Travel: ... or get off the bus and start walking

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The Independent Travel
IF THE above sounds a bit sedate then why not explore Devon by bike, foot, horse or boat?

Walking and riding are the most popular outdoor activities in the area. Tourist offices have loads of leaflets detailing coastal and inland walks, includingroutes along the 613-mile South West Way. Call The Devon Tourist Information Centre on 01392 437581. Shilstone Rocks Riding and Trekking Centre (01364 621281) is the biggest on Dartmoor with itineraries to suit all abilities, but there are plenty of others.

Adrenaline junkies heading for the pounding surf of Newquay in Cornwall could save themselves the extra hour's travel by stopping off in North Devon. Surfrider Activity Holidays in Woolacombe (01271 870365) offers multi-activity holidays including surfing, canoeing and body boarding.

If you're happier with a sail to keep you afloat, East Devon's rugged coast offers excellent conditions for wind surfing. Novices can take to the water under the supervision of Waterfront Sports in Exmouth (01395 276599).

Salcombe on the south coast is the place to go sailing. This popular resort is home to many sailing clubs and schools, the best-known of which is The Island Cruising Club (01548 843481). It offers everything from dinghy trips to cruises on old-fashioned wooden yachts.

For those who prefer their water activities to take place below sea level, Dive 2000 in Brixham (01803 856060) offers an all-inclusive starter's package for pounds 260 including pool, academic open water tuition and certification. One dive for those already qualified costs pounds 7.50.

Back on land, how about camping on one of Devon Wildlife Trust's nature reserves (01392 279244)? A night of stargazing, bat-detecting, and story- telling costs pounds 30 (adults) and pounds 18.75 (children), including all activities, tents, dinner and breakfast of locally grown organic food, cooked over an open fire. Or discover Dartmoor from the comfort of a vintage car. Haytour Vintage Tours (01364 776316) offers tailor-made guided tours in 1936 Rovers or vintage MGs.

If you prefer two wheels, you could put your legs to the test with some off-road cycling. Burrator Bicycles (01822 854808) has mountain bikes for hire for pounds 7.50 per day, including tool kit and helmet. There is a good track along a six-mile section of disused rail line from Princetown to Yelverton. The hire centre provides maps.

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