The Tarka Line runs for 39 miles between Exeter and Barnstaple, following the gentle river valleys of the Yeo and Taw. From Eggesford to Barnstaple the line forms part of the Tarka Trail, a 180 mile long distance route tracing the journeys of 'Tarka the Otter' in Henry Williamson's classic novel.
history of the Tarka Line is complex. The Exeter and Crediton Railway opened
in 1851 and was extended by the North Devon Railway in 1854. The line was
taken over by the London & South Western company and was later part of
the Southern Railway, which ran the famous 'Atlantic Coast Express' services
to the north coast of Devon and Cornwall.
Sighting otters from the train is very unlikely as they are secretive and largely nocturnal creatures, but keen naturalists may spot herons stalking the river shallows, buzzards overhead or deer near woodlands.
Tarka Line provides a valuable local train service and fast connections to
the main line at Exeter.
Leave Your Car Behind
Leave your car behind and truly relax! Help conserve the countryside without the worries of driving and parking.
The Tarka Line is the ideal way to reach Eggesford, Barnstaple and the North Devon coast. If you are travelling south, most trains run to Exeter Central Station, just a short walk from the historic city's busy shopping centre and cathedral.
Parking is readily available at Barnstaple, Crediton and Exeter Stations, with a few spaces at most intermediate stations along the line.
Plenty To Do
The Tarka Line offers a wide range of things to do for all ages.
OS MAPS - For detailed map information, refer to Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50 000, Sheet numbers 180, 191 and 192.
View our video line guide:
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