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Day 4 - Tuesday 14th August – Pyworthy to Tiverton

Daily Distance = 52 miles (expected = 47)

Total Distance = 185 miles (expected = 164)

Weather: Very hot and sunny. E wind.

Contour: Flat for 5 miles, then up-down-up-down, flat for while then up-up-up-up.


A great full English breakfast and off we go at around 8.30am. This was the day we were dreading, the last full day of the hills in Devon and Cornwall. The route into Holsworthy was relatively flat for the first 5 miles. Then the hills started. Not as steep as Cornwall but going on for longer, and higher. We went through Sheepwash and stopped for bananas and drinks in the village square, a very pretty area of the country.

On to Hatherleigh where we buy our lunch of pasty, coke, and a very old apple. We cycled on to Winkleigh before we sat down to eat our feast.

After lunch we joined the B3096 for about 25 miles towards Tiverton. This was very pleasant and was going very well. We stopped for a drink just 10 miles from Tiverton, and then rejoined the B road, which had suddenly become very busy and very hilly, upwards. We cycled through No Mans Lands, with the wind in our faces for the first time all day and the climb to Tiverton was very unpleasant and hard work. We eventually arrived in Tiverton town centre and found a bike shop to get a new battery for John’s cycle computer. Going out of Tiverton to find the B&B, we suddenly realised it was at the top of 17% hill, which looked more like a wall than a road. We both ended up pushing the bikes up, it was too much on too hot a day after too many hills to go up another.

The B&B, ‘Hornhill Farmhouse’ is fantastic, a 17th century coach house, with large rooms, high ceilings. We had tea and biscuits on arrival in the garden. Mrs Pugsley made us dinner (I phoned the day before as requested, and Mrs Pugsley sounded very off. Eventually agreeing to get us a casserole, despite me saying it would be OK and we could go back into Tiverton). The dinner was amazing, carrot and coriander soup followed by chicken casserole with vegetables, homemade chocolate mousse, cheese and biscuits and coffee in the lounge. Mrs Pugsley had twisted her ankle playing tennis but still hobbled in to serve our meal, which we ate around a huge dining table. Bikes stored in the tack room. 25 per person.

No punctures or breakdowns apart from John’s mileometer, although again the brake blocks certainly earned their keep. Hopefully better to come tomorrow.

Felt a bit homesick today, but seeing Emma in two days time, and the kiddies the day after. I washed my cycle shorts in the bath tonight, and dried them on the towel rail, all this hot weather and hills makes me very sweaty.

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