RECOMMENDED RIDE – Princetown, Devon

Nestled in Dartmoor National Park, Princetown is a beautiful Devonian village that gives you access to forest, waterways, lovely eateries and places to golf.

 

 

princetown

Princetown, Devon

Saturday 1 October

Left home at 9.30 am.  Stopped for coffee at industrial estate services (Costa) big queue, just short of Stonehenge.  Sandwiches in car and arrived about 2.15.  Went for a walk across golf course and found ourselves on the Landrover off-road experience tracks.  Greg and Lorna arrived about 6pm.  We ate at the Bovey BrasserieRemember to ask for 20% discount Excellent meal – good but expensive wine.

 

Sunday 2nd

Bike ride.  A373 to Princetown.  ¾ hr.  Parked at back of bike shop and had very good coffee.  Set off along railway track.  Dropped down to Burrator reservoir.  Lunch in Royal Oak at Meavy.  Good lunch in ‘olde worlde’ pub.  South of reservoir through Sheepstor on to bridle way/path which goes for ever, mainly uphill on stony technical paths with boggy ground at times.  Difficult but fun.  Got muddy.  Ride was approx. 20 miles.  Ate in – smoked salmon on bruschetta by Lorna, African Lamb and couscous (Jamie Oliver) and lots of wine.

burrator-sheepstor

Burrator Reservoir (left) and Sheepstor (right)

 

 

chagford

Monday 3rd

Went to Chagford for coffee and a look at shops including hardware stores.    Home for lunch – my homemade tomato soup, bread from Chagford and cheeses.  Played golf at 2pm.  Ladies won!  Tea and then supper in.  More smoked salmon and bruschetta and fish pie.

 

 

fingles-bridge

Fingles Bridge

Tuesday 4th

L & G wanted another bike ride.  Set off from Manor Court to North Bovey.  Ring of Bells will be open again October 2017.  Got lost and ditched original plan to go to Postbridge in favour of returning to Chagford for coffee in Victoria Sponge coffee shop.  Luckily we did not go to Postbridge as it was too far.  Cycled via Drewsteignton to the Fingle Inn at Fingles Bridge.  Very beautiful and delicious lasagne.  Used to be called the Anglers Rest.  Went home to Chagford the same way, but it looks as if there might be off road beside river.  Check next time.  Back to Manor Court by little roads.  Approx. 23 miles.  Too far and we were all tired.  Ray got slow puncture near end.  Lorna and Greg left to go home about 5 pm.

 

gidleigh-park

Gidleigh Park Hotel

Wednesday 5th

Leisurely start.  Walked with Darcey along stream to North Bovey and back along road.  Brunch of eggs and bacon.  Drove to Fernworthy Reservoir.  Not very attractive, long road around edge to parking beside the forest.  Looks good for mountain bikes in forest.  Went on to Chagford and had drink in Three Crowns.  Very nice hotel/pub.  Try for food sometime.  Drove to Gidleigh Park and walked round grounds.  Put Darcey in car and went in for afternoon tea, which we had booked.  Delicious.  Another walk round grounds to go and see amazing 18 hole putting course designed by Peter Allis.  Home and evening in.

 

exe-estuary

Exe Estuary Trail

Thursday 6th

Late start.  Drove to Dawlish.  Parked and went to very helpful tourist office to get maps etc.  Coffee in sunshine with live music.  Drove to Starcross where we parked and got foot ferry across to Exmouth.  Took cycle path right up side of estuary.  Lunch in the Swan in Lympstone  .  Cycled to Swing Bridge just short of Exeter – through housing estates at end, and then down other side of the estuary past nature reserve.  Cycle lane below banks so you can’t see estuary at all.  Good pub half way down – Turf Hotel – but sadly closed.  15 miles.  Good to do, but not the most exciting ride.  Fun going on ferry but had to carry bikes over footbridge.  Finished up the lamb and cakes from Gidleigh Park.

 

warren-houseFriday 7th

Getting up even later!  Drove down B3212 to Postbridge, and turned left towards Youth Hostel at Bellever.  Parking a mile down road and beautiful walks beside stream and also forest.  Probably good for mountain biking.  Coffee in hotel at Postbridge (not special).  Should have gone to Warren House at top of the moor on way home.  Do this next time.  Home for lunch and then played 10 holes of golf at 1.45 pm.  Drizzled most of the day.  Ate at Brasserie in evening.

 

Surely Britain’s favourite holidaying county, Devon offers a variety of landscapes to cycle and ample number of good places to eat and recharge.

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