Recently my parents purchased new bicycles and Mum wanted to go out on them to give them a spin! She suggested The Granite Way in Okehampton, which I had never heard of before seeing as it’s only down the road from us. It sounded like a good idea especially with the promise of it being fairly flat, even better!
Dave and I packed our bikes into the car and awaited my parents arrival, they soon turned up and off we went following my Dad as we had no clue where we were going!
The Granite Way is actually sign posted in Okehampton (the little brown touristy ones) but I had never noticed them before, so it was easy to find and we were soon pulling into the car park at Okehampton Railway Station (there’s also parking at Lydford).
After we unloaded the cars, pumped up my tyres and clipped up our helmets we were on our way.
The Granite Way is an 11 mile route which takes you through some beautiful moorland scenery. It wasn’t long before we reached the first impressive view which was the Meldon Viaduct built in 1874 it stretches 165 meters over the remains of the mineral mines. It stands at almost 50 meters high, so perhaps not the greatest if you are afraid of heights! However the views from it are stunning.
We carried on along our way until Dad spotted a sign for a coffee shop, stating ‘it must be coffee time now?’ we veered off the track and down a little side path in search of a steaming cup of the brown stuff. The shop was just at the bottom of the path and turned out to be Devon Cycle Hire the only cycle hire shop on The Granite Way with direct access to the trail. It was their last day of the season so the coffee shop was a little limited for choice but we didn’t mind that at all, three cups of coffee and a bottle of coke were ordered along with a packet of biscuits for dunking. It was a lovely little place with friendly staff that seemed like they would help you in anyway they could, I even made a pumpkin friend!
We made our way back up the path and carried along on our way. We passed through some beautiful autumnal scenes this has to be one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken in a little while. The colours are just stunning!
As we went along we found everyone we met along the way to be so friendly, most said hello or morning which was nice. We eventually got to our next stop which I really don’t know what was called but think it might have been another lake viaduct but a stone one this time. I couldn’t get a very good picture but tried my best, it was a very impressive view!
We set off on our way again but came across a sign post for a pub… it was nearly lunch time so we took a detour down a different track and headed for the pub! We navigated our way along the track and then through some quite muddy and wet patches, perfect for rocking up at the pub! We rode into the car of the Bearslake Inn it looked like we could have been the fist people there and we were worried they were shut, however after Mum gave the door a good shove we tumbled inside. We were met by some very friendly staff at the bar, ordered some drinks and sat in the bar by the window. Dave and Dad both went for Roast Beef and Mum and I both had Sweet Chili Chicken Sandwiches, the food came out in no time which we were very impressed with and we were soon placing our knives and forks back together with full bellies!
We finished our drinks and went back outside to unlock our bikes and go back through the mud. We carried along the cycle path a good few miles more until we got to the deciding point… do we carry on to Lydford or not? We decided we’d had enough for one day and thought we’d do that another day so we turned around and made our way back. On our return we found even more lovely scenery.
There are so many lovely spots to take photos that the ride probably took a lot longer than it should have but it meant we could admire the views a little more. We got back to Meldon Viaduct and stood there for a while to just look at the views around us… oh and to take an obligatory selfie. very smiley faces! 🙂
From here it wasn’t too far back to the car, following the railway lines. We came across some old derelict train carriages and buildings which looked like a something from a unused film scene, it was quite eerie and spooky looking, I can imagine at night it would be terrifying!
We carried on along the trail back to the car park, Mum nearly wiped out on her bike after getting a little friendly with a bush she collided with but all in all we made it back in one piece, albeit with sore bottoms from our hard seats!
We loaded our bikes back in the car and headed home for a well deserved cup of tea!
I would highly recommend this ride for people of all abilities and walkers, it has many beautiful views to offer, especially this time of year. We will certainly be back again soon, thanks for the recommendation Mum!