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  • Writer's pictureHelen Laing

6 of the Best North Devon Cycling Routes

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Bike by water in sunset

If you’re looking for some great cycling routes in North Devon, well look no further! We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite cycling roads & routes around Woolacombe and nearby areas, perfect for your summer cycling adventures in Devon!

1. Challacombe Hill

Featured in the Tour of Britain as the main hill climb, Challacombe Hill will be sure to test your legs! Being one of only three ways out of Woolacombe, our Beach Retreats are less than a 5-minute ride from the bottom! If you’re looking for a serious challenge then this is the perfect spot. Our advice is to get this hill ridden early during the summer, it can be busy on peak days and the last thing you want to do is have to stop behind a car - so ride early to avoid the traffic!


2. Holdstone Down

If it’s fantastic views you’re after, then you’re in luck! The road heading up towards and past Holdstone Down has stunning cliffside views, and on clear days you’ll be able to see Wales across the channel! After climbing to the top you’ll be treated with a long downhill towards Hunters Inn - the perfect stop for a spot of coffee mid-ride! It’ll be around a 12-mile ride to get our here depending on the route you take.


Valley of Rocks, North Devon
Valley of Rocks, North Devon

3. Valley of Rocks

Valley of Rocks is a stunning valley coast road running along the coast of North Devon. You can start in Lynton, a small Victorian village about 1 mile away and head through the valley towards the top of Woody Bay, then continue along the narrow Exmoor roads or turn onto the main road. Coming down the valley from the opposite side is equally as rewarding too. Lynton is roughly 21 miles away from our Beach Retreats, ride out there and back for a longer route or drive closer to make a shorter route starting nearby.


4. Willingcott Hill

Another challenging hill just outside of Woolacombe, Willingcott Hill is just a 5-6 mile ride outside of Woolacombe and is great for road cyclist that love hills! On a clear day, it has some great views over Braunton and Barnstaple back over the fields.


Beam Weir on the River Torridge near Torrington
Beam Weir on the River Torridge near Torrington, viewed from the Tarka Trail

5. Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail in North Devon is a 30 mile, traffic-free cycle path between Braunton and Meeth. Passing through Barnstaple, Instow, and Landcross there are plenty of stopping points across the route. This route is mostly flat, and being traffic-free it’s perfect for family adventures or new cyclists!


Combe Martin coastline
Combe Martin

6. Combe Martin High Street

From Woolacombe, if you decide to head towards Exmoor then you can make your way through Combe Martin on the way. Being on the edge of Exmoor, it’s a great gateway onto the national park, passing the local beach and through one of the longest village high streets in England!


Cycling Holidays in North Devon

For the perfect base to return to after a day of cycling, take a look at our self-catering accommodation in Woolacombe - the Beach Retreats. They've everything you need for a pre-ride coffee, some post-ride relaxing by the pool, and more:

  • 2 bedrooms (sleeping 4 - 6)

  • 1 or 2 bathrooms

  • Spacious open-plan kitchen / lounge

  • Private outside space - great for storing your bikes and kit

  • Free parking

  • Free WiFi

  • Self check-in

  • Easy walking distance from local beaches, shops and restaurants

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