Where to Ride Road

20 Great British Road Rides

Barnstaple, which lies to the west of Exmoor on the North Devonshire coast, is your starting point for a classic ride that will take you high up on the moor to the village of Exford. With over 1500m of climbing this is not a ride for the faint-hearted, nor is it a ride for a wet or a windy day. Throughout the ride you will discover some quaint villages and fantastic sections of road with spectacular views over open moorland and the surrounding area, and there are many places to stop off along the way to refuel and take in the beauty of Exmoor National Park.

Beginning at the station, cross over the River Taw and join the A39 out of Barnstaple climbing up past North Devon District Hospital and descending through Woolley Wood towards Arlington Court. Continue on towards Kentisbury Ford and the village of Blackmoor Gate before starting an uphill stint towards Challacombe. Lush green scenery will surround you as you pedal on towards Simonsbath and then onto the moor and village of Exford. This is a quaint little village perfect for a short break and refuel before you tackle the step climb out of the village and descend into Withypool. From here it’s another steep climb up to Withypool Common before dropping down again into North Molton. Cross over the River Mole into South Molton and continue on towards Swimbridge before completing your loop and arriving back in Barnstaple.

Start point: Barnstaple railway station
Grid reference: SS 55593 32552
Postcode: EX21 2AU
Total distance: 88km
Total elevation: 1585m
Max elevation: 422m

To see a rough map of this route, click here.


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