The Granite Way Cycle Trail is an idyllic cycle route that runs through Dartmoor National Park from Okehampton to Lydford. It is a purpose-built cycle way for cyclists, walkers and the occasional horse-rider (by permit). It is mainly built along the former Southern Region railway line and is roughly 11 miles of traffic-free cycling with some amazing views along the way.
We chose to hop on at the start of the trail from Okehampton train station, and after a little bit of a dither over where to park (we plumped for parking in the station car park which was free) we set off with some light refreshments on the bike, and waterproofs at the ready.
Five minutes into the ride we stopped to put the waterproofs on. A few minutes later we stopped and took them off again and decided that it was warm enough weather that any damp from the drizzle would be driven off by the heat we were generating as we cycled!
Now, any trail that has signs along the way to lead your weary legs to refreshments gets a big thumbs up and this trail is no exception. There are signs along the way for hostelries that are happy to accommodate cyclists and their gear – we had our own refreshments with us the day we cycled but next time we’re there we’ll probably head off to explore these!
There are spots to stop and take in the scenery, munch on some snacks, mend a puncture and generally daydream about how wonderful it would be if this was your work commute, and part of the trail takes you over the Meldon Viaduct which gives you the feeling of cycling in the air.
Once you reach Lydford you can explore Lydford castle & church
and then head on off to Lydford Gorge – the deepest gorge in the southwest (National Trust). If you’re not a member of the National Trust there is a concession on the entry price if you arrive by bike – at least that’s what the literature says but it would be worth checking this first if it’s part of your Grand Day Out!
This cycle trail gives a wonderful sense of freedom and you can take it at the pace that suits you.
Not got your bike with you?
There are a couple of bike hire places perfectly positioned for the cycleway – one at the YHA at Okehampton station
and another is Devon Cycle Hire , where you can simply park up, collect your bike and head off for a day out on this traffic free cycleway.