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Devon c2c

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Muddyfox, 30 Mar 2008.

  1. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Has anyone on here done the Devon c2c (Ilfracombe to Plymouth) ? it'l be my first big ride with an overnight stay

    I probably wont be doing it untill the end of May / beginning of June (Nicer Weather hopefully) but if anyone has any info or tips i would be most grateful

    Simon
     
  2. tomb1960

    tomb1960 New Member

    Location:
    Birmingham
    It's great, and easily do-able in two days though we really span it out. There is a section where it says you have to get off and push, you really really do, it's a rubble strewn causeway! If memory serves me well they offer an alternative, I'd take it. Feel free to PM me if you want to ask specifics.
     
  3. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I did it when it first opened - I hope they've improved the signage! I got horribly lost at Tavistock...

    Okehampton makes a natural break for an overnight stop.
     
  4. Rob S

    Rob S New Member

    Location:
    Plymouth
    I've done all of it except Ilfracombe to Barnstaple (one of many targets for this year).....strictly speaking I haven't done the bit from Tavistock to Yelverton either....I always go on the A386 there as I'm not a mountain biker.

    Barnstaple to Bideford is dead flat, tarmac and open with good views of the Taw and then Torridge estuaries. There are a couple of signposted wildlife habitats on route. At Fremington they have reconstucted the station and it's now a cafe and bike hire place. There is a restored signal box at Instow if you are in to that kind of thing. At Bideford there is another restored station and cafe, the town is well worth a look round.
    South of Bideford the Tarka Trail heads for the trees whilst still following and going over the Torridge a couple more times...there is also a well lit tunnel to ride through. The station at Torrington has been converted in to a pub with a beer garden. After that the trail, leaves the Torridge and follows a stream, again through woodland, the surface is still firm and sealed as far as Watergate Bridge....after that it's a little rougher but still rideable on 23s but you do have to look where you are riding.....you can also feel you are going slightly, but constantly up hill. There is another small cafe at East Yarde. It's downhill after that and again it's quite rough in places with ballast sized rocks dotted along the trail...again still rideable but the next time I ride it (I do it about 4-5 time a year) I'll take the country lane from East Yard to the entrance of the clay works. From there it's smoother though not tarmac....more trees and then a diversion off the old railway for a while (easy to follow) before you end up at Meeth.

    You then have to follow the A386 for a while (reasonably quiet) and you arrive at Hatherleigh which is worth a quick look round. The NCN then takes you on a minor road to Jacobstowe which I have done once but it is hillier than the A386 and then B road route which is perfectly quiet and quicker.
    Jacobstowe to Okehampton is a constant drag uphill on a minor road. The NCN makes you climb further uphill than you really need, I see there is a picnic site in the woods it passes through but I always tun left at the crossroads just before the woods and save about 35m of climbing....either way you pick up a B road which takes you in to Okehampton. Through traffic is signposted to turn left as you go past the Heinz depot but carry straight on to reach the high street and save more climbing.

    The NCN route out of Okehampton takes you uphill to Okehampton station where you join The Granite Way....the highlight of which is the Meldon Viaduct...there is a cafe beside it in a converted rail carriage. This section of trail carries on the old railway to Lake viaduct where a bumpy path takes you to the main road (or you can actually keep going staight on and after a slight footpath diversion pic up the main road a little further down) though a diversion at the chuch to the Highwayman pub at Sourton is thoroughly recommended....it is unlikely that you have been in anything like it before. The NCN currently goes on a bit of a needlessly hilly route to Lydford all to avoid a bit of A386 which isn't that busy and also has the added bonus of another good pub, The Fox & Hounds and a tunnel of trees down to a recently opned section of converted rail path. There is a plan to link up the two sections of old railway using a path that will have to go near but not through Bridestowe station, a private residence now.

