Tarka Trail Walking Holidays
The Tarka Trail is a looping figure of eight footpath of over 180 miles/280 km in length through the beautiful North and Mid Devon countryside, tracing the travels of Henry Williamson’s much loved `Tarka the Otter’ depicted in his best-selling 1927 novel.
With the town of Barnstaple as its central reference point, the Tarka Trail leads through a wide variety of landscapes, including North Devon’s dramatic Atlantic Coastline, the northern Slopes of Dartmoor to the sheltered tranquillity of the River Taw and River Torridge Estuaries, where Tarka was born and raised.
The Trail’s southern loop follows a disused railway line from Barnstable to Bideford, skirting the shores of the Taw /Torridge Estuaries before following the valleys the River Torridge inland. Leading through Torrington and Hatherleigh and deep into the heart of rural Mid-Devon Devon as far as Okehampton, the Trail passes across a section of north Dartmoor. Here it picks up the source of River Taw and traces the Taw all the way back to its Estuary and finally back to Barnstable.
Following the northern loop from Barnstable, the Tarka Trail takes in rolling hills and patchwork farmland before meeting the heather-clad landscapes of Exmoor. From here it follows scenic river valleys through the northern half of Exmoor National Park to Lynmouth. Near Lynmouth the route joins the South West Coast Path, heading due west along spectacular cliff scenery via Ilfracombe and Braunton before again meeting the riverside meadows of the Taw/Torridge Estuary and once more heading back to Barnstable.