about talks publications code

Day 2 – Caradon Town to Taunton

In Cycling most of Land's End to John O'Groats | 28 Apr 2023 | cycling

Off at about 7:15am, feeling a little sluggish but generally OK. Another misty/cloudy day with everything feeling damp. Is it a wonder that there is moss growing on everything?

Down and up, twice, and thrice down brought my the River Tamar after about 8 miles. Shout out to my former colleague Tamar, now head of the Smithsonian libraries.

River Tamar and sign

Crossed the very full River Tamar at Horsebridge

The River Tamar also marked my first county transition: from Cornwall into Devon.

Devon sign

A slightly battered welcome to Devon

From the river a series of climbs led up to the western edge of Dartmoor. At the bottom of a little descent I was surprised to see a deep and narrow gorge (estimate 100 ft down from the bridge) – Lydford gorge. There is a National Trust property and walkways down in the gorge that I think would be fun. At a smidge over 18 miles I thought this was an auspicious time to snack.

Lydford Gorge

Deep and narrow Lydford Gorge

No sooner had I got back on my bike and climbed out of the gorge I was in Lydford proper, complete with 12th century Lydford Castle and an inn offering breakfast.

Lydford Castle

Lydford Castle. Built circa 1195 and extended 1238, surrounded by earlier, Saxon earthworks

Castle Inn

Oh! A nice looking inn offering breakfast!

Notwithstanding having just snacked it seemed foolish to pass up a breakfast opportunity, and I was tastily rewarded. This blog may turn into daily praise for the fry-up… if I’m lucky enough to keep finding them!

Full Devonshire breakfast

Superior “Full Devonshire” breakfast at the Castle Inn, Lydford

Shortly after leaving Lydford I joined a rail-trail called “The Granite Way” which offered easy cycling with views of Dartmoor.

Granite way

The Granite Way rail-trail with Dartmoor as the skyline

The rail-trail included the impressive Meldon Viaduct near Okehampton.

Meldon viaduct

Meldon Viaduct on The Granite Way

Roads continued at similar elevation for a while around the north of Dartmoor, then there were a series of glorious descents to Yeoford and Crediton. From there it was about 34 miles of mostly gently rolling terrain to the outskirts of Taunton. I stopped at a little store for snacks and to refill my water bottles but generally just toodled along. Somewhere I passed from Devon into Somerset but there wasn’t a sign so here is a random Somerset logo.

Smerset sign

Into Somerset

I arrived in Bishop’s Hull on the outskirts of Taunton at about 3pm, a hour before I could check in. What to do with a spare hour?

Pint of beer on picnic table

A pint at the Old Inn, Bishop’s Hull

From there it was just a short ride to my B&B. Both I and my bike were very muddy from all the wet roads through farm country, so I spent some time cleaning and lubricating my bike before enjoying a shower myself.

Muddy shoes and tights

Black shoes, black tights, though you might not know it

Much easier day than yesterday. About 80 miles with a couple extra poking about, 6,100 feet elevation gain and 6 hours in the saddle. Need to put in some miles tomorrow, the days get longer now.

Day 2 route map