Two Moors Crossing

Experience the rugged beauty and wilderness of Dartmoor and the windswept heaths and imposing coastline of Exmoor as you cycle from Plymouth to the Bristol Channel before continuing over the Brendon and Quantock Hills to Taunton.

This is a fantastic cycle ride across moor, through ancient woodland and river valleys and along quiet country lanes. The long climbs will test your fitness, stamina and off-road cycling skills but you will be rewarded with some breathtaking views. For groups cycling in two days, finishing in Plymouth gives the opportunity to enjoy an evening in the Barbican at Plymouth.

  • 96 miles / 155 kms
  • 13,080 feet / 3987 metres
  • 2-3 days
  • Plymouth - Taunton

We find that the transfer between Dartmoor and Exmoor is best done at the end of day one rather than in the morning of day two. As the transfer takes two hours you need to finish cycling by 5.00 pm on day one so that you have enough time for a shower and dinner.

Itinerary

Transport between Dartmoor and Exmoor means you can skip the large road section between the two National Parks. Regular, fit and confident off-road cyclists can ride the trail over two days. On a three day ride, the third day from Monksilver to Taunton is 20 miles (and two hills) of easy riding. Finishing at midday gives time for the journey home in the afternoon.

Dartmoor, South Devon, England

Two Days, Taunton to Plymouth

Cycling the trail in two days is tough and requires good weather and trail conditions and a strong group. The first 8 miles / 13 kms from Taunton are along quiet country lanes as you climb to the top of the ridge. This can be avoided with transport to the end of the road at Lydeard Hill car park near West Bagborough.

Day 1 - Cycle from Taunton to Tarr Steps - 48 miles / 77 kms
Transfer from Tarr Steps at the bottom of Exmoor to Chagford at the top of Dartmoor
Day 2 - Cycle from Chagford to Plymouth - 41 miles / 66 kms

Dartmoor, South Devon, England

Two Days, Plymouth to Taunton

Dartmoor can be difficult when the ground is wet. The second day across Exmoor is the longest although this can be shortened by 8 miles by finishing at Lydeard Hill car park near West Bagborough. Plan to be on the bike for 9-12 hours each day.

Day 1 - Plymouth to Chagford - 41 miles / 66 kms
Transfer from Chagford at the top of Dartmoor to Tarr Steps at the bottom of Exmoor
Day 2 - Tarr Steps to Taunton - 48 miles / 77 kms

Dartmoor, South Devon, England

Three Days, Plymouth to Taunton

A three day trip gives more time to ride across Exmoor, the Brendon Hills and Quantock Hills. Day one is the longest but the first 10 miles are easy riding along the Plym Valley cycle trail.

Day 1 - Plymouth to Chagford - 41 miles / 66 kms
Transfer from Chagford at the top of Dartmoor to Tarr Steps at the bottom of Exmoor
Day 2 - Tarr Steps to Monksilver - 30 miles / 48 kms
Day 3 - Monksilver to Taunton - 20 miles / 32 kms

For groups travelling to Devon it can be convenient to drive to Taunton and park your car. There is a long stay car park at Taunton train station. As the trip ends in Taunton you will cycle back to your parked cars. The train journey between Taunton and Plymouth typically takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

Navigation

Dartmoor Explorer Map

Map OL28 of Dartmoor National Park includes Princetown, Buckfastleigh and The Tarka Trail

Exmoor Explorer Map

Map OL9 of Exmoor National Park includes Barnstaple, Lynton, Minehead and Dulverton

Quantock Hills & Bridgwater

Map 140 includes Macmillan Way West, Coleridge Way, River Parrett Trail, Highbridge and Bridgwater

GPS: Plymouth to Chagford

Download GPS points of the Dartmoor crossing from Plymouth to Chagford

GPS: Dulverton to Monksilver

Download GPS points of the Exmoor crossing from Dulverton to Monksilver

GPS: Monksilver to Taunton

Download GPS points of the Quantock Hills crossing from Monksilver to Taunton

Devon Cottages

Beautiful Devon holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation perfectly located for walking and cycling the trails of this unique county
Read more...

Hotels & Inns

We have listed some of the better hotels and inns with links to TripAdvisor where you can read customer reviews and check prices and availability.

When booking accommodation ask if there is secure storage for your bikes and the time breakfast is served in the morning. All should be able to provide packed lunches. For those starting late or cycling long distances, check when evening meals end. If you plan to arrive mid afternoon check that the country inns are open as many close between 3 and 6 pm.

Plymouth has a good range of hotels to choose from for all budgets. The Holiday Inn on the Hoe is the closest to the start but it's not everyone's cup of tea. Chagford at the top of Dartmoor is a beautiful village with several hotels and inns. Tarr Farm is in a wonderful setting beside the River Barle. If there are no rooms available then the Royal Oak at nearby Withypool is also a good choice. The Notley Arms in Monksilver is a lovely country inn. There are other more expensive choices nearby in Dunster village. Taunton town centre has little to offer tourists.

Readers' Comments

  • Wed 24 Jul 2019, 13:16
    Walk and Cycle

    Hi Jamie, we stopped providing cycling support last summer. It might be something we consider again in a couple of years but this summer and next it isn't something we will be providing unfortunately. It's a bit of a loss really because for the Two Moors Crossing the middle road section is best avoided - only because it's quite dull and takes a hard day of riding. For your young ones, the Devon Coast to Coast is an obvious choice as large parts are off-road along disused railway lines. The section along the Plymm Valley with its viaducts and tunnel between Clearbrook and Plymouth is not to be missed.

  • Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:14
    Jamie Barwell

    Truly amazing response, so quick and thank you so much!!!......I was prepared to pay for this info, please let me know if we can support your work in any way!?.....perhaps in the future when our kids are a little bigger we can join you for a supported 'off road' trip. Would you suggest a good first adventure for little ones.....and at what age (they are 4 and 7 at the moment but already proficient cyclists)? Jamie

  • Wed 24 Jul 2019, 10:06
    Walk and Cycle

    Hi Jamie, GPS points of the Dartmoor, Exmoor and Quantock Hills sections that we have mapped out have been added to the page.

  • Tue 23 Jul 2019, 21:49
    Jamie Barwell

    Hi, how can we purchase a GPX track of this route?