Clearbrook Ramp

posted 11 Aug 2015, 08:31 by Will NB

The nasty zig-zag rocky path linking Clearbrook with the tarred traffic-free Plym Valley section of Drake's Trail is no more. In its place is a new ramp with a gentle gradient and smooth tar to cycle on. 
This is a huge step forward in improving NCN27 and the old zig-zag path was the worst section on the Devon Coast To Coast route.
Smooth cycling ahead!

Minor changes to NCN27

posted 18 Nov 2012, 04:29 by Will NB   [ updated 18 Nov 2012, 04:45 ]

Around the Plymouth area there are some planned changes to NCN27, the Devon Coast to Coast route. 
As you make your way into Devon, past the heritage railway, and start cycling on the road, the route takes you under a bridge that carries Plymouth Road, and immediately after you have to turn right, uphill, and following the road that merges with Plymouth Road.
The pavement is marked as shared, but it is very narrow. Should you encounter anybody coming the other way, somebody has to stop to let the other pass.

There are now plans (in quite an advanced stage) to re-route NCN27 around the back of the speedway race track. A new, and going by the maps rather good track will be built to link up with the existing traffic-free route below the Marsh Mills fly-over. The area may also gain a new BMX track, depending on the result of an air-quality survey. If the BMX track does go ahead it will be quite some time, possibly a few years, before it is completed.

Additionally, there are plans afoot to address the very poor path just south of Clearbrook, on the edge of Dartmoor. Those that have cycled that way before know that the "official" route directs you down, or up depending on your direction of travel, a narrow, very rocky, steep and nasty little path. 
We always direct people on a Devon Coast to Coast cycling holiday to bypass that section by riding on the quiet lane, if heading south, or follow our "unofficial diversion" when heading north.
Although these are early days, it seems likely that a decent path may be constructed at this section, which would be very welcome!

Finally, there are advanced plans to turn part of the Plym Valley trail (in itself a sub-section of the larger Drake's Trail linking Tavistock almost completely traffic-free with Plymouth) into a heritage trail. As part of this, artists were asked to submit designs for outdoor art work. We believe the final designs have been chosen, and we'll post some pictures as soon as we have them.

As is the case on especially the Tarka Trail, having pieces of outdoor art tucked away at various points makes a trail so much more interesting, even if you already know it very well.
Part of a series of art installations along the Tarka Trail

Grenofen Tunnel is open!

posted 25 Sept 2012, 13:53 by Will NB

The new route through Grenofen Tunnel is fully open! Well, all truth be told, it wasn't the tunnel that caused the delay, but rather Ashmill bridge, the little bridge just north of the tunnel that had to be re-built first.

This changes the route between Tavistock and Gem Bridge completely. You may find a description of the route here: Additionally, we've also update the OpenCycleMap to show the new route, and you can view that here:


Gem Bridge is open!

posted 7 May 2012, 12:41 by Will NB

On Saturday, we were alerted via the Contact link to the left that Gem Bridge was open. This was followed up with a cycle ride to the bridge, and we're happy to tell you that Gem Bridge is indeed fully open!
Gem Bridge - part of NCN 27, and o

As you can see from the picture, there isn't a sign of construction kit anywhere in site. The construction crew has done an excellent job tidying up behind themselves, and deserve to be congratulated!

In the meantime, work has shifted along to building the new path that will pass through Grenofen tunnel. 

Hopefully it won't take too long before they complete it, although there is another smaller bridge, Ashmill bridge, which still needs to be rebuilt. Construction of Ashmill bridge hasn't started yet.

Gem Bridge nearly ready!

posted 1 Apr 2012, 03:46 by Will NB

Gem Bridge desck - Devon Coast to Coast cycling holiday
It has been a while since they've started, but Gem Bridge is nearly ready! Spanning the Walkham valley between Tavistock and Horabridge, on the site of Brunel's former railway viaduct, Gem Bridge offers a safe and pleasant alternative to cross the Walkham valley.
Before Gem Bridge was built, this part of NCN 27 was considered by many as the worst part of the route. Indeed, some even said it was the worst part of any NCN route!

Gem Bridge - Devon coast to coast cycling holiday 

Gem Bridge view - Devon coast to Coast cycling holiday
The first photo shows the deck of Gem Bridge, which wasn't quite completed yet at the time.

