The Dartmoor Way cycle route opens to the public

Dartmoor Way Launch 1: (l-r) Paul Hawkins (Sustrans Area Manager), David Incoll (Sustrans Volunteer), Robert Penn (cyclist, author, journalist and TV presenter), Michael Owen (Dartmoor Way Project Manager), John Banks (Sustrans Volunteer), George Coles (Dartmoor Way Chairman) launch the Dartmoor Way cycle trail at Parke, Bovey Tracey.

The brand new circular cycling route that encompasses Dartmoor National Park was launched this Tuesday, the 22nd October. Robert Penn, the author, TV presenter, journalist and keen cyclist cut the ribbon and officially declared that the Dartmoor Way was now open to all.

The Dartmoor Way is 95 miles long and is completely circular, linking the towns, villages and hamlets that exist around this vast National Park. It has had new and brightly coloured waymarkers put in place and it is now expected that cyclists of all ages and abilities will come to the ride at least part of the Dartmoor Way from both the local region and further afield.

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 22nd October at Dartmoor National Park’s headquarters in

Dartmoor Way Launch 2: Robert Penn (front, centre with bike) joins The Dartmoor Way team and Sustrans plus selected guests to officially launch the new cycle trail at Parke, Bovey Tracey
Bovey Tracey. 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.