Walking The Tarka Trail, North Devon

Luggage Transfers cover the Tarka Trail circular route from Barnstaple.  Established in 2009, we move thousands of bags each year for visitors walking and cycling throughout the South West.

Below, you’ll find more information about walking the Tarka Trail and a popular itinerary, as well as a link to our walker friendly accommodation for the entire route.

Juliet Elliott cycled the Tarka Trail in 2021.  You can read more about her aventures here.

Start: Barnstaple
Finish: Barnstaple
Total Distance: 83.5 miles / 134 km
Luggage transfers available: 1st March` to 31st October

Walk or cycle the Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail is a figure of eight route which follows the trail travelled by Tarka the Otter made famous in Henry Williamson’s novel. The route can be walked or cycled in its entirety or split into two loops, North and South, each offering stunning countryside, open landscapes and deep woodlands. The North offers the highlights of Exmoor and the North Devon coastline, whilst the South heads further inland deep into North Devon skirting the area of Dartmoor before returning to the North Cornish coastal town of Barnstaple.  For ease of starting point it is suggested that both routes are started in Barnstaple which has a branch train line connecting to the main line at Exeter. Cycle hire is possible from Barnstaple for those wishing to tour by bike.  It is not essential to start here though, and local providers may deliver and collect bicycles from alternative locations along the route.  The Tarka Trail makes a nice alternative or detour from walking on the South West Coast Path.

Tarka Trail Northern Loop