Sunday, 31 March 2013


The little lanes across the south west corner of Dartmoor attract lots of cyclists. I wanted to discover some that I had not visited. My first encounter was with two riders on mountain bikes who had just come down an off-road trail from Princetown to the little village of Lutton. Not being on a mountain bike, this needs riding on another occasion.

Starting in Ivybridge I was to discover Drakes Leat, Tavistock Canal, an ancient tramway, an old railway tunnel, several pubs and an Easter market.

Historically, Drakes Leat was built in 16thC to provide Plymouth's water supply from Dartmoor. It still runs in its upper reaches and is in an excellent state of preservation. The Tavistock Canal is also well preserved and links Tavistock with Morwellham Quay on the River Tamar.

I arrived too late in Tavistock to see its Easter market as the stalls were starting to be dismantled. However a flower seller was still busy. An ancient stannary town, Tavistock is always bustling with activity where country people come off the Moor and Tamar Valley to meet townies. 

My journey started in Ivybridge and took me through the quiet village of Cornwood, over the River Plym at Cadover and on to Clearbrook where I met Drakes Trail that comes up from Plymouth. This is now part of a long distance route through France and South West England.  Drakes Leat and the tramway can be found leading north from Clearbrook. Continuing the journey, I stopped for lunch at Yelverton then peddled on and into Tavistock.

The tunnel was quite fun to cycle through as it was tricky seeing cyclists coming the other way due to the low lighting so it took a bit of guesswork to check where they were. To follow what I am up to next, please check out twitter