The Tarka Trail - Cycling/ Walking and Horse Riding

Petrockstow - Servis, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 3HN

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Tarka Trail (c) DCC


The Tarka Trail is a walking and cycle route between Braunton and Meeth built on old railway lines through Tarka Country in North Devon. It passes through the largely unspoilt countryside as described by Henry Williamson in his classic novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ first published in 1927.

This part of the trail is designed for walking and cycling but horse riding is only currently allowed along the section between Petrockstowe Station and Servis near Torrington. This is the least well known but most peaceful and tranquil part of the Tarka Trail. This section is a really wonderfully quiet and scenic stretch passing through a varied landscape of woodland and farmland. The former railway track bed has been converted to a surface suitable for walking and cycling, reducing risks involved in mixing such activities with road traffic. The gradients are shallow when compared with much of the surrounding countryside. Many visitors attracted to the Tarka Trail are on holiday, and their recreational use of the facility can help contribute to the local economy by making use of green tourism businesses along the route.


Guidance for horse riders on the Tarka Trail between Servis and Petrockstowe Station,The following additional conditions need to be observed when riding along the Tarka Trail so as to avoid conflict with other recreational users:

- The horse riding route extends from the bridleway at Servis to Petrockstowe Station.
- Use of the trail beyond these points is not permitted.
- The use of the Tarka Trail by horse riders does not create bridleway rights.
- Riders should give way to other users of the Tarka Trail.
- The route may only be joined or left at the public highway (or the bridleway at Servis).
- Other gates and access points may not be used.
- All gates across the route should be left in a closed position.
- Cantering or galloping is not permitted
- Jumps are not to be erected
- Riding in a group of more than three horses is not permitted.
- The parking of horse boxes or vehicles used to bring horses to the Tarka Trail is not permitted in Tarka Trail car parks.
- Hunting or following a hunt is not permitted.
- Lights shall be worn after dark.


* Facilities:

The section designated for horses runs close to Great Torrington which has a car park and a tourist information centre. Other car parks are available at Watergate Bridge, East Yarde and Moormill area.

Book Tickets


Opening Times

The Tarka Line - Horse Riding (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

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