Freewheel along Old Coastal Railways in Devon

We’ve all enjoyed train rides along the coast – long vistas, sandy bays, shafts of sunlight glinting on the waves. Many railway lines, axed under Dr Beeching in the 1960’s now breathe new life and provide traffic free, gently graded bike rides. Bells ring where whistles once sounded. The view is from a slow moving bike rather than a rushing train. One of the most scenic of such lines – the North Devon Railway and its Bideford extension offer a flat and gentle pedal around the Tawe estuary.  Being on a bike of course means you can stop anytime you fancy – not just at a station. And along the route there is so much to fancy that you may well spend more time off the bike than on.

Loll on the sandy beaches and enjoy the rare wild flowers and butterflies in Braunton’s Unesco listed dunes. Treat yourself to a cream tea at the Saunton Sands Hotel. Explore the gardens of stately Tapeley Park with their modern twist and stock up your panniers from one of the UK’s top 10 food markets in Bideford. Old stations along the line offer great coffee stops – Fremington Quay has waterside seating and the ferry to Appledore gives a nice little detour. All this lies within two handfuls of miles and a leisurely spin on two wheels.

Devon If you’ve had too big a lunch stop for comfort, you can opt to pedal on a little further. This will lead you inland along the verdant valley of the River Torridge where sweeping bridges soar over dramatic drops and across picturesque river scenes. It’s still and quiet – you are far from traffic; there’s the occasional village, sheep clad hills and a spire peeping out in the distance. It’s a better view than you would have had with Dr Beeching for only the handlebars sit between you and the scene. And yes, thank the Lord, its flat !  We call it Devon Dreams.

For UK cycling holidays, Silver Travel Advisor recommends The Carter Company.
 

137 people found this helpful
17177

Share Article:

Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment

*

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

With over 7,000 years of history, Malta is the ultimate holiday destination for any history buff!…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.