Another mighty bike ride – this time from Wheatland Farm to Ilfracombe.
[Maggie] Ok, so this was more of a challenge ride for George, who wanted something to beat the 40 miles he did 2 years ago (Barnstaple and back). This one had much the same North Devon route, and was about 50 miles, but unlike Barnstaple and Back it’s one way – so we needed Ian to pick us up from Ilfracombe (I’m not up for 100 miles yet… but it’s not 50 miles by car. More like 30).
It would suit some of the families we’ve had staying recently who’ve come equipped to carry their own bikes but didn’t all want to cycle. The route took us from Wheatland Farm to the nearest point on the traffic-free Tarka Trail. That was Petrockstowe for us – it could have been Meeth Quarry but that meant another 5 mins on a main road and we were aiming for minor lanes. We followed the trail, passing East Yarde and on to the Puffing Billy to Bideford section, Instow to Fremington, Barnstaple (for a massive fry up at the Station Master’s Cafe) and then on to Braunton.
There we picked up the National Cycle Route 27 to Ilfracombe – including a green lane section that might have been a bit of a surprise for anyone with touring panniers. When we found the roads again the tourist traffic was quite a shock.
The last bit is a glorious downhill swoop on another traffic free trail into Ilfracombe itself, with only a short ride through the town before you get to the harbour, fish and chips, and Damien Hirst’s statue Verity.
Many thanks to George for putting together the video.