Devon Coast to Coast Ultra Marathon
Devon Coast to Coast Ultra Marathon – May 2020
Join us in 2020 for an exciting and unique event; The 117 mile Devon Coast to Coast.
There are two ways you can join us on this special challenge:
Run 4 legs, over 4 days, covering between 27 – 30 miles a day, or complete the 117 mile route in a single stage Ultra Marathon.
117 miles non stop – (16 May 2020) – UTMB Qualifying Event 6 Points – (50+ mile qualifying event required)
117 miles over 4 days – (15-18 May 2020) – 4 Marathons/Ultras listed with 100 Marathon Club
Join our Devon Coast to Coast event for 1-4 marathons (baby ultras of 27-30 miles) in May 2020 – Listed as qualifying marathons and ultras with 100 Marathon Club
Devon Coast to Coast – Two Moors Way:
Starting in Wembury, in the beautiful South Hams, you will follow the 17 mile Erme-Plym Trail to Ivybridge where you will meet the Two Moors Way, a 100 mile waymarked trail from the South of Dartmoor to the North of Exmoor where it meets the sea in Lynmouth.
As well as the incredible views from the highpoints of the course, you will pass by many sites on the way: Grimspound stone circle, Fernworthy Reservoir, Chagford, The Teign Valley, Exe Head to name a few. The route even nips over the border into Somerset and back into Devon on Exmoor!
We will ensure you are looked after, with fully-stocked checkpoints including hot drinks and hot food when you need them most. We do however encourage the use of support teams to meet you at key locations on the non stop event.
Camping and Transport:
Our campsite base for the Devon Coast to Coast 2020 will be at the Riverside Caravan and Camping Park near South Molton.
Transport (bookable through our website) will be available from here to the start of the non stop event and back from the finish. There will also be a daily shuttle service for the 4 day event.
Facilities include a large grassy field for campers, hard standing pitches for campervans and caravans as well as a few static vans for hire. There is a bar and restaurant on site where breakfast and evening meals will be available.
Camping and other accommodation options can now be booked through their website. Please mention Devon Coast to Coast when booking.
The route follows a waymarked path, with some of the way markers brand new in the past few years. However, this does not mean the whole route is obvious and care should be taken when crossing fields or following sections of road, especially at night. The route is available on ViewRanger and can be followed using the app. A GPX file will also be available for those that would like to use GPS device. There are a few sections of open moorland, we will have additional markers here to support you. Harvey produce an excellent map which covers the original Two Moors Way from Ivybridge to Lynmouth and is available to buy here:
Devon Coast to Coast 2019 Event Handbooks
Devon Coast to Coast Results – 2018
Devon Coast to Coast – Day 1 South Dartmoor
Starting on the beach at Wembury with one foot in water (optional of course!), knowing that you will not see the beach or the coast again for 117 miles (and anything up to 40 hours) later.
The first leg of your journey is a relatively gentle start to the challenge, with the terrain made up of light trails, woods, and back lanes through the some of the villages of the South Hams; Ermington, Brixton, Yealmpton and finally Ivybridge.
Navigation is fairly straightforward as the signage for the Erme-Plym trail is well-kept and easy to spot. The route is mostly rolling hills, criss-crosses over a few rivers including the Yealm and the Erme which the route runs along side for a few kilometres. The further you go, the more of Dartmoor you will see in the distance; the beauty of what’s still to come!
On the approach to Ivybridge, the route becomes more obviously urban, with the sound of the A38 overhead and the buzz of Ivybridge town centre. Here the route switches from the Erme-Plym Trail and begins the Two Moors Way National Trail. Now the real fun begins.
As you ascend out of Ivybridge, you will meet an old tramway which lasts for about 10km before you turn off and hit the open moor for the first time. You will cross the river Avon, stepping over a beautiful clapper bridge, and head towards Avon Dam Reservoir, here you will experience the peace and tranquillity of the moor with just the sound of the river. After a few miles, you will arrive at the finish in Scorriton.
