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The Tarka Trail
Over 30 miles of the Tarka Trail is available to cyclists and walkers between Braunton and Meeth, using the old railway routes of North Devon. Passing through the largely unspoilt countryside as it was described by Henry Williamson in his classic novel 'Tarka the Otter' first published in 1927.
Devon County Council
TARKA TRAIL
Braunton to Barnstaple
Barnstaple to Bideford
Bideford to Torrington
Torrington to Meeth
Responsible use of The Tarka Trail
Frequently asked Questions
Tarka Trail map
Wildlife on the Tarka Trail

Some Advisory Codes Of Conduct for users
General Users     Guidance for Horse Riders
       Cycle Hire

Bideford Cycle Hire
Biketrail
Tarka Bikes
Torrington Cycle Hire





Tarka Audio Trail
Along the Tarka Trail are 21 "discovery posts" with information on the history and wildlife of the Trail and the places it passes through. Each post has a number on the top that relates to an audio clip where you can find out more. These clips have been recorded by people involved in the management and heritage of the trail including Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service, The Environment Agency, North Devon Museums, The RSPB, Natural England and Butterfly Conservation. Download these clips to your MP3 player or phone and find out about some of the things that make the Tarka Trail a unique experience
      
Your independent guide to the Tarka Trail with videos
Trailtrash is an independent project that hopes to help you get the most out of the 30 mile cycle section of the Tarka Trail in North Devon. Whether you want to know where you can join the trail, where you can hire a bike or where you can stop for a restorative drink, Trailtrash aim to have the information you need.

Tarka Trail at en.wikipedia.org
The Tarka Trail is a series of footpaths and cyclepaths around North Devon that follow the route taken by Tarka the Otter in the book of that name. It is a figure-of-eight route, based on Barnstaple, and covers some 31 miles (50 km) of path. The route covers a wide variety of landscapes, including: wooded river valleys, rugged moorland, coastal cliffs and sandy bays. Walking varies between easy and strenuous, depending on the location, but, in general, it is comprehensively waymarked.

The trails are now a popular tourist destination and bicycle hire businesses are available for those who wish to cycle along suitable sections of the trail. A section of the Trail is part of National Cycle Network route number 27 and forms part of the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route, a 102-mile (164 km) route from Ilfracombe, in the north, to Plymouth, in the south, largely using former railway lines.

Several sections of disused railway line have been utilised to create the trail. These have the benefit of being relatively flat, with only small uphill and downhill gradients. The paths also run across many former railway bridges, which command notable views over various rivers and valleys. A number of the stations on the route have been restored or rebuilt. Former railway sections include: Ilfracombe Branch Line ? between Braunton and Barnstaple. Bideford Extension Railway ? between Barnstaple and Bideford. North Devon Railway ? between Bideford and Torrington

From Braunton, the path follows the western bank of the River Caen, which was straightened to become the Braunton Canal in the 1850s, before following the northern edge of Horsey Island, reclaimed from the estuary at the same time. The path then turns north along the eastern edge of Braunton Burrows, an extensive sand-dune system leased by the Ministry of Defence for army training.