"Have fun with the family on this cycle ride which follows the route of an old
Getting there:Start location: 5 miles NE of Plymouth – grid reference SX 523 585 –
OS Landranger map 20
Cycling: NCN27, the Plym Valley Trail starts in Plymouth, in the grounds
of Saltram House.
Road: From A38 Marsh Mills exit, head towards Plympton and follow
signs to Plymbridge Woods. Postcode for Plymbridge car park PL7 4SR
"10 miles through
|Leave the main NT car park at Plymbridge Woods and cycle up a slope onto the old GWR railway line, now National Cycle Network route 27. Pause and look left noting the disused Plym Halt station where day-trippers in the 1950s would catch a train from the
city for a day out in the Plym Valley. This was known as the ‘Woolworths Special’ because it cost just sixpence.
Turn right, away from the city of Plymouth.
|Ride about 1½ miles on to the Cann Viaduct. If you’re visiting in spring and early summer, stop off at the peregrine viewing platform for fantastic close-ups of these majestic birds of prey through mounted telescopes. If you’re lucky, you might see them
tending the chicks at their quarry cliff-ledge nest.
|Proceed over three more massive viaducts, pausing to look downonto the surrounding woodland and countryside.|
|After about four miles, from the start, you will reach Leighbeer Tunnel, cut out of solid rock by railway engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This is curving and dimly lit, so proceed with extreme care.|
|Leave the old railway line and go left down a minor road towards Shaugh Prior. At Shaugh Bridge, cross over the River Plym and immediately pull into the left.|
|Dismount and wheel your cycle across the footbridge into the NT Dewerstone Woods. Here you can explore the remains of an old tile making kiln and search for the remains of old leats and wheelpits. It is an ideal place for a picnic.|
|To return, go back over Shaugh Bridge, ignore the first road on the
right (which you came down on from the tunnel), and take the next turning on the right. This will take you back up onto National Cycle Network route 27 at Shaugh Prior platform.
|Turn left onto the cycle track and enjoy the downward slope for Plymouth.|
Woodland: Coppiced oaks have started to reclaim the Victorian industrial
remains. They provide a tranquil haven for local wildlife. Spot bluebells,
foxglove and primrose in spring.
River: Flowing down from Trowlesworthy Warren on Dartmoor, the river
Plym can really grow in size after rain upstream, turning from a placid, slow
trickle to a gushing torrent.
Birds: Plymbridge Woods are home to a host of woodland and wetland
species, like the dipper, grey wagtail, little grebe, grebe, heron and
kingfisher. The area is particularly famed for the breeding peregrine falcons,
raven, kestrel and woodpecker.
Animals: Catch a glimpse of fallow deer or foxes in quiet spots around
the estate. Visitors at dusk will also be aware of numerous bats.
Insects: as well as bees and butterflies, there are many species of
dragon and damselflies, living in this area. They are best seen around
ponds, the canal and the river.
" As a charity, independent of government, the National Trust relies
on the generosity of its supporters to continue caring for our
countryside and wildlife, so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of
the outdoors for generations to come.