The Granite Way cycle trail is mainly level, traffic free, and tarmac, ideal for even the most novice of riders and is perfect for families to explore.
The traffic trail which runs all the way between Okehampton & Lydford and offers spectacular views of Dartmoor. The Granite Way is part of the National Cycle Network route 27 Devon Coast to Coast, a wonderful cycle track running along the edge of Dartmoor but in years past the spectacular views would have been enjoyed by Victorian train passengers on their journey between Exeter and Plymouth. Being an old railway line means it's a lovely traffic free leisure ride and is flat as Devon can be!
Trains do still run at selected times from Meldon to Okehampton and on to Sampford Courtenay. Bikes are carried free. Please check Dartmoor Railway for dates and times. Meldon buffet carriage reopened during 2015 and hopefully this will be the same for the season. A great slice of 'view' to have with your cuppa!
There are a total of 18miles of traffic free cycling available. After improvements to the route in 2013 it's now traffic free all the way. Great news for getting to Lydford without the hills!
The Tale of the Two Viaducts
The video above shows Lake Viaduct's views and majestic beauty!
Built of granite with 9 arches.
The steep valley which come down to Lake Viaduct - known as “Deep Valley” was once a copper mine.
Built in 1871 by WR Galbraith. Meldon Viaduct is one of only two surviving wrought iron truss girder railway bridges in the UK.
Spanning 165m and at it’s highest point is 46m above the West Okement valley.
The first train crossed it on 12th October 1874.
It was closed to trains in 1968 after Beeching announced his 1963 report into reshaping Britains railways.
In 1970 a concrete road was laid across the viaduct for construction traffic while Meldon Reservoir and Dam were being built. The rails were lifted in 1990.
This is a better starting point for families as you have better options in terms of routes and an ice cream at the end of the ride! The hire bikes are really good quality and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Brian.P, Southampton, United Kingdom P 2015
“Best day of our summer holidays so far!”
It's not always easy to keep three children of different ages entertained with the same activity but we managed it thanks to the lovely people at Devon Cycle Hire. This is not only a truly breathtaking cycle route, but the helpful and very patient team at Devon Cycle Hire made sure we had one of the best days out of the summer. Excellent advise for all ages, brilliant technical knowledge which we will take home and great bikes. And ice-cream! Can't wait to return. K Harkie, Bristol, United Kingdom, August 2016
“Great service and good bikes”
We arrived with no booking (on the bank holiday weekend) but they were very accommodating and helpful and “found” sufficient bikes and a dog pull cart. Perfect 4 hours of cycling for the family and lunch at Lydford. Very good solid bikes that are well maintained and service very friendly. HKJoanna, Hong Kong, China, August 2018
A glorious way to spend a leisurely day!
Devon Cycle Hire is the perfect place to start your ride especially for families. It gives you greater flexibility and is ideal with little ones as it allows you the option of seeing both viaducts without too long a cycle. Take a look at our map for further information on The Granite Way. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on how to get the best out of the trail.
There are places to stop off for refreshments along The Granite Way, but remember we are in Devon and not all pubs serve food all day, so a bit of planning can help avoid being hungry cyclists! You can stock up on our locally made flapjack before heading off.
Along the trail there is a host of flora and fauna including bluebell wood, ponds - and birds of prey can often be seen hovering overhead. The Granite Way changes quite dramatically with each season. In Spring the bluebells near Meldon are a sight to see - and smell! Beautiful dragonflies use the ponds during the Summer. The colour of the bracken on Dartmoor during Autumn is beautiful and once all the leaves have dropped in Winter the views become even more evident.
If heading down to Lydford why not visit Lydford Gorge, a National Trust property which boasts the deepest river gorge in the South West, with spectacular 30m waterfall. They say you'll hear the roaring of the Devil's Cauldron before you see it.