West Devon Way Day 3 – Yelverton to Hooe Lake

The last day of three (Day 1 and Day 2 here) and I felt pretty good. This had been my first long ish walk, over multiple days and I was feeling like I could carry on for at least two more days. I’ve already started looking at the South West Coast Path for next year, maybe doing parts of it that I can do in 4 or 5 days. There’s also lots of paths like this one, or the Two Moors Way, plenty to choose from down here. On to today and I knew that the majority of the route would be on tarmac, with the cycle route 27 taking me most of the way. First however the West Devon Way drops out of Yelverton and down to the River Plym for a lovely section through fields by the River Plym, before joining the Route 27 just before the brilliant Leighbeer Tunnel, once through that its downhill to Plym Bridge. Once there, the people count increases and the noise and smells of Plymouth come to the fore. I’ve walked the section through Saltram plenty of times and by this section I just wanted to get to Hooe Lake. Hooe Lake is a decent spot to finish and I can see why they kept going past the A379 so as to finish on a high note and also link in nicely with the South West Coastal Path.

All in all it was a good walk, shame about the weather but normally the end of June would be a good bet for decent weather, just not this time. Here’s to the next one.

Start – Yelverton
Route – Yelverton Church – Drake’s Leat – River Plym – Leighbeer Tunnel – Route 27 – Plym Bridge – Marsh Mills A38 – Saltram – A379 – Hooe Lake
Distance –  11.5 miles    Start time – 9.45am     Time taken –  5hrs 15mins  Highest Point – Yelverton 188metres
Weather – Drizzle in places, mainly cloudy, brightened up a bit coming through Saltram

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

Yelverton Church

And again from a better angle

Joining the path as it follows the Drake’s leat out of Yelverton

I’ve been following these signs for my whole route so far, however from the moment you hit the Route 27 trail they kind of disappear which is disappointing

The River Plym and fields to walk through

Ok, Route 27, lots of tarmac now until Marsh Mills and a few viaducts

First up though is Leighbeer Tunnel

Built by non other than the magnificent Isambard Kingdom Brunel as part of the Plymouth to Tavistock railway. It never used to be lit until about 2010. It was closed to rail traffic in 1966

Coming out of the tunnel, the tunnel is curved slightly and at about 200 metres long would have been damn dark in the middle

What would have been Bickleigh station

Viaduct number 1 of 3, that’s Bickleigh barracks up on the right

Back left is the Dewerstone and Devils Rocks

Route 27 and lots of tree tunnels

Viaduct number 2 and the church at Bickleigh can be seen on the hill

Into Plymbridge woods

At the last of my 3 viaducts was a peregrine falcon viewing station run by the National Trust. The chicks have just fledged. This is one of them screeching and flying around

The hut on the right is the peregrine viewing spot on viaduct number 3

By Plym Bridge is the end of the Plym Valley railway which starts at Marsh Mills. There has been talk of trying to extend the line further, however I’m not sure if they can do it.

That’s the A38 up there as I pass Marsh Mills, noise and reality hit at this point

The River Plym again as it becomes an estuary and then to the sea

Walking through Saltram, the Plym estuary on the right

Having crossed the A379 I end up at this point, this lane leads to Hooe Lake and used to be an old branch railway line to Hooe quarry

Hooe Lake

The sign that shows I’ve finished

Radford Castle, this was built for the workers on the Radford Estate

Finished. A job well done. Roly and Beer to celebrate!


4 thoughts on “West Devon Way Day 3 – Yelverton to Hooe Lake

    • Ha, no I got a lift for the last 2 miles home!!! Stupid isn’t it It was a great walk, and I’m looking at doing parts of the South West Coastal path next year. Normally takes 6-7 weeks but I will look to do 3 or 4 days walks and do it in sections, hopefully!!


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