Holiday cottages UK: Tarka trail tested – cycling in North Devon

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Tarka trail tested
– cycling holidays in North Devon

If you take a cottage holiday in Devon, you run the risk of going home several pounds heavier after all those Devon cream teas. But don't worry, Tom Kerswill has found the perfect antidote, get on your bike and discover the Devon countryside. A holiday cottage makes an ideal base for a relaxing cycling holiday in North Devon.

Cycling the Tarka Trail

On the Tarka TrailIf somebody had mentioned cycling holidays to me a few months ago, images of Ordnance Survey maps, anoraks and soggy sandwiches would have sprung to mind. Cycling in Britain has always seemed a little bit masochistic – the kind of thing where you do 120 miles a day, sleep rough, and aim to get to John O'Groats as quickly as possible – not something you do on a relaxing cottage holiday in sleepy Devon.

So I was intrigued to hear about a gentle, traffic-free and well marked cycle trail in North Devon. Crammed full of cafés and pubs, and passing some great visitor attractions, this could be tackled from our holiday cottage base. We could do it in short stages and enjoy the sights and the cycling at our own pace. So we left the map at our rented cottage and followed a well-beaten track ...

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Photos © Tom Kerswill