The Granite Way
This is a truly spectacular and mostly traffic free cycle route through rural Devon with fantastic views of Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside. The route is part of the National Cycle Network ‘Devon Coast to Coast’ Route 27.
Okehampton to Lydford
• Okehampton Station. Car Park at the station under the rail bridge by the Youth Hostel.
• Lydford. Car Park opposite Castle Inn.
From Okehampton Station, the route leads you along level purpose built paths to Meldon Viaduct. On leaving Okehampton you will see Okehampton Castle and breathtaking views over Dartmoor and the local countryside. Okehampton Castle is one of the most extensive castle ruins in Devon, with a Norman motte, added to in the 11th and 14th century. Owned by the Earl of Devon, it was destroyed in 1539 by Henry VIII who executed the Earl for treason.
At Meldon there are wonderful views of Meldon Dam and Dartmoor beyond. Below the viaduct you will see remains of fascinating man-made workings that remind you how much Dartmoor has been shaped by man’s activities over the centuries. (The Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton has much information about this.)
A Visitor Centre and station at Meldon is served by steam trains in summer and certain other times. Further west heading towards Lydford you will cross the great stone viaduct of Lake with even more stunning views of Dartmoor. Here the route divides, either follow quiet lanes via Bridestow village to the former Bridestow station and then continue off road for another 1m/2.5km or continue straight on for a further mile west along the traffic free path to Southerly Halt picnic site.
At Lydford the Castle is well worth a visit. It has an imposing keep which was a former gaol and the scene of many hangings! An interesting variation on the route is to take the Dartmoor Pony steam train service from Okehampton to Meldon.
The train runs alongside the new cycle path, so you could cycle one way then make the return journey using this train, on which cycles are carried free of charge.
Facts & Features
Route Distance: 11miles/18km
• The Devon Coast to Coast route map (DP72)
• The Granite Way leaflet (DP91)
• The Ultimate Devon Coast to Coast Guide £5.95 from www.sustrans.org.uk
• Explorer (1:25,000) No. 113 Okehampton / No. OL28 Dartmoor
• Landranger (1:50,000) No. 191 Okehampton and North Dartmoor
Places to Visit:
• Museum of Dartmoor Life, Okehampton
• Okehampton Castle (English Heritage)
• Okehampton Station
• Meldon Visitor Centre
• Lydford Gorge (National Trust – reduced entry for those arriving by bicycle)
• Lydford Castle (English Heritage)
• Refreshments available at Okehampton, Meldon and Lydford
• Cycle hire and shop at North Road, Okehampton/YHA Okehampton/Okehampton station/Prewley,nr Sourton