The Tarka Trail is a delightful pedestrian and cycle way which runs through the stunning North Devon countryside.
The entire Trail is a 290km figure-of-eight travelling through landscapes little changed from those described by Henry Williamson in his classic 1927 novel Tarka the Otter. It is an invigorating and sustainable way to explore some of our stunning coastline, through deeply incised river valleys with ancient tangled woodland to the productive farmland and moorland higher up the catchments. Some sections of the Trail are also part of the South West Coast Path, the Two Moors Way and the Dartmoor Way.
It is part of the National Cycle Network (routes 27, Devon Coast to Coast and 3, West Country Way) and the shared-use section between Braunton and Meeth is totally traffic free. Along this stretch, many interpretation boards and other information will help you discover the wildlife, heritage, culture and natural features along the route. To the south of Petrockstowe Halt, Devon Wildlife Trust have now opened Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve. This exciting nature reserve can be accessed directly from the Tarka Trail.
The Tarka Trail Guide
The Tarka Trail is a traffic-free pedestrian and cycle route running through Devon for 290km. This new and comprehensive guide to the 48km shared-use section between Braunton and Meeth has been written and designed by Bideford couple Carl and Gigha Klinkenborg and includes everything needed to make your experience of the Tarka Trail and adventure.
The guide covers the route from Braunton, through Barnstaple, Fremington, Instow, Bideford, Torrington and ending at Meeth. It has easy to use coloured icons detailing access points, parking, toilet facilities, nature and wildlife, cycle hire, pubs and much more. “We realised there was a need for an all-inclusive guide that caters for walkers, cyclists, families, horse-riders, and those with mobility issues” said co-author Gigha. “My children loved cycling on the Tarka Trail when they were small, and as a parent I knew they were safe from any road traffic. Now my little granddaughter is the newest generation to benefit.” Carl said “When we began this project I thought I knew the Trail, having walked and cycled on it hundreds of times over many years, but our research has helped even me to see it afresh.”