If you’re looking for a long stretch of uninterrupted cycling path, you have to try the Tarka Trail.
The trail is just over 30 miles long and begins in Braunton, Devon, finishing in Meeth. But what makes this trail so unique is that it’s one of the country’s longest traffic-free walking and cycling paths.

STYRKR trail bottle and slt mix in the grit

You can cycle the entire distance of the Tarka Trail, and you can join the old disused railway path at several places, including the start and finish via two car parks at Barnstaple and Meeth, but also at the following points:

  • Fremington Quay
  • Instow
  • Bideford
  • Torrington

The route is ideal for families or beginner cyclists who are perhaps nervous about riding on the roads — it’s completely traffic-free, and you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the water and the boats on your journey. Along the route, you’ll also find a mix of art sculptures and small shelters.

Where does the Tarka Trail start and finish?

You can cycle the Tarka Trail from either Braunton in Devon or Meeth. And as already mentioned above, there are four other locations along the way where you can join on the scenic route.

Is the route family-friendly?

The Tarka Trail is approximately 30.3 miles long, very flat, and has numerous benches and places to stop along the way if needed.

It’s a family-friendly route, and if you need to recharge along the way, maybe for a spot of lunch, you can stop at the Puffing Billy Cafe — which was previously Torrington railway station. There are still original Victorian features and tons of railway memorabilia to take a look at.

Oh, and they also serve milkshakes — great for the little ones. Or, you know, the not-so-little ones.

Can you do the Tarka Trail on a road bike?

Yes! You can cycle the Tarka Trail on a road bike. However, there’s one section — roughly five miles before Tavistock that’s a little rocky. You may need to walk the short stint, but for riders with slightly wider tyres, this likely won’t be an issue.

Most riders can easily cycle the whole of the Tarka Trail — that includes families with children if they’re capable of cycling the distance. Remember, you don’t need to cycle the whole route — you can join at numerous points to create the best ride for you and your riding group.