This is a picturesque cycle route that takes you from Tavistock, through the delightful village of Peter Tavy and up onto the moors in the Dartmoor National Park. By using part of the 27 national cycle route, you avoid the main roads and are soon cycling along country lanes with amazing views of Brentor and the Tors towards Lydford.
|Distance||13.3 Miles (21.3 Km)|
|Height Gained||1300 feet (396 m)|
|Bike Required||Road or MTB|
|Suitable for children||Yes, with great care in narrow lanes|
|Free Mapping File Downloads||peter-tavy-to-the-moors-cycling-localdevon.gpx
There is a gradual four mile climb from the Harford Bridge up to the moors beyond Peter Tavy, which is mostly gentle, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security as the last half mile of the route is quite challenging as the road climbs steeply up to the entrance to the moors.
Once you get to the end of the road, though, you are rewarded with fantastic views and a real sense of achievement. If you are on a mountain bike, you could venture along the trails that you see up there, but be aware that you are on the edge of the military firing ranges so do watch out for the red flags!
I usually do this route on my road bike, but if it has rained recently it can get very muddy so a mountain bike may be more suitable in those conditions. You can also use your MTB to explore the moors at the end of the road and on some of the more muddy and steep variations of this route.
As you can see from the route map, I normally cycle back along the same route, as it is so free of traffic and I love looking at the scenery, however there are several variations that you can take when you get back into Peter Tavy.
A word of warning : The road beyond Peter Tavy is narrow with blind corners so be very aware of on-coming cars and large tractors. There is very little traffic along the road, which is great, but you do have to be careful. I was cycling this route recently when I encountered a herd of cows rushing along the road towards me. Luckily I could stop in time and rapidly head the other way!
Start from the West Devon Borough Council Offices in Tavistock and head along the path alongside the offices. You meet quite a few pedestrians and dog walkers so take care. At the end of the path turn right and head up the hill.
After about a quarter of a mile, you will come to a gate on your right, which has signs for the 27 Cycle route. Take this route and carry on along the old railway until you get to the end after about half a mile.
Turn left onto the narrow country lane carry on until you get to the T junction where you turn right and head down the hill.
Just before you get to the main road at the bottom of the hill, there is a left turn, with route 27 signs that takes you along the footpath. Carry on past the turning past the business park on your right and you will come to a small entrance on your left that takes you along another path through a small wood.
Meander along this path, until you meet the road to Peter Tavy and Princetown. Turn right and head over Harford Bridge following the signpost for Peter Tavy.
You will soon arrive in Peter Tavy which has a good pub and an interesting church, so go through the village and cycle up the hill with the church on your left.
There are some great views of Brentor in the distance as you head along the road. Around two miles beyond Peter Tavy you will come to a turning towards Willsworthy. Go straight past this turning and you will eventually come across another turning on your left which leads to some farms. Ignore this and remain on the same road, however it does start to get steep now!
You will soon arrive at this gate which is the end of the road and our destination for this cycle. Well done! The views of the moors towards Lydford are fabulous and there are some interesting tracks to explore, though they are for a MTB rather than a road bike.
You will see this sign about the military training areas that are close by, so do heed the warnings when the red flags are flying.
I generally go back along the same route, enjoying the views and the fact that it is down hill for most of the way!