A new circular cycling route around Dartmoor National Park was launched last week, with TV presenter, journalist, author and cyclist Robert Penn cutting the ribbon and officially declaring The Dartmoor Way open to the public.
The Dartmoor Way is a 95 mile-long circular cycling route around Dartmoor linking hamlets, villages and towns. It has been newly signed with brightly coloured waymarkers and is expected to attract cyclists of all abilities from the region, as well as tourists and holidaymakers from across the country, from families to cycling enthusiasts.
Passing through or near Bovey Tracey, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Ivybridge, Yelverton, Tavistock, Okehampton, Chagford and Moretonhampstead to name a few, the route takes in a variety of stunning views and beautiful Devon scenery – with plenty of places to stay, eat and drink along the way. It is mainly on quiet roads or hard ground, so no off-road or specialist equipment is required.
The new route enables visitors to leave their cars behind and explore the beautiful national park by bike, whether for a day trip or longer. In addition to the main circular route there is a 27-mile long High Moorland Link trail, which cuts across Dartmoor via Princetown, creating two shorter circular routes or adding an extra challenge for those who wish to cycle the entire trail in a figure of eight.
Cyclist Robert Penn officially launched The Dartmoor Way at an event on Tuesday 22nd October at Dartmoor National Park’s headquarters in Bovey Trace.
Robert, who recently cycled the Trans-Amazonian Highway with Freddie Flintoff to make a documentary series for Sky TV, has presented on the BBC and authored a Sunday Times bestselling book ‘It’s All About the Bike: the Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels', said:
“I have been a passionate cyclist for many years and have often thought how wonderful it would be to cycle through Dartmoor. Thanks to Sustrans and its partners, this is now possible. I can’t wait to get on my bike and explore this beautiful national park.”
Sustrans’ Devon Manager Paul Hawkins, added:
“Cycling is a great way to enjoy the beauty and peace of Dartmoor whilst benefitting health, the environment and the economy of this rural area. This route intentionally takes people into lesser known areas of Dartmoor, bringing economic benefits to settlements around the moor.”
Dartmoor Way Chairman George Coles, commented:
“We are very excited to be launching The Dartmoor Way and hope that businesses along the route will gain an uplift in trade throughout the year as a result of the predicted extra daytrippers and holidaymakers it will attract. Public interest in the route has already surpassed expectations and all those that have tried it out have commented on the stunning scenery and sense of achievement felt. Whether you wish to complete the entire route or simply enjoy a leisurely afternoon out on your bike, The Dartmoor Way really does offer something for all cycling abilities.”
EU funding for The Dartmoor Way has been provided by the Local Action Group through Defra and Leader.