Lands End - Taunton Route

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby irc » 10 Oct 2018, 10:21am

I'm planning a LEJOG in May/June next year. It's my second, the first one being around 20 years ago. So I'm looking for a moon on a stick Cornwall route. Last time I was navigating using a 1:250'000 map. It wasn't adequate for Cornwall though worked out OK north of Bristol.

So this time I'm sticking with paper mapping but going with 1:100'000 for Cornwall backed up with google maps on a phone so I can verfify my position if I need to.

Last time I stayed at Perranporth - Okehampton - Street and resorted to parts of the A30 and old A30 as far as Exeter when I decided my mapping wasn't good enough.

So looking for suggestions for a direct, easy to follow route following quiet roads where possible though given a choice between a bit of traffic and complex navigation and steep hills I'll take the traffic.

Calling Mick F ....... Calling Mick F

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby honesty » 10 Oct 2018, 5:02pm

I really like the old Tiverton Okehampton Turnpike as an alternative route, rather than the a30 to exeter. From Okehampton head out on the B3215, then head up through Down St Mary, Morchard Bishop (good little cafe in the post office...), Black Dog, Puddington, Pennymoor, Tiverton. Turn onto the B3137 before Withleigh, or you end up going on the original turnpike, up a completely unpaved, steep as anything hill...

Then to Taunton, follow the canal out and NCN3. Simple.

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby irc » 10 Oct 2018, 11:14pm

honesty wrote:I really like the old Tiverton Okehampton Turnpike as an alternative route, rather than the a30 to exeter. From Okehampton head out on the B3215, then head up through Down St Mary, Morchard Bishop (good little cafe in the post office...), Black Dog, Puddington, Pennymoor, Tiverton. Turn onto the B3137 before Withleigh, or you end up going on the original turnpike, up a completely unpaved, steep as anything hill...

Then to Taunton, follow the canal out and NCN3. Simple.


Thanks, I like the look of that.

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby honesty » 11 Oct 2018, 9:12am

Yeh it really is a nice ride. As I say though just turn after Pennymoor to the B3137, you don't want to be cycling up this - http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/88419

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2018, 9:27am

irc wrote:So looking for suggestions for a direct, easy to follow route following quiet roads where possible though given a choice between a bit of traffic and complex navigation and steep hills I'll take the traffic.

Calling Mick F ....... Calling Mick F
Good morning! :D

The only suggestion from me would be to follow my oft-recommended route. There are others, there are sort-of-direct routes, and there are difficult routes.

Here's Chapter One from the Gospel according to Mick. Cut and paste from a document I have on my computer.
Any questions, and I'd be delighted to help.
If you want Chapter Two, I can do that too, so just ask.

From LE follow the A30 to Penzance.
You can either go through the town centre or follow the bypass round to the north of the town. Either way, you end up on a roundabout on the A30 and follow this to another big roundabout where you can bear left for Hayle.

Go through the centre of Hayle and come out at another A30 roundabout. Take the second exit signposted Connor Downs. This is the Old A30 and you’ll be getting on and off that until you reach Okehampton.

Go over the Downs, and keep going and through Camborne town centre and into Redruth town centre following the old roads and the route of the Old A30. After Redruth, head for Scorrier and Blackwater again on the Old A30.

At the other end of Blackwater, you come to a roundabout at Three Burrows. Get on the A30. It’s single carriageway mainly and ok to cycle on. In the future, they are going to dual this stretch and I’m going to have to sort out a better cycling route!

You could turn off at Three Burrows onto the A3075 towards Newquay, but I think that’s taking you out of your way. Some folk have gone that way, then worked their way east back along the A392 through Quintrell Downs to pick up my described route.

Follow the A30 to Zelah - turn off the main road and go through the village Old A30 - and out again for a short time back on the A30 turning off left through St Newlyn East.

Cross the A3058 at Gummow’s Shop and cross the A392 at White Cross and go through St Columb Major. At the other end, pop out onto the A39 and head north and this will take you to Wadebridge. You can go down through the town, or stay up on the main road, but either way you will end up north of the town on the A39 heading for Camelford.

A few miles north of Camelford, turn east onto the A395 at Davidstow. Follow this through Hallworthy and over Wilsey Down and find a left turn onto minor roads to go through Tresmeer and Egloskerry. This road will take you to St Stephens just north of Launceston.

