Most people head to Torquay – the capital of the English Riviera – for the beaches and the nightlife. However, most people don’t realise what other activities they are missing!
However, one of the most fun activities has got to be Mountain Biking. There are a wide range of biking possibilities around Torquay, from a leisurely coastal bike ride to extreme freeriding.
My most recent outing was at the fantastic Haldon Forest Park where there are a number of marked trails ranging from the Family Trail to the more technical Ridge Ride Trail. As I don’t have a mountain bike, I popped over to Forest Cycle Hire for an excellent front suspension bike, suitable for all the trails. After a fun lap on the Adventure Cycle Trail, I did a couple of laps on the very exciting 6 mile Ridge Ride Trail – absolutely awesome. A couple of falls didn’t hold me back too much, and after quite a tiring ride and a few scrapes and bruises to show for it I retired to the cafe for a drink!
The park also has other activities, including Go Ape the zip-wire park, Horse riding, walking, a children’s play area and regular events including Bushcraft.
Earlier in the summer I did a route from Torquay to Totnes and back. Heading out from Torquay via the picturesque Cockington, we plotted a route mainly following bridleways past Berry Pomeroy Castle to our destination – lunch at the Royal Seven Stars in Totnes! Following a tasty lunch and a few pints we negotiated our way back on to our bikes before heading on a fun route via Aish and Paignton back to Torquay. A particular highlight was hanging on for dear life down a dark rocky path under dense tree cover between Totnes and Aish – great fun!
I rented my bike from Simply The Bike, it’s slightly more a road bike, but with front suspension and good tyres was plenty good enough for my ride, and the more upright position helped with the uphill bits!
I hope this gives you an idea of what is on offer, as I’ve only scratched the surface – there’s plenty of fantastic biking in nearby Dartmoor which is what I hope to explore later in the summer!