Walking and cycling from Roadford Lake

If you are looking for a walking holiday, there are an abundance of walks straight out of the door of our lodges around Roadford Lake, enjoy a brisk 30-minute walk to the stunning sundial in the early morning, revel in the birdsong and the solitude – good for the soul, then drop into the café for a reviving coffee a chilled cider or delicious icecream with views to die for!

If you wish to explore further afield, we have plenty of suggestions for walking on Dartmoor,  walking the South West Coastal Path, the North Devon Coastal Path and the North Cornwall Coastal Path. Roadford Lake is central to so many walking and cycling options.

Views across Dartmoor with blue sky

Walking around Roadford Lake

Coombepark Walk

2.5m / 4km on paths – 50 minutes, a moderate one-way walk which can be linked with the Coombepark Loop to make a circular walk.

Coombepark Loop

An additional 1m / 1.5km from the Gaddacombe car park. An easy walk which is circular when linked with the Coombepark or Gaddacombe walks.

Goodacre Stroll

0.6m / 1km
Walk to the Outdoor Activity Centre, starting from the Lakeside car park beside the café. It’s an easy, one-way walk – return on the same route.

Gaddacombe Link

1m/1.5km 20 minutes
Walk to the Gaddacombe car park. A moderate walk can be linked with the Coombepark Loop and Coombepark Walk to create a circular walk.

Headson (permissive footpath & bridleway)

1.8m/3km 30 minutes
Walk to either the Headson or Gaddacombe car parks. Challenging, one-way walk.

Download the map of Roadford Lake

Cycling around Roadford Lake

Roadford Lake has both easy (green grade) and moderate (Blue grade) cycle paths, ideal for family cycle rides through the woodland with plenty of space to enjoy the fantastic views across the lake.

Download a cycling trail map

For intermediate riders with good fitness, there is an 18.8 mile ride around Roadford Lake and Ashwater.

Roadford Lake Loop and Ashwater

For those looking for a more challenging cycle ride, look no further than the Roadford Lake Loop from Lewdown. Nearly 29 miles requires very good fitness.

Roadford Lake Loop from Lewdown

Another difficult ride which takes in Roadford Lake is the Roadford Lake Loop from Lifton 25.3 miles, requiring very good fitness

Roadford Lake Loop from Lifton

Local Cycling Routes Nearby

 

Walking on Dartmoor

South of Okehampton, and almost visible from Roadford Lake Lodges, the North / Northwest edges of Dartmoor are within a 30-minute drive from Heron Lodge. This is the nearest part on the moor but there are books in the lodge that describe many more walks, tors, stone circles and rows further afield within the National Park. There is nothing quite like the solitude and grandeur of the North moor in all its moods.

Rugged walks on Dartmoor

These parts of the moor are arguably the most rugged and impressive, home to some of the highest rocky outcrops in the Park. For those fit enough to take on the challenge of conquering the highest of them all, then a good starting point is the pay & display car park at Meldon Reservoir (OL28: 562 917). Start by crossing the dam and then curve left uphill, snaking upwards towards Yes Tor and then, a bit further South, the less remarkable but true summit of Dartmoor, High Willhays.

Gentler walks on Dartmoor

More gentle, flatter walks can be enjoyed around the Meldon Reservoir and, if one tracks up the valley at the top end, you will eventually reach one of the three unique and magical Dartmoor stunted oak woods.

Family-friendly walks on Dartmoor

Another good starting point to a North moor walk is at Belstone. There is a car park at the entrance to this pretty village, although it is worth driving right through to the end of the road to see if one of the few parking spaces is available next to the moor access gate. It is a relatively short route directly up onto the ridge that comprises Belstone & Higher Tors, giving wonderful views East and West across the Okement and Taw valleys respectively. For a longer walk, continue along the obvious ‘ridge’ to Oke Tor, and even the more distant Steeperton Tor if feeling adventurous. If doing this, then be sure to check the firing programme for Okehampton Range (see link below) and look out for any red flags flying. A number of paths lead back around to Belstone but make sure you don’t miss a visit to the Nine Maidens stone circle. The Tors Inn at Belstone is good for a well-deserved pint afterwards.

For a shorter walk on the Northwest corner of the moor, park up somewhere off the lane leading to Prewley Farm (OL28: 545 910) near Sourton. From this starting point head up to the top of the ridge of Sourton Tors for far-reaching views Westwards into Cornwall. This walk can be extended by heading East Southeast to Branscombe’s Loaf, giving fine views into the West Okement valley which feeds the aforementioned Meldon Reservoir. The thatched and picturesque Bearslake Inn can be a good stop for a drink on the way back to the lodge.

The western edge of Dartmoor

Finally, another good moorland walk starts on the Western edge of the moor, parking near Lydford at OL28: 522 853. The entrance of the rough lane leading to this car park can be easily missed but it is to be found just opposite the small Lydford Farm Shop on the main A386 (the farm shop is great for stocking up on picnic items before walking). Leave the car park and follow the stone wall around and down to the river, before heading sharply upwards to Arms Tor, Great Links Tor and Green Tor, before turning back in a loop to see the striking Widgery Cross on top of Brat Tor. This loop can be enlarged Southwards to take in the additional Chat, Hare and Doe Tors. However, the latter fall within the boundaries of the Willsworthy firing range so please check again the link below for the firing programme and keep an eye out for any red flags.

More gentle walks can of course be had at nearby Lydford Gorge, run by the National Trust, there are various well-maintained trails amongst ancient woodland, as well as abundant wildlife, rock formations and stunning waterfalls. Afterwards, why not treat yourself to some well-earned refreshment in the Castle Inn at Lydford?