    Lyford is quite interesting with the castle beside the road and also Lydford Gorge (National Trust) which you can see bits of from the road which goes over it. South of Lydford you have a choice of NCN routes. You can head southeast and pass through Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy but that route bypasses Tavistock....you'd also miss Brent Tor with it's tiny church balancing on the top of the rock....not to be missed....and neither is Tavistock.

    From Tavistock it's country lanes for a while but then off-road and I hear it's rough but I've not done it myself. There was some excitement this time last year when the eagerly anticipated converted railway route was being prepared but they've announced it will be remaining suitable only for mountain bikes for the time being and it's also rather disjointed at both ends.

    The section from Yelverton to Clearbrook/Goodameavy I'm not familiar with either as again I take the main road and then minor road before picking up the Plym Valley Trail at Goodameavy which is tarmac all the way to Plymouth via a bat friendly lit tunnel, several viaducts lots of woods, a spot for seeing peregrine falcons from the most southerly viaduct (a bird group installed cctv on the cliff face beside it's haunt and you can see footage of it on a tv in a shelter and look through telescopes on the viaduct).

    The last section of the NCN goes beside the Plym estuary, the Saltram House estate (well worth a stop) and the local landfill site.

    Some pictures to follow tomorrow.
     
  5. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    To fill in One gap, from Yelverton to Clearbrook is an easily passable trail, followed by a grasstrack section which should be fine in most weathers. I have done it on a Galaxy in February after days of rain, it was moist but passable. When you head down to the Plym Trail from Clearbrook, beware the very very steep hill, if you're not careful you will be flying past the trail entrance and be faced with a u-turn a climb back up for a little way.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Thank you for the replys Gents some great info there

    I'l be doing the ride on a Mountain Bike although i've got slick tyres on it and i popped into my LBS today and ordered a rear rack and rack pack and some mudguards ... i hit 41 on Sunday so im getting to old to be a speed freak ;) so im not to bothered if i break it up to a 3 day ride but i think i can probably do it over 2 days ? it's my first long ride so i want to enjoy it

    Simon
     
  7. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I did it on an MTB with slicks - there was only one short and steep section that defeated me. It was signed as temporary when I did it so may have been re-routed by now.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Thanks Ransos

    I might be able to loan a Dawes Horizon for the trip :smile: but if the bike is'nt a good fit i'l be on my Mountain Bike

    Simon
     
  9. Chappy

    Chappy Über Member

    Location:
    Portland
    This year is the first time that I am planning on doing it me and my dad I hopeing it will be great.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Well done Chappy i ordered the map and guide book for it today so hopefully that'l be here this week and i can start to plan my epic journey :rolleyes:

    What made you choose the Devon c2c ? do you live in Devon ?

    Simon
     
  11. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Is there a suggested direction to do it .... and how to get back from the end? (I must get around to buying the maps too). We will probably do it in the summer hols so I would love to hear a report back from the trip (such as anywhere to avoid or the best cream tea to be had:biggrin:).
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Hi Summer .. my route map and guide book arrived today but i've only had time for a quick nosey at it so far

    The map and guide would suggest that you ride from Ilfracombe to Plymouth and Barnstaple is the closest main line rail station (13 miles from the start in Ilfracombe)

    Simon
     
  13. banjokat

    banjokat New Member

    Location:
    York, UK
    I did it in a day a couple of years ago. It's a good ride. As mentioned, the boulder strewn causeway is hideous, avoid it if possible. And the signing in Tavistock was pants too.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    Blimey thats good going Banjo

    50 miles per day for 2 days is a big step up for me so i'l be happy to achieve my 2 day goal & it's my first big ride so i want to enjoy it and a night out half way along will be good as i've recruited another beginner cyclist to tag along

    Simon
     
  15. banjokat

    banjokat New Member

    Location:
    York, UK
    You do right ... I only did it in one day 'cos I only had one day ... my northern C2C rides have been done over 2 or 3 days, much more fun when it's leisurely. And an overnight stop makes it into a "proper" tour. Best of luck !