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Devon: Hike, Bike & Kayak (Source to Sea)


Ahhh Devon, the UK’s answer to paradise. Fairy-tale woodlands, picture-perfect villages, and some of the country’s prettiest rivers. The only tricky part is picking the best way to take it all in – on foot, on a bicycle or on the river itself. But on this four-day adventure down the River Dart and River Teign, you won’t have to choose. Starting off in Dartmoor National Park, hike, bike, canoe and paddle your way through some Devon’s most spectacular scenery, passing by ancient ruins, natural pools and gorgeous villages. When you’re not on the go you’ll have plenty of time to sit back and soak it all in – your local leader will deal with the details so you can focus on the road ahead of you and the views around you.

4 days, from

$1,540

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: BEXD
Style: Original
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Details

Countries Visited:  United Kingdom
Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights)
Transportation: Private van
Meals: dinners, 3 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • A natural playground, Devon’s landscapes are overflowing with opportunities for walking, swimming, cycling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding – come with an open mind and leave with some new skills!

  • Explore the River Dart on foot, dipping into the tranquil waters of the Sharrah Pool, then paddle down its waters, stopping off for swims and beer breaks along the way.

  • Cycle into the wild heart of Dartmoor National Park in search of tor rock formations – one of which is said to have inspired Sherlock Holmes’ most famous case, the Hound of the Baskervilles.

  • Unpack just once and spend three wonderful nights at your accommodation – a charming hotel set on the grounds of Buckfast Abbey, on the southern slopes of Dartmoor National Park.

  • Discover the wonders of the River Teign, including the Scorhill Stone Circle – with a history stretching back to the Bronze Age, this site truly is an ancient wonder.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Exeter

Welcome to Devon! Your action-packed adventure begins in Exeter at 12pm, where you’ll meet your local leader and new travel companions. Drive to Postbridge (approximately 1 hour), set in the heart of Dartmoor National Park – a place so beautiful it has inspired many myths, legends and works of fiction. Stop off for lunch to enjoy your fairy-tale surroundings and admire the ancient 13th-century bridge that still precariously straddles the river. Then it’s time to stretch your legs and head off on a walk (approximately 6 miles) down the infant River Dart to Dartmeet, the aptly named meeting point of the river’s two major tributaries. You’ll have the chance to cool off with a dip in one of many gorgeous natural pools along the way. Transfer to your accommodation for the next three evenings – a delightful hotel set on the grounds of Buckfast Abbey, tucked away on the southern slopes of Dartmoor National Park. Enjoy a well-earned welcome dinner (at your own cost) and perhaps get to know your fellow travellers over a pint or two.

Day 2: Dartmoor National Park

Start the day with a walk through wooded valleys and along the river to the Sharrah Pool – arguably the most beautiful river pool in the country. The walk is around 2 miles each way and the refreshing swim in totally tranquil waters surrounded by woodland and wildlife makes every step worth it! This afternoon you’ll switch to two wheels and cycle into the wild heart of Dartmoor National Park in search of tors, large free-standing rock formations. Visit the towering Haytor and Hound Tor – legend has it the latter inspired Sherlock Holmes’ most famous case, the Hound of the Baskervilles. For lunch today you can enjoy a peaceful picnic in the park, or you may prefer to swing by the local pub and tuck into some traditional British fare. Return to your wonderful accommodation later in the afternoon and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 3: Dartmoor National Park

Depending on how active you’re feeling this morning, you can either catch an old-school steam train from Buckfastleigh to the town of Totnes, or walk the trail through quiet lanes and bridlepaths. An endearing market town with a real focus on promoting a sustainable lifestyle, Totnes is an excellent place to explore and enjoy a spot of lunch. Then you’ll have the option to jump in a canoe, kayak or on a stand up paddle board and travel down the River Dart towards the postcard-pretty town of Dartmouth. There’s no need to be an expert – your leader will teach you the skills needed to get the most out of this activity! Swing by a local wine café (what better way to break up the journey!) before continuing down the river. Arrive in Dartmouth and perhaps pop into a local pub to wet your whistle, or take some time to discover the town’s incredibly charming streets, lined with pastel-coloured houses. Cycle back to your accommodation for the evening.

Day 4: Dartmoor National Park

This morning you will transfer to another one of the UK’s most spectacular rivers – the River Teign. On arrival, visit the Scorhill Stone Circle – with a history stretching back to the Bronze Age, this site truly is an ancient wonder. While you’re here, why not see if you can squeeze through the hole in the legendary Tolmen stone, caused by erosion over thousands of years. Those who pass through it are said to receive increased fertility and immunity from a number of diseases. With your newfound health and fertility under your belt, take a walk along the River Teign down to the gorgeous Tudor-style mansion at Gidleigh Park where you’ll enjoy a coffee, then carry on to the Chagford Lido for a swim in the river-fed pool. After that, it’s a 20-mile bike ride down to the Teign Estuary where you’ll take a moment to soak in the view before finishing up your adventure and transferring back to Exeter for around 6pm.

Unscripted experiences, insider access and authentic local flavors


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