The Granite Way is a cycle path from Okehampton to Lydford and is 11 miles in total. As this is too far for our little family at present we decided to break the route into sections and explore shorter distances at a time.
We began from Okehampton Station, which is well signposted from the town centre and has lots of free parking spaces. There is a platform cafe, toilets and a her it age train service running in the summer as well as for special events.
The trail begins across the road from the station and is well signed throughout. This section is all traffic free, with one gated farm crossing to allow for cattle movement. It is almost all flat and there are beautiful rural views.
The path runs parallel to the trainline and adjacent to the platforms at Meldon Station, where you can catch a train back to Okehampton (they are happy to take bikes) which adds an exciting element to the trip!
After passing the station at Meldon, you pass the still active Quarry works. There are information boards along the route to help you make sense of what you can see and to explain the history of the area.
There are bike racks provided before the viaduct, with a footpath that can be followed if you wish to explore the woods at Meldon, or paddle in the Okement River that the Viaduct bridges. Cycling over the viaduct is absolutely breathtaking and gives you spectacular views to Meldon Dam and Reservoir in the distance.
It is possible to visit the reservoir by crossing the Viaduct and following the signs that take you off the cycle path and onto local lanes to reach it a short distance away.
There is a picnic area with benches on this side of the Viaduct offering a good spot to sit for a drink and a snack before deciding whether to continue on or head back to Okehampton.
We found this section of the route peaceful and great for family cycling, with lots to look at and plenty of potential places to explore. It’s a shame that the railway carriage cafe at Meldon Station is not currently open as it leaves Okehampton as the only refreshment spot but we took supplies and had a great time!
Were really looking forward to exploring the next section of this route really soon!