Welcome to the Tarka Trail

Inspired by the route travelled by Tarka the Otter, this 180 mile, figure eight route traverses unspoiled countryside, dramatic sea cliffs and beautiful beaches. The southern loop incorporates the longest, continuous off-road cycle path in the UK. Walking or cycling, you can experience the best this beautiful area has to offer.

  • Maps & Routes
  • Places to visit
  • Places to eat & drink
  • Places to stay
  • Cycle hire
Tarka Trail map overview

What is The Tarka Trail?

The Tarka Trail is a 180 mile, figure of eight walking and cycling trail that follows the route travelled by Tarka the Otter in the famous novel by Henry Williamson. The Tarka Trail will take you through ancient villages, wooded valleys, along the banks of rivers, high over moorland with spectacular views of Dartmoor and Exmoor and along dramatic sea cliffs and vast expanses of beautiful beaches.

Find out more about The Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail Barnstaple

Where is The Tarka Trail?

The entire route is centered around the ancient market town of Barnstaple, the principle town in the North Devon region. The north loop travels up through Exmoor into Lynton and the Valley of the Rocks then back along the coast. The southern loop follows the river Torridge deep into the heart of Otter country, through Torrington, turning at Okehampton on the fringe of Dartmoor National Park and heading back towards Barnstaple.

Alongside the main north and south Tarka Trail routes are a series of short, circular walks designed to take a couple of hours, helping you to explore the villages and points of interest along the trail.

Tarka Trail routes


Where can I cycle on The Tarka Trail?

Cycling on the Tarka TrailThe Tarka Trail is a combination of footpaths and bridleways with a large section being an old, converted railway line. The Tarka Trail between Braunton and Meeth is a section of flat, tarmacked, unused railway which provides 30 miles of traffic free cycling - the longest stretch in the UK. The Tarka Trail shares some sections with The National Cycle Network. Routes 27 and Route 3 criss-cross The Tarka Trail with sections where off-raod cycling is available.

Cycling routes along The Tarka Trail

Cycle hire along The Tarka Trail


What facilities are available?

if you are planning to visit The Tarka Trail, then why not take a look at our list of places to stay located near to The Tarka Trail, where hotels, guesthouses, self-catering properties, B&Bs and campsites are listed. If you are in need of refreshments, then take a look at our list of places to eat and drink along The Tarka Trail where cafes, restaurants, pubs, deli's and food markets are listed.

For family days out along The Tarka Trail you may want to visit our places to visit page, or our Get Inspired page featuring towns, villages and places of interest along the trail.

View all facilities along The Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail - 180 miles of discovery

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