Cycling is a great way to see Devon at its best and will provide you with easy access to some of the best of the county’s natural heritage. Devon is renowned not only for its peace and unspoilt beauty but also for the wide range and superb network of cycle routes that are available.
With many miles of quiet country lanes and some new sections of car-free cycle path, Exeter and the Heart of Devon is a perfect place to explore by bike. The varied landscape of hills (sometimes very steep), valleys, coast, farmland and forest, pretty villages and vibrant towns means you can plan some great days out on two wheels. The AONB has devised three mountain bike routes that take in some off-road forest trails.
Sustrans is also busy in Devon, creating some interesting cycle routes. The national route 2, also known as the South Coast Cycle Route, has new, off-road sections between Axminster and Kilmington and continues on towards Exeter, following quiet roads and a former railway line between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton. This tree-covered lane is perfect for a family cycle ride, with no worries about traffic. For the faster and fitter, there is an 80-mile cycle route, Sustrans regional route number 52 - the Buzzard route - that takes in some of the best of East Devon’s sights.
The Exe Estuary offers cycling routes for all abilities, whether cyclists wish to spend an hour visiting the delightful village of Lympstone or enjoy a 3 hour round trip to Exmouth or Exeter. Ferries from Exmouth to Starcross and from Topsham to The Turf also offer cyclists the opportunity to explore the full 26 mile route.
If you’re not taking your own bicycles (carriage is free on Southwest trains, although booking advisable in busy holiday periods), then there are various options for hire.
To start your Devon cycling adventure - try these resources:Inland walking guides Coastal path walks Arts and crafts The moors Heritage