The West Devon Way is a 37 mile path that links Okehampton to Plymouth. It roughly follows the route 27 cycle route and at many times it follows it. It also links many other trails together including the Tarka Trail, the Two Castles Way, Devonshire Heartland Way and the South West Coastal Path. Its a good route and was perfect for me as my first multi day walk, it also fitted in that I could stay in B&Bs along the way to save carrying a tent, added bonus!! This is a good walk also as it can be split into 8 separate parts being linked by public transport, as it was in my case, I just needed to get two buses, one from Plymouth to Tavistock and then a second up to Okehampton. Which put me at the start point for 11.15am, perfect for a 5 hour walk back to Lydford and the pub. I had looked at the 8 separate sections and also worked out that my own ability would give me at least 11 or 12 miles a day, so I started looking for good spots to stay taking about 10 miles of walking a day. The decision to start with was whether to stop in Lydford or Mavy Tavy, The Castle pub in Lydford swung the first stop off. This is only 9.5 miles of walking but considering I’d be on a bus for 90 minutes to get there that day, I figured that was ok.
Day 2 however was a beast, Tavistock was too near and Yelverton meant 16 miles. Horrabridge would have been perfect but all B&Bs were booked. Yelverton it was because it meant that day 3 was a manageable 11.5 miles into Plymouth and Hooe Lake and the finish. So below is Day 1, the weather for June had been good all the way through, not a drop of the wet stuff and in fact the week before had seen temperatures of over 30 degrees, I didn’t want it that hot, instead I got the only 3 days of wet weather in the whole of bleedin June!!! Day one had misty drizzle, low cloud, some dry sections and then more mizzle. As this was going to be the only part that touched Dartmoors tors this was a bit disappointing. The walk itself would be a cracker on a dry day, across a golf course, into woodland, under a viaduct, tors a fantastic byway path that was tree lined and then Lydford to finish. It was as good as I hoped it would be, and being diabetic this was a step into the unknown for me, doing distance day after day and managing it (Wine gums helped!!)
|Start – Okehampton|
|Route – Okehampton golf course – A30 Bridge – West Okement Bridge – Meldon Viaduct – Meldon Pool – Meldon Pool Bridge – Meldon Reservoir – South Down – Sourton Tor – East Tor – Lake Viaduct – Bearslake Inn – Fernworthy Down – Lydford – Castle Inn|
|Distance – 9.5 miles Start time – 11.30am Time taken – 5hrs Highest Point – Sourton Tor 440metres|
|Weather – Drizzle, lots of it, low cloud, some bits of dry on the way into Lydford|