The second photo was taken looking towards Horabridge. The slope in the foreground used to be tarred, and is so steep that I used to get wheelspin cycling up it!
The third photo shows some of the view from Gem Bridge, though to be honest it doesn't do the view justice.

Of course, Gem Bridge is only part of the changes made here. There is also the new route through the old, disused Grenofen tunnel. As the following pictures show, work is progressing here, even if not quite as fast as we'd like it to. The course of the old railway was heavily overgrown, and has now been cut back.
Grenofen tunnel - Devon Coast to Coast cycling holiday
Grenofen tunnel - Devon Coast to Coast cycling holiday
Grenofen tunnel - Devon coast to coast cycling holiday

Once the Grenofen tunnel route opens it will offer a traffic-free option that is far more direct and far less hilly than the current route. The difference will be especially noticeable to those that are on a Devon coast to coast cycling holiday from Plymouth to Ilfracombe!

Another traffic-free section to be added!

posted 21 Feb 2012, 13:45 by Will NB

From the top of Ilfracombe the Devon Coast to Coast route follows the course of a disused railway line, all the way to Willingcott. From there you can either head down to Woolacombe, and take the beach route, or continue along Georgeham Road, taking country lanes to Braunton.

Devon County Council has announced that they will be building a traffic-free section linking Willingcott with Knowle. From Knowle there is a new traffic-free path almost into Braunton.

Once completed, this will mean cyclists opting not to take the Woolacombe beach route will have an almost entirely traffic-free route from Ilfracombe all the way to Meeth!

Now that will make the Devon C2C route even better!

Gem Bridge nearing completion

posted 12 Feb 2012, 14:04 by Will NB

Gem Bridge - part of the Devon Coast to Coast route (NCN 27) 
As you can see from the photo, Gem Bridge is nearing completion. Gem Bridge is part of the Devon Coast to Coast route, or rather will be, as soon as it is completed.

The deck is in place throughout, although the final surface still needs to be laid. The access ramps at either end also still need to be built, but Devon County Council believes the project is on track for a spring 2012 opening.

We're looking forward to it!

£100 000 spent on the Granite Way

posted 11 Feb 2012, 14:47 by Will NB   [ updated 11 Feb 2012, 14:48 ]

The rebuilt wall on the Devon coast to coast route

The replacement 52 metre long retaining wall has just been completed on the ancient path between the Meldon Viaduct and Okehampton which is part of the Devon Coast to Coast route.

The original retaining structure was a gabion wall which was on top of an earlier dry stone wall and sandwiched between Meldon Woods and Meldon Railway Station It’s believed this structure was constructed around 12 years ago as part of the original cyclepath/station construction works.

The material used to build the ‘crib wall’ is made primarily from recycled High Density Polyethylene plastic. This relatively new application of such a material was chosen as the local ground was discovered to be highly acidic. Indeed, some samples tested showed the soil to have a pH level of 3.5, approaching the acidity of stomach acid!  Plastic, however, is very resistant to acid attack making it an ideal substitute to the more traditional construction

In addition to the replacement of the gabion wall, a 10m length of the dry stone wall beneath had to be taken down as it was found to be in very poor condition.  This section of wall was rebuilt in front of and below the crib wall in order to maintain the stone wall appearance rather than increasing the crib wall height.

Introductory offer!

posted 4 Feb 2012, 14:45 by Will NB   [ updated 13 Feb 2012, 23:34 ]

As suggested by the ever-so-clever Middleaged Cyclist (do read his blog - it's well worth it!) to start off we're offering an introductory discount to the first few people to book a Devon C2C cycling holiday with us! 
Although we cater for groups of up to six people, and individuals, there are only a limited number of discounted places available, so hurry and book your place now! 
It is possible to book if you have a larger group, but this will mean the group may have to be split for overnight accommodation. Please feel free to ask us if we can accommodate your entire group on your Devon coast to coast cycling holiday.

Cycle West

posted 29 Dec 2009, 10:29 by Will NB   [ updated 3 Feb 2012, 14:31 ]

Cycle West is a new initiative to promote bicycle tourism, and covers cycle routes that link Brittany in France with South West England. NCN 27 forms part of a greater, international route, and indeed it was the Cycle West project that made the funding available to build Gem Bridge. All 2 million Pounds of it!

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