9th July – Bideford to Barnstaple

019 Tarka Trail to Barnstaple
The Tarka Trail to Barnstaple


A much more relaxed day. The route along the Tarka Trail follows the old railway track and is very flat.  Consequently I was able to enjoy a late breakfast and leave at 8.30.

021 Appledore and the River Torridge
Appledore and the River Torridge
020 Teashop at Fremington
Teashop at Fremington

My route took me past Appledore and Fremington, and a little after 12.30 I arrived in Barnstaple.

022 Approaching Barnstaple long bridge
Approaching Barnstaple Long Bridge

This left plenty of time for going shopping for vital supplies and a lunchtime beer in one of the many pubs.  Naturally the Premier Inn was some way from the centre and up the hill. The local Tesco is opposite so getting supplies was easy.

I have quite a big day tomorrow and plan to leave at 6.00 to ensure that I make it to the pub in Challacombe for 4.00pm and my lift to Warren Farm. I have a taxi booked for 6.00 to take me down to Barnstaple. My rules are that I will walk the total distance. If I need to take a bus, lift, or taxi to accommodation or shops I return to the exact spot where I left the route.

I have sent the guidebook for the Coastal Path and all the maps home as they are no longer needed and every gram of weight is worth saving. The scenery along the coast is spectacular but would have been much more enjoyable with just a day sack with a few essentials.