Sunday, 18 September 2011


Beretown is the name on the sign opposite the Old Plough, the most southerly pub on the Bere Alston Peninsula.  The easiest way to travel here is by train as the road from Plymouth was designed for horses and, except for adding tarmac, is not much better now.  The other way is by bike via a ford over Lopwell Dam.


I went here by train last week with my friend, Alice.  It took 2.5 hours to do our first mile.  When we arrived, we discovered two enthusiasts working on their historic trains at the rail station.  They had a buffet and heritage centre.  We found it so interesting that it took us an hour before we left the railway.

The Old Plough was just one mile and now it was time for lunch.  This had now become my slowest cycle ride ever.  Feeling guilty about going straight into the pub, we stopped to look at the River Tavy.  The view across the estuary was breathetaking.

There was some serious cycling after lunch where we covered 2 miles and crossed a hill only reach the River Tamar where we just had to stop again.  If the Tavy is breathetaking, the Tamar is magical.  We are in a SSSI where avocets come in winter.  It took another 6 miles and 1.5 hours to complete our loop back to Bere Ferrers station, such that we savoured our journey.  As the train came in, our host from this morning came up and asked we had enjoyed the day.  "Yes" we said in harmony, "we have had a great day". 


  1. OK, I'm very curious now: where exactly is the ford by Lopwell dam?
    It sounds like you've cycled a rather excellent route, and I'd love to cycle the same area, but without taking the train from Plymouth.

  2. Hi William. My map shows a ford below Lopwell Dam at low tide. There is a mountain bike route on the other side up to the highway.

  3. Hi Graham,
    Thought you might be interested in the last photo of a post at this blog:

    I haven't yet had the opportunity to cycle out that way, but I think the stone walkway is probably what your map refers to as a ford?

    When I read it I thought right away that you may be interested in that post.

  4. Hi William,

    Thanks for the information and it is an interesting blog. I am told that cars cross the ford but it is extremely slippy on a bike.