The Tarka Trail is one of the UK’s longest continuous traffic-free walking and cycling paths, and forms part of the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route (see www.devon.gov.uk/tarkatrail). You can join the Tarka Trail in Braunton, just few hundred yards from Wyndham Villa, and bicycles/trailers/hook-ons/tandems are available to hire at Otter Cycle Hire (01271 813339), behind the Caen Street car park.
The Braunton to Meeth section of the Tarka Trail (31 miles, 51km) is a flat, traffic-free route suitable for families, which runs along the route of a disused railway following the banks of the River Taw and crossing the tributary River Yeo at Barnstaple.
The route then takes you along the southern bank of the Taw and up the Torridge Estuary, passing Bideford and Great Torrington before finishing at Meeth. The Devon Coast to Coast route branches off at Petrockstowe to follow quiet lanes to Okehampton and beyond.
There are many valuable wildlife habitats along the route including estuary mudflats and salt marshes, oak woodland, hazel coppice, hedges, ponds, streams, ditches and meadows.
At Fremington Quay on the southern bank of the Taw estuary you can enjoy a break in the excellent café (situated in the old station building that served the quay) whilst learning of the fascinating history of this disused port. The café has an intriguing photographic display depicting the history of the quay the local area, and you can climb the tower for a panoramic view of the estuary. For more information and menus see www.fremingtonquay.co.uk.