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This project has been selected under the European
Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A
France (Channel) - England, co-funded by the ERDF.

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Cycle West

La Vélodyssée Devon-Bretagne

La Vélodyssée

The La Vélodyssée Devon-Bretagne, follows the euro velo route 1 (EV1). It offers a 'there and back' itinerary, staying mostly inland to traverse some of the most stunning countryside of both Devon and Brittany.

The route follows mainly old railway lines and canalside paths - with the opportunity to detour along the hugely popular Camel Trail into the heart of Cornwall.

That makes it ideal for families and those looking for a more leisurely experience. But if you do feel more adventurous, you can continue your journey along the French Atlantic coast down to the Spanish border as this newly developed cycling route is signposted all the way to Hendaye.

Your route through England

IlfracombeThe La Vélodyssée Devon-Bretagne route begins in Ilfracombe , a charming Victorian seaside town and fishing harbour which lies within one of North Devon's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, renowned for its dramatic coastal cliffs.

The route then takes you south near some of the best surfing coastline in Britain, with world famous beaches including Saunton and Woolacombe. With its gently sloping, west-facing shoreline and three-mile stretch of golden sand, Woolacombe offers classic surf conditions: a number of European surfing events are held here each year.

Making your way through leafy forests and quiet canal paths, you'll discover the region's historic past with a visit to the town of Okehampton and its castle ruins, as well as Torrington where you can watch the world famous Dartington Crystal craftsmen create unique pieces of glasswork. And be sure to take time to visit the market town of Tavistock, once a 'Stannery' or tin mining town, best known for the remains of its 10th century Abbey and for being the birthplace of the Elizabethan adventurer, circumnavigator and explorer Sir Francis Drake.

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    A detour from the La Vélodyssée Devon-Bretagne takes you To Cornwall's  famous Camel Trail. As one of the UK's most popular cycle routes, the Camel Trail offers 28km of flat scenic cycling through woods along the Camel estuary, following an old disused railway line, before arriving in the charming fishing town of Padstow for the chance to explore the dramatic North Cornish coast.

    Continuing south, through Dartmoor National Park - famous for its outcrops of bedrock granite tors, 1,000 sq km of unspoilt moorland and native ponies - the route travels across The Gem Bridge in Grenofen. Set to be inaugurated in September 2012, this 24m high new viaduct will connect the Dartmoor National Park and Plymouth, offering uninterrupted views of Dartmoor and the Walkham Valley.

    At the mouth of the river Plym, on the South Coast of Devon, is the historical maritime city of Plymouth, the famous 'Hoe' and the South West's 'journey's end': here the skyline is dominated by the city's most recognisable landmark: Smeaton's Tower, looking out over Plymouth Sound.  

Your journey through Brittany

BrittanyTake the ferry to Brttany and you land in Roscoff, set in the heart of the 'Pink Granite Coast', with its cobbled streets and beautiful 16th century belfry of Notre-Dame de Kroaz-Baz.

Travelling east, the route skirts the Bay of Morlaix and passes through the stunning Armorique Regional National Park, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to hilly inland countryside - offering magical views of the Monts d'Arrée.

Your journey over the valley takes you to Morlaix and its magnificent granite viaduct, unspoilt mediaeval streets and half-timbered houses, then onto the imposing Phare de L'ile Vierge Morlaix, France's tallest lighthouse.

At Huelgoat, between Carhaix and Morlaix, you'll discover a village on an island set in the vestiges of an ancient forest that once covered great swathes of this region.

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    Situated in the centre of Finistère, the Monts d'Arrée are a stunning backdrop to the lush landscape as La Vélodyssée meanders to Carhaix and along the Nantes Canal.

    From Carhaix, the route takes you past picturesque locks and barges and the pretty towns of Pontivy, Josselin and Mur de Bretagne… an opportunity to stop awhile and sample some of the famed French gastronomic traditions.

    Pontivy itself is of historical interest and charmingly French. The heart of the old town is the impressive 15th century moated Rohan Castle, surrounded by cobbled streets lined with beautiful half-timbered houses and filled with cafés and patisseries.

    Overlooking the Oust Valley, Josselin's renowned castle is set in stunning grounds, its rose garden hosting 40 different species.

    In Malestroit, you can watch the barges moor up after their day's journey, or visit nearby St. Marcel, home to a museum dedicated to the bravery of the Breton Resistance.

    Joining the Nantes-Brest Canal at its western and eastern ends is Lake Guerlédan in Morbihan. The lake is Brittany's largest, and the perfect spot for picnicking, swimming and water sports, or to explore the extensive range of woodland trails.

    Your journey ends at Nantes, a major cultural centre and home to the Jules Verne Museum and the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne. From here you can make your way back... or head west towards the Atlantic coast to continue the EV1 route, or connect with the EV6 for the Loire Valley.