Take “moor” care when walking on Dartmoor

In summary, the choice is endless. But, if heading up onto the high moor, please be careful. With very little warning, the weather can change rapidly and, without correct clothing, a map, compass and/or GPS aid, getting caught out by an unexpected Dartmoor mist can be very disorientating and alarming if a long way from your car. Every year a number of people who set out for a simple walk have to be helped by the Dartmoor Rescue Group. So, check the forecast, ensure you go equipped for the worst-case scenario and, ideally, tell someone roughly where you are going and when you expect to return.
Most importantly though, have fun and enjoy this beautiful part of Devon all for free!

Useful links:

Walking the Coastal Paths

The South West Coastal Path

Whether you are a hardened hiker or a casual walker you must experience the coastal paths of the North Devon and Cornwall coast! Walks can be as long or as short as you want and enjoyed at all times of the year, but all of them will reward you with breathtaking sights. We’re not biased when we say that this stretch of the coast is the most beautiful, magnificent and dramatic in the southwest! From sandy beaches and dunes to rugged rocky shores, from beautiful bays to towering cliffs the scenery is as varied as it is dramatic. Our three lodges at Roadford Lake Lodges are the perfect base to launch a day out to explore the coastal path, and to return to for a welcome drink and a soak in the hot tub, throughout the year!

The North Devon Coastal Path

For walking the North Devon coastal path a dramatic starting point is Hartland Point. You can park at Hartland Quay, which is only a 60-minute drive from Roadford Lake Lodges. From Hartland point, you can either walk east or west on the coastal path. Walking east takes you around Hartland Point, along the rugged and wooded Hartland Devon Heritage Coast to the extraordinary village of Clovelly (10 miles); look out for Blackchurch Rock as you round Hartland Point. If you’re feeling fit, or have transport arranged, you can press on to the beautiful secluded valley and beach of Peppercombe, which is 17 miles from Hartland Quay. You can also park at Peppercombe (limited parking) and do this stretch of the coastal path in a westerly direction heading to Hartland Point.

From Hartland Quay, if you head Southwest along the coastal path you get can enjoy views of the magnificent cliffs of the Devon coast. After 1 mile you get to the dramatic Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall, and after just over 5 miles you can relax at Welcombe Mouth Beach. A further 3.2 miles from the beach gets you to Higher Sharpnose Point, via Hawkers Hut, the opium den of the famous vicar of Morwenstow. From Higher Sharpnose Point or Hawkers Hut pop into the beautiful village of Morwenstow, where there is a pub and the wonderful Rectory Tea Rooms where you can have a refreshing drink and a slice of cake or treat yourself to a heavenly cream tea! If you are feeling energetic you can press on to the National Trust’s Sandymouth Bay Beach which is a further 4 miles from Higher Sharpnose Point. Sandymouth is truly stunning with dramatic cliffs and an impressive expanse of beach at low tide! Morwenstow is only just under 50 minutes from Roadford Lake Lodges, so you could start your walk from here as well – or just go there for a cream tea!

The North Cornwall Coastal Path

Equally beautiful is the North Cornwall section of the coastal path. Try starting at Widemouth Bay Beach, only 40 minutes away from Roadford Lake Lodges, and head southwest to Crackington Haven Beach, just under 7 miles away; this takes you past the pebble beach of Millook; walking this section allows you to enjoy beautiful beaches and the coast path! Drop into the Cabin Café at Crackington Haven for a snack or lunch. Don’t forget you could do this route in reverse, starting at Crackington Haven and walk towards Widemouth Bay.

Another great option is to start at Boscastle which is only 40 minutes’ drive from our Lodges. There is parking and good facilities in Boscastle – a beautiful historic fishing village. From here you can head east to the beautiful Pentargon Waterfall at St. Juilot just under 2 miles away or alternatively walk west 4.5 miles to the famous Arthurian Tintagel along some gloriously beautiful coastline. Here you can explore the historic English Heritage Tintagel Castle or stop off at the popular and busy Tintagel village for Arthurian memorabilia and an ice cream; alternatively head back to Boscastle which has some lovely cafes and restaurants, including the Rocket Store which is well worth booking.

A little further away, but still, only 60 minutes drive away, is Polzeath Beach; from here you can walk northeast to the magnificent Pentire Head headland and ‘Rumps’ which are just under 3 miles from Polzeath. Continuing in this direction 4.8 miles from Polzeath is Lundy Bay and just over one mile further is Doyen Castle a quirky little ‘castle’ built in about 1830. This is another glorious stretch of the coast and you can return to Polzeath for drinks, ice-creams or a lovely well-earned meal!

For more information on the SW coastal path walks see:

The options for where you start and end your walks on the coastal path, within convenient access from our Roadford Lake Lodges, are endless and these are just a few ideas. Don’t forget that you have to get back to your car at the end of the day, so make sure you plan your walk to get there and back, or alternatively arrange shuttle vehicles so that you’ve got a vehicle at each end of your walk.

A lodge holiday at

Roadford Lake

Explore the trails and cycle routes around the 250 acres of Roadford Lake in the Wolf Valley, with breathtaking views across the trees and open fields surrounding our Devon lake lodge. The ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Open all year

Prices from £767/week

for 6 guests - that's £127.83 per person for a week

Heron, Hornbeam and Snowdrop Lodges

Roadford Lake Lodges
Broadwoodwidger
Lifton
Devon
PL16 0RL

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