the tarka trail and coastal path

The Tarka trail at Instow. Instow coastal path.  Where to stay in Instow. Bed and breakfast and holiday accommodation at Instow. Instow map


The Tarka trail meanders through over one hundred miles of coastal and rural Devon following for much of it’s way the wanderings of Tarka, the legendary otter created by author Henry Williamson.  At Instow the Tarka Trail is a walk and cycle way which runs co-terminus with the coastal path along the route of the old Barnstaple to Bideford railway closed in the 1960s.  Visitors to Instow will find the trail a fantsatic place to stroll or cycle in either direction, running alongside the river Taw up-stream to Barnstaple or heading southwards up-stream towards Bideford along the river Torridge.

The trail is easily accessible at Instow at the old level crossing next to the renovated signal box or at the other end of the village from the beach car park.  Instow becomes a perfect point for anyone using the trail to take a break, have a drink or meal at one of our pubs or grab a fresh pasty at Johns delicatessen and village stores.  Kids love the long tunnel at Instow which runs underneath the Commodore hotel.  If you look carefully you will find minnows and sticklebacks and tiny newts living in the clearwater ditches beside the trail and at springtime the banks of the Tarka trail are full of primroses and bluebells.