As you come out by the church, turn right onto the A388 (staggered junction) then immediately left and drop down into Newport at a mini roundabout opposite a Spar shop. Turn left up the hill a short way, then right. (east)

This road will take you to the north of Launceston on a fairly level road (Launceston town is high up on a hill with a Norman castle to your right). Pop out at a T junction and go right, following this to pop out onto the Old A30 by Launceston rugby ground and turn left.

Cross Polson Bridge over the border into Devon, and keep going.

Go through Lifton Down, Lifton, Tinhay, Portgate, Lewdown, Combebow, past Bridestowe, and climb up to nearly 1,000ft at Sourton where you turn left onto the A386 at a T junction.

Go under the A30 dual carriageway and follow the road past the services and Little Chef etc. Do not go onto the A30 despite the signpost for Okehampton.

Follow the A386 for less than a mile and see a small crossroads. Turn right signposted Meldon. This little road goes down hill and bends to the left and becomes an almost disused part of the Old A30, pop out onto the Old A30 proper, bearing left, and head into Okehampton town.

You are now about 100miles from LE and where most folk stop for their first night.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2018, 9:31am

Chapter Two.
I may as well do it, as the file is still open.

Pass through Okehampton town centre through the main junction and up the hill to a left turn at some traffic lights. Go down to a small roundabout and take the second exit up hill. This is the B3215 Appledore Hill.

Keep going, and it the road becomes the A3072 through Bow village and you come out at Copplestone onto the A377 to Crediton and go straight into the town.

At the far end of the town centre, you turn left onto the A3072 again, and this is where some folk go wrong.

If you stay on the A3072, it takes you to Bickleigh to join the A396 for Tiverton, but it’s a hilly road over the Cadbury Hills but there’s an easier route.

This is nicknamed “Rob’s Passage” after a chap from Plymouth called Rob described it to me.

As you leave Crediton on the A3072, the road drops down round a long righthander and passes over a little bridge and between two cottages. Turn right at these cottages, then a short while later, right again and head through Thorverton village. Various little lanes will get you there, all pretty much of a muchness.

Other side of Thorverton you cross the river and turn left at a big pub onto the A396 for Bickleigh. Cross the river over the narrow bridge and carry on to Tiverton.

Bear right at a roundabout under a footbridge still on the A396, and right at the next one onto a minor road past Blundell’s School (posh private skool) and go through Harberton and Sampford Peverell to the A361 dual carriageway. You cross this road over a flyover and sort of cloverleaf and wind back on yourself.

The road is fast and busy, but wide, and before you get off the slipway, you can ride along a layby, and by the time you get to the end of it, you reach a busy roundabout. Total distance on the dual carriageway A361 is only half a mile.

Head straight across the roundabout. It’s a bit fast, but it’s fine if you get a move on. If you have difficulty, get off and cross the road on foot. It’s the M5 Junction 27, so can be a bit hectic.

Straight on is what you want, and it’s the A38. Not too busy because the big traffic is on the M5. Head north for Wellington and turn off through the town centre as it’s the easiest route.

Other end of the town, join the A38 again and head for Taunton. There’s a few different routes you could take through the middle of Taunton, but personally I just follow the signposts for A38 Bridgwater and Bristol.

Continue on the A38 north for Bridgwater and you come out at a crossroads by Morrisons. Turn right at the traffic lights and head north. From Bridgwater, it is 15miles of completely flat road!

Trouble is, there’s a hill at the end of the 15miles, and it’s narrow and busy. I have gone onto the pavement up the hill as it’s away from the narrow lanes of a dual carriageway section.

Carry on to Churchill and turn off left onto the B3133 for Congresbury and join the A370 for Bristol via Flax Burton and Long Ashton.

Join the A3029 at Ashton Gate and cross the River Avon onto the busy A4. Go under the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and through a tunnel, then off right up a steep hill to go past Bristol Zoo.


These last three paragraphs are a bit old hat now. The LEJOG Wimps found a brilliant route to the west of Bristol and much flatter too.
Best thing, is to ask them about it. :D
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby honesty » 11 Oct 2018, 10:08am

I'd personally never cycle the a38 round Taunton. It's a rubbish road and there are so much nicer lanes. It's much nicer to go through Nynehead, out through Hillfarrance, then Norton Fitzwarren then into Taunton town centre through Longrun meadow. Out the back of the park and ride car park on Silk Mills road theres now a new bridge that goes over the river and drops you into Longrun. You can then cycle straight into the centre of town.

