guide to cycling by train for more information.

Cycle rides from stations


                                          

The Exe Estuary Trail -  a 20 mile cycle accessible from Starcross Station including return on the ferry from Exmouth to Starcross station. This cycle ride can also start from Dawlish Warren, Exeter or Exmouth.

A shorter 5 mile Exe Valley cycle ride  is accessible from Exeter railway stations and is described on the Sustrans website. The route follows the western bank of the River Exe from Exwick, linking to the City Centre by way of the new purpose-built Miller's Crossing Bridge. It then continues southwards through Exeter's historic and attractive Quay, and then through the Riverside Valley Park between the Exeter Canal and the river to the village of Exminster.

Devon County Council have produced a Newton Abbot cycling guide which is available as a pdf on their website. Newton Abbot is easily accessible by train from Exeter. The countryside around Newton Abbot offers a variety of cycle rides.

 Tiverton is easily accessible by train, you can stop at Tiverton Parkway station. the nearest cycle route is the Grand Western canal Cycle Route. This is a lovely peaceful cycle route, often along the towpath, beside this tranquil stretch of water way through the heart of Devon between Tiverton and the Somerset border.

Please visit www.cycledevon.info for your free Cycling Trails in Devon guide or for a hard copy please email environment@devon.gov.uk. To help plan your visit, visit the Heart of Devon Store to browse a range of books and maps.


For information on cycling in the Heart of Devon, use the options on the right to search our database or check all our cycling routes at the bottom page.


Planning an off-road bike ride in the South West's National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty just got easier with the launch of the Adventure Cycling Map, part of the 1SW initiative. Check out the map for a comprehensive guide to routes in the region's most beautiful landscapes. 

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  1. Haldon Forest Park, family ride

    Add Haldon Forest Cycle Trails to your Itinerary

    Haldon Forest Cycle Trails

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Location

    Exeter

    Discover & explore Haldon Forest park. Whether you want a quiet gentle stroll or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for you at Haldon Forest Park. 3,500 acres of woodland just fifteen minutes from Exeter.

  2. West Devon Cycle Routes

    Add West Devon Cycle Routes to your Itinerary

    West Devon Cycle Routes

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Location

    Bedford Square, Tavistock

    These four circular and one linear routes take you on a tour of some of the unspoilt areas of West Devon, including many points of interest along the way.

  3. Saddles and Paddles

    Add Saddles and Paddles to your Itinerary

    Saddles and Paddles

    Type

    Cycling and Mountain Biking

    Location

    Exeter

    Bike and canoe hire from Exeter's historic quayside. Explore the old canal trail. Seven miles of flat, traffic free cycling in beautiful countryside. The canoes are great fun and easy to use for exploring this beautiful waterway.

  4. The Devon Coast to Coast cycle route - NCN 27 -

    The Devon Coast to Coast cycle route - NCN 27 -

    Type

    Cycle Route

    National Route 27 of the National Cycle Network is open and signed from Ilfracombe to Plymouth and is known as the Devon Coast to Coast cycle route.

  5. Abbotshood Cycle Hire

    Add Abbotshood Cycle Hire to your Itinerary

    Abbotshood Cycle Hire

    Type

    Cycling and Mountain Biking

    Location

    Tiverton

    Abbotshood Cycle Hire is situated approximately midway along the 11.5 mile length of the Grand Western Canal in the lovely Mid Devon countryside to the east of Tiverton. The canal offers 23 miles of safe flat cycling for all the family.

  6. Exmouth

    Add Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Circuit - Cycle Route to your Itinerary

    Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Circuit - Cycle Route

    Type

    Cycling and Mountain Biking

    Location

    Exmouth / Budleigh Salterton

    This is a lovely relaxing cycle route taking in the coast and the rural hinterland between the East Devon seaside towns of Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

  7. Cycling in Exmouth

    Add Cycling in Exmouth to your Itinerary

    Cycling in Exmouth

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Location

    Exmouth

    Getting on your bike has never been so much fun as when you cycle in Exmouth! There are plenty of cycle paths in this area and plenty of options...

  8. Exeter canal and quayside

    The Exe Valley Way cycle route

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Location

    Exeter

    This easy 5 miles cycle route starts in Exeter, follows the western bank of the River Exe and tcontinues southwards through Exeter's historic and attractive Quay, and then through the Riverside Valley Park near Exminster.

  9. Okehampton Cycle Routes

    Add Okehampton Cycle Routes to your Itinerary

    Okehampton Cycle Routes

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Location

    3 West Street, Okehampton

    This selection of four routes (with on extension for the more adventurous cyclist) all start in and around Okehampton, and will take you to some of West Devon's most delightful small villages and towns.

    The cycle routes were recommended by Okehampton Cycle Club and based on some of their...

  10. Meldon viaduct

    Add The Granite Way - Cycle Route to your Itinerary

    The Granite Way - Cycle Route

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Location

    Okehampton

    This is a new, truly spectacular and mostly traffic free cycle route through rural Devon with fantastic views of Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside.

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