The Granite Way is an 11 mile cycle and walkway running between Okehampton and Lydford along the north western edge of Dartmoor. It is mostly traffic free, largely following the course of the former Southern Region railway line. A journey along the Granite Way offers good views of the granite landscape of Dartmoor, as well as a number of specific sites of geological interest.
For example, close to the Okehampton end of the route is Meldon Quarry. This large working site, largely hidden in the landscape, produces hard rock such as hornfels. This is used in a variety of ways but in particular it has provided the aggregates for road building and rail ballast since 1895.
Further south can be seen the impressive silhouette of Sourton Tors (they can be reached by a footpath north of Sourton). Unlike most of Dartmoor’s tors they are not made of granite. Instead they also consist of hornfels that, as at Meldon, were created by heating when hot granite intruded into the original rocks of this area. The actual point of contact between these rocks with the granite is a kilometre or so farther south-east. As you look out onto Dartmoor you see an area which was once a plateau and can observe how over millions of years rivers have cut through the rock creating distinctive valleys.
At the southern end of the trail is the famous Lydford Gorge, which is covered by a separate entry in this booklet.
Okehampton and Lydford contain a good range of facilities, and there is a visitor centre and café at Meldon Viaduct, near the Quarry.
For more information on the Granite Way please view the leaflet at http://www.devon.gov.uk/the_granite_way.pdf, also available at Tourist Information Centres. A comprehensive booklet on the geology of the Meldon area has been produced and can be downloaded from the website of the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
To find out more about walking on Dartmoor. Go to Visit Dartmoor HERE
- Outdoor Attraction
Parking & Transport
- Car parking
Map & Directions
From the A30 follow signs to Okehampton station along the B3260.
Public Transport Directions
Okehampton: Bus: There are regular services from Exeter, Bude, Plymouth and Barnstaple. Train: Limited service from Exeter on summer Sundays. Road: From the A30 follow signs to Okehampton station along the B3260. Bicycle: The site is part of the National Cycle Route 27 ‘Devon Coast to Coast’. For more information, view www.sustrans.co.uk for other routes that connect to Route 27.
Lydford: Bus: There is a regular service operated between Plymouth and Barnstaple.