If I were to go on to Bristol I'd take the canal out to the the A361, then hop on that almost to Street. Go over the A39 to Shapwick then follow the road to Wedmore and on to Cheddar. From Cheddar pick up the Strawberry line through the Shute Shelve tunnel and all the way to Clevedon, then follow the Avon Cycleway round to the Avon motorway bridge.

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby mjr » 11 Oct 2018, 10:14am

I would bet it's to go straight across the A370 and along the B road to Yatton, then turn right a bit after the station onto national route red 26, then follow national route red 410 (formerly regional/blue 10) over the Avon mouth bridge and probably route red 4 towards Aust. Those bits are all roads except the bridge.

Personally, I'd join red 26 between Cross and Axbridge if the Shute Shelve tunnel is open again because it's average downhill and the gravel is pretty well packed and the tunnel avoids climbing over on the busy road to Sidcot.

(edited because I got Star and Sidcot muddled - it's been so long since I didn't either use the tunnel or go to the west of Crooke Peak because I wasn't in a hurry)
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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby irc » 11 Oct 2018, 1:27pm

Mick F wrote: You are now about 100miles from LE and where most folk stop for their first night.[/i]


Ha,ha! I'll not be doing 100 miles through Cornwall in one day.

I'll be planning a leisurely start on my 16 day LeJog. But thanks Mick, Honesty, and mjr - I think I know where I'm going now.

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2018, 2:21pm

Excellent! :D

Take a compass and head northeast-ish, then after 200miles, head north. You should hit Edinburgh. :lol:
Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 14.21.00.png
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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby honesty » 11 Oct 2018, 2:30pm

I bow to MickF's greater knowledge of Cornwall, but on a minor note, you'd be missing something spectacular if you didn't divert slightly just before Okehampton to go up onto the Meldon Viaduct.

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2018, 3:23pm

The viaduct is wonderful, but the rest of the Granite Way is pointless for the LEGOGers.
It's far easier and simpler and quicker and shorter to use the road down to Okehampton.

Come up the Old A30 from Launceston to the T junction at Sourton A386.
Turn left past the A30 junctions.
Toilets, food, cafe, Travelodge is all there at the service area.
Stay on the A386 for less than a mile, turn right, and it's basically downhill into Okehampton town centre on the Old A30.
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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby honesty » 11 Oct 2018, 3:35pm

You can get onto the Granite Way at Sourton Down though, so it's not a diversion really :) There's access onto the Granite way through the Devon Cycle Hire Centre.

If it were me, I'd divert even earlier at Sourton to get onto the Grantie Way to see the Church of St Thomas a Becket as well. :D

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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby Mick F » 11 Oct 2018, 5:50pm

Oh yes, I'm VERY familiar with the area and the GW.
Still too slow and non direct though, but I suppose part of it is of use to get you some of the way instead of using the A386 towards Tavistock. I've used it heading home and getting on just south of the cycle hire place, then going to Lydford and following the minor roads home via Brentor to Gunnislake.

If you join at the cycle hire place - and I have joined it there too - you can head north or south.
Heading north on a LEJOG would entail going over Meldon Viaduct and then onto gravel track and sometimes tarmac. From Meldon it doesn't follow an old railbed in the slightest.
Meanwhile you go through rightangled bends, down through gates and chicanes, through a tunnel under the A30, up and down wooden slats and boards, navigating past walkers and dog poo, in and out more gates, and eventually through a tortuous area to emerge above the town.

Head south, and the going is a bit easier, but you have to go through a couple of farm gates and though some private land with gates at either end. That bit of private land is rough stones and very poor surface plus it's poorly drained so there's mud and big puddles. From then on, it's actually quite good down to the Lydford road ......... where it ends abruptly.

North or south is of no use to the LEJOGer at all.
It's arguably ok for the Devon Coast-to-Coast though, but given the choice, I wouldn't bother.

Done the GW loads of times, and I go on it just for fun because it's of no use if your'e going any distance.
Believe me, I know it well.
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Re: Lands End - Taunton Route

Postby honesty » 11 Oct 2018, 6:37pm

I guess it’s down to what you want from the route. I’d divert into it because of the viaduct and accept the rest (which I enjoyed cycling when I did it last) and accept its probably 15 minutes slower at least than the more direct route.

Same with the lanes round Taunton. I’d ride the lane through Nynehead because it goes through a fantastic rock cut and because it’s a nicer ride even if it is going to be 10 minutes slower.

Each to their own. :)