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Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail Braunton

The Tarka Trail is a series of cycle and foot paths. named after the novel, Tarka The Otter by Henry Williamson. Otters can be seen along the River Caen that runs through Braunton as does the Trail. The novel was about the Otters journey and the beautiful surrounding landscape.

Tarka Trail next to River Taw estuary

Autumn along the Tarka Trail

Converted Railway Track

There are 180 miles of old railway track to explore in a figure of eight running through North Devon. One of the longest traffic free paths in the country starts in Braunton and runs along the river Taw estuary, past Barnstaple, and the old Fremington Quay and finishes in Meeth. This route is perfect for cyclists and is 31 miles long.

Another section called Route 27 and is a part of the Devon coast to coast cycle trail. Starting from Ilfracombe to Plymouth is 59 miles and arrangements can be made to bring your bike back on the train to Barnstaple.

Learning Along the Trail

There are 21 yellow topped audio posts spread along the trail that can be scanned with your smartphone giving interesting facts about the trails history and abundant wildlife. Going at a steady pace you will be able to take in the dramatic protected environment along the Tarka trail passing woodland, moorland, valleys, coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, estuaries, quaint villages, natural sand dune systems, marshland and ancient farming strips.

Tarka Trail In Autumn

A beautiful Autumn day just past Chivenor along the Tarka Trail

Braunton was a main source of fresh produce providing London via the once railway, now the Tarka Trail. Two milk trains a day from Torrington, Flowers from the tulip fields and rabbits caught early by the gamekeepers. If you are out early on the Trail you will see rabbits bobbing across your path.

As well as an abundance of rare birds and plants you will enjoy a diverse landscape like no other so be sure to take plenty of photos. The Geo Caching also attracts many visitors for a spot of treasure hunting.

For refreshments you will come across great cafes and pubs on route, including some converted railway stations and buildings into eateries.