Day 2 North Dartmoor
After leaving Scorriton, you will continue through the hamlet of Holne before descending into the Dart valley to the iconic medieval bridge, New Bridge. You’ll head down river Dart across Spitchwick common; a popular spot for wild swimming. This riverside section is short-lived, as you start the 260m ascent over the next 3.5km. During this climb you will follow part of ‘Dr Blackall’s Drive’, a well trodden path with views opening up over the Dart valley, here you pass over 4 tors: Leigh, Aish, Mel and Bel Tor.
After dropping into Ponsworthy and up out the other side, you soon arrive at one of the highlights of the 2 moors way, the Hamel Down; a ridge with 360 degree views, and the highest point of the Coast to Coast route; Hameldown Tor at 529m. The views get better with every step you take; to your right you will see the distinct shape of Haytor Rocks, to your left; Dartmoor prison in Princetown. Ahead of you the outline of Exmoor, and take a look behind to see where you’ve been and look back as far the sea at Teignmouth!
Tucked away beyond Hamel Down is Grimspound, a bronze age settlement with its recognisable round shape, one of the best preserved on the moor. You then follow a well-defined path with the famous Warren House Inn in sight as you approach Bennett’s Cross, a way marker dating back to the 13th Century; this is a prime spot for ponies and sheep. The next part of the journey passes by Fernworthy Reservoir, (just out of sight behind trees) and Hurston Ridge, a fascinating double stone row.
The running then gets easier as you go through the hamlets of Teigngnworthy and Teigncombe before meeting the Teign River; passing the village of Chagford and its charming outdoor swimming pool. Your next stops are the beautiful Fingle Woods, Castle Drogo and Drewsteignton, all worth a visit on their own.
Just outside the village is the official boundary of Dartmoor National Park, marked with a special stone which faces a similar one at the boundary of Exmoor. A few miles of footpaths through proper Devon countryside to the finish of the day at Hittisleigh.
With Dartmoor a recent memory, this section sees the runners head through the heart of the Devon countryside on towards Exmoor. Leaving Hittisleigh, you will start the day in the quiet country lanes, down narrow footpaths, through woods and across fields. Fairly early in the run, you arrive at a small railway crossing; this is the line that connects Exeter to Okehampton; though trains only run a handful of times a day, it is still worth keeping an eye out!
The next few miles of the journey visits a few pretty Devon villages, some real hidden gems; Morchard Bishop and Witheridge are two of the larger ones.
As you approach Knowstone, Exmoor comes more into sight and the excitement of leg 4 builds. You will pass by a Boar farm, don’t be alarmed by the sight, smell and sounds of the animals. With all the farmland and countryside from this leg, you will be used to all sorts of animals by this point!
A couple more fields and lanes and you will reach the checkpoint at Yeo Mill Village Hall, a stone’s throw from the Exmoor boundary.
Day 4: Exmoor and the finish at Lynmouth
Starting in the Yeo valley at Yeo Mill, you will start with a climb, it will be worth it as this will take you to the official Exmoor boundary, and the boundary stone to match the one at Drewsteignton. From here you can see right over Exmoor and towards your next destination, Barle Valley. After crossing some farmland you will reach the famous Tarr Steps, a clapper bridge made up of 17 slabs, the longest in the country.
You will follow the Barle river until you reach the village of Withypool; an opportunity to refuel before re-joining the riverside path. The path takes you to ‘Cow Castle’, an Iron Age hill fort, next to it another hill, aptly named ‘The Calf’. You then arrive in Simonsbath and from here the end of your journey is in site.
After a short climb and some open moorland, you will walk right through Exe Head, the source of the river Exe. The route then follows another river valley, that of ‘Hoaroak Water’; with high rises on both sides it will feel like just you and the Exmoor ponies and bring some comfort knowing you are entering the last 10k.
Once you reach the main road into Lynmouth there is just one more climb, but it’s all worth it, because on reaching the top, you get a stunning view of the tree-covered hills, the Bristol Channel, and more importantly the finish! Heading up this winding path you reach a height of 260 metres before dropping all the way down to sea level. A little trot along the side river Lyn to the official finish point of the Two Moors Way, and you’re all done. There’s even a book to sign at the visitor centre to recognise the achievement of running from coast to coast!