Tarka Trail


Tarka Trail South Loop

  • Distance
    122.41 km
  • Time
    31h 40min
  • Speed
    4.0 km/h
  • Peak
    382 m


Unlike the North Loop, The South Loop of the Tarka Trail offers a variety of options. The section between Braunton and Meeth is an old railway track which has been covered making it possible to walk or cycle.

There are few path options on the return leg between Okehampton and Barnstaple, so at this point, the trail makes use of the Tarka Line train to finish the last leg. There are some smaller walks and places to visit along the way.

Heading south west from Barnstaple, the Trail continues alongside the expansive saltmarsh, mudflats and sandbanks of the Taw/Torridge Estuary to Bideford. This is part of the Shared-Use Section that covers 31 miles of former railway line between Braunton and Meeth. The Shared-Use Section has a tarmac surface as far as Watergate and is open for bicycles, wheelchairs and walkers. Horses are welcome between Torrington and Meeth.

From the ancient port town of Bideford the Trail travels inland leaving the wide rivers and their estuaries behind and follows bubbling streams through woodlands and flower-rich culm grassland before finally arriving at the edge of the high moor. The River Taw rises on Dartmoor and the Trail joins it and returns with it, passing through the gently rolling countryside to meet the Tarka Railway Line at Eggesford.

The railway line is the final leg of the South Loop; crisscrossing over the twists and turns of the River as it heads back to Barnstaple.

Tarka Trail South Loop