EXMOOR COTTAGE HOLIDAYS
Cycling and mountain biking holidays are very popular in North Devon and Exmoor, where there are some of the best cycling routes in the UK. For dedicated cyclists there are many spectacular road routes, and dozens of challenging bridleways ideal for mountain bikers. Exmoor is very hilly, but this shouldn't stop you considering it for cycling holidays with all the family: you can bring or hire E-bikes to make light work of the hills; and cyclists of all abilities can enjoy the Tarka Trail as it follows a former railway line beside the North Devon coast.
Exmoor Cottage Holidays are perfect for your mountain biking and cycling holidays in North Devon or Exmoor. The five lovely stone-built self-catering cottages, converted from a farm, all have log fires and private enclosed gardens. The characterful cottages are in the quiet and peaceful village of Challacombe, and within the beautiful Exmoor National Park. Your bicycles should be safe in the courtyard, but there is secure storage inside if you prefer. With excellent on-road and off-road routes starting right outside, and an award-winning pub and handy shop in the village; you don't have to waste time driving, shopping or cooking!
Challacombe offers easy access to a vast network of quiet country lanes around Exmoor and North Devon, ideal for road cycling. The National Cycle Network Route 3, from Land's End to Bristol, passes just a few miles away. The Tour of Britain went through Challacombe in 2007 and the Exmoor Cycle Route was established soon afterwards; a spectacular road route, of about 60 miles, passing through nearby Simonsbath.
Mountain biking is permitted on all the bridleways of Exmoor, and Challacombe has dramatic bridleways in nearly every direction (including the Macmillan Way, the Tarka Trail and the Two Moors Way). From Simonsbath is an easy off-road route along the river Barle to the extraordinary Cow Castle (an Iron Age hillfort on top of a small hill, within a valley). There is an exhilarating coastal bridleway from Woody Bay to The Hunters Inn, and numerous other mountain bike routes on Exmoor with all levels of difficulty.
The Exmoor National Park Authority have a map for cycling and mountain biking, available to buy online; and the OS Explorer map 0L9 shows all the bridleways.
To make light work of the hills you can bring your own e-bikes, or there are several places to hire them nearby. There are about 20 charging points on Exmoor (at pubs, cafes and restaurants, so you can ‘top up’ in more ways than one!). E-bikes are as quiet as ordinary bikes so you can still get close to wildlife, and with so many charging points you shouldn't be left stranded!
Everyone in the family, whatever their age or ability, can enjoy the Tarka Trail along a former railway line which follows the coast from Braunton to Bideford, then goes inland to Meeth; and there are several bicycle hire and repair shops along the way. Our favourite stretch is from Fremington Quay (there is a bike hire shop here, and an excellent cafe) to the Victorian town of Instow (which has a lovely sandy beach). We once hired three bikes for eight of us; a wheelchair bike, a tandem with a pull-along bike and a tricycle! Another easy cycle route is at Wistlandpound Reservoir, about five miles away. The gravel path around the lake is fairly level and you may see a large flock of Canada Geese, and if lucky a Cormorant.
We know Exmoor and North Devon well and will happily show you the best places to go on an OS map, which you may borrow for your stay. We also offer (charged extra) towel hire, more logs and kindling, and a service wash and dry so that you can enjoy your biking and cycling holidays to the full.
After a full day biking or cycling you can completely relax in the private garden outside your cottage and watch the wild birds (we feed them most days) or settle down in front of the cosy log fire in your cottage. Before retiring you can stroll up Humphrey's Hill to take in the lovely views of the sun setting over Exmoor, or to the local pub for excellent home-made food and real ales.
If you are looking for cycling or mountain biking holidays in Exmoor and North Devon, then you probably won't find anywhere better to stay than Exmoor Cottage Holidays. Five character self-catering cottages, all with log fires, private gardens, and safe storage for bikes; in a peaceful village with a pub and shop just a short walk away; and with many excellent mountain bike and road cycle routes starting right outside the doors. We look forward to welcoming you and your bikes for your cycling holiday soon!