Saturday, 7 April 2012

Devon Coast to Coast with Swiss and German journalists

The lovely warm spring of 2012 brought an interesting international party of cyclists onto the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route. Various travel writers from Germany and Switserland were invited by Visit Cornwall and Visit Devon to explore Britain’s southwest. At the end of their five day tour via major Cornwall tourist attractions like the Eden Project, Tintagel Castle and Newquay, it was the turn for Devon. My EOS Cycling Holidays was asked to provide a day activity for the journalists. This is how it happened that a Dutchman showed around the German-Swiss delegation on British territory; happy days!
Yvonne Beck of the Swiss glossy magazine Prestige was not terribly keen on the pedalling adventure, but very quickly the charm of the tranquil Tarka Trail convinced her she was up for a special day. The former railway tunnel halfway between Bideford and Torrington took the party deep into Devon’s glorious countryside. 

It was only a matter of time before I was chatting away on the bike with people like Stefanie Schudlich of German PR agency BZ.COMM and Sabine Gudath of the Berliner Kurier. Christian Altmeier of the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung told me how the German town of Heidelberg is buzzing with cyclists despite its rugged nature and how the Devon Coast to Coast Route would definitely be to the interest of German cyclists.
Lunch was kindly provided by David Job of Yarde Orchard. His cafe and grounds was the funkiest place to eat and stay on the route until 2016. The Yarde Orchard buffet with great hand-made pizzas, locally produced apple juice and much more was thoroughly enjoyed by the party who previously had high-profile meals in establishments like Plymouth’s Barbican Kitchen and Newquay’s Headland Hotel.
After lunch, Yarde-founder David Job showed everyone around on his premises. Especially Geraldine Friedrich of the Basler Zeitung proved to have a keen interest in his eco-bunkhouse and cool Mongolian yurt tents. The unique purpose built eco-drainage system, which uses natural gravity for water flows and reed beds for filtering, was an important topic of conversation. David also revealed how he started to work on a tree house project.

Please note that David Job retired in 2014 (two years after this article was originally published). The new Yarde-management only runs a cafe on the site. The yurt tents and bunkhouse accommodation is no longer available!
The last stop of the German/Swiss delegation on their Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Tour was Meldon Viaduct. This Victorian railway bridge provides stunning views over Dartmoor National Park and is a historic piece of architecture in its own right. 
I explained the journalists how the route has 10 stunning bridges of this kind, including the new built Gem Bridge. Partly funded by the European Union, Gem Bridge has become the symbol of the long-term commitment and efforts to create the Devon Coast to Coast Cycle Route. With images of spectacular bridges on their minds, the German/Swiss delegation and I parted in Okehampton. 

A lot has happened since this day in 2012. The route has welcomed various improvements, such as the full completion of the Granite Way and Plym Valley WayOur EOS Cycling Holidays has welcomed various German-speaking guests, thanks to the promotions by the journalists and our German website. In 2017, we published our own Devon Coast to Coast guidebookWhether you are young or old, fast or slow, the limited mileage and stunning countryside makes the Devon Coast to Coast an adventure suitable for all! If you love sightseeing from your bike, you can't go wrong with my latest guidebook; 40 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag.
Buy it now and also receive GPS-tracks of all routes!

Other books by The Cycling Dutchman:

Cycling in  Amsterdam and The Netherlands - The very best routes in the cyclist's paradise makes you travel beyond Dutch cliches like clogs, windmills and the Amsterdam red light district, allowing you to truly explore the lowlands. The book features 1064 kms of routes and has special chapters explaining the unique Dutch cycling-minded traffic rules and its cycle route signage systems; 164 pages, colour, wiro bound, fits in standard handlebar bag.

Buy it now and also receive GPS-tracks of all routes!

The London - Land's End Cycle Route Book is designed for those who LOVE cycling, but don't like traffic. The book takes you onto the most beautiful cycle routes of southern England, including the Camel Trail, Bristol and Bath Railway path, Thames Valley route and many more! Note large sections of the Devon Coast to Coast route are included in this book as well!