Horrabridge and Plaster Down

Well Spring has sprung, or at least an early version has. We may well get another blast of the cold stuff but for now we all are looking forward and willing to fight anyone who wants to stop our plans, we all know what I’m talking about. This walk was a beauty, the weather was glorious, the air clarity was superb and the type that can only be seen in the winter months. Last week up on Stalldown Barrow I had a brief prelude to this weekends weather, but this was just another level. Again I stayed as local as I wished, it was a short drive (for me anyway), and to be honest everyone and his hamster was out. Walkers, cycling, driving, prams, cats, dogs, shopping, runners, everyone. We all are stuck doing the same thing, again and in this weather we all want to be outside so it will be busy. So the media need to to do one. I played savvy and despite the first third of the walk being busy we turned into a quieter part and more space. Saying that, the first third is full of the big hitters of any walk, Brunel bridges and tunnels, new metal architecture and a fine path. When your kids say they are enjoying this walk, then you know you have done good, fist pump! We then walked up to Plaster Down which was an opening of space, and you can find your own way across here, for us we made a way and talked of Star Wars and our favourite 1-9 of the films, their choices doesn’t match mine and it was great to hear their reasoning but lets face it they are wrong, Empire Strikes Back rules! Just over 6 miles in fantastic weather, with the boys, a perfect day.

Start – Horrabridge

Route – Magpie Bridge – Gem Bridge(new one) – Grenofen Tunnel – Whitchurch – Middlemoor – Plaster Down – Grimstone and Sortridge Leat – Horrabridge

Distance – 6.5 miles    Start time – 11.15am    Time taken – 4hrs Highest Point – Plaster Down 200 metres ish

Weather – Just sunshine and blue skies

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
We’ve found a roadside parking spot in Horrabridge to start the walk. We’d stopped off in Yelverton to grab lunch in the Game Larder, where we had picked up pies, sausage sandwiches and flapjacks for the walk. Actually we had eaten the savoury part by this point but stored the sweet for later.
As it says on the thousands of signs, this is the Route 27, a route from Plymouth to Tavistock, we are walking the best part of it. Also known as the Drake’s Trail
Woodland, Route 27 style
There are places where you you can stop off and enjoy the view on this route. That is Horrabridge below and Dartmoor at the back
Onwards Route 27
Now this is a real spot, the old railway would have run this way to Tavistock, this bridge runs alongside the old Brunel version, parts of which can be seen across the valley
From the Magpie Bridge my youngest looks towards Peek Hill
Just a short distance along the path is this. A 2012 version of Brunel’s Gem Bridge, made of metal it gives fine views but is 16 metres lower than the original
All on Gem Bridge
Views from Gen Bridge over the woodland below holding the River Walkham
At the far end of Gem Bridge there was a swing. We took turns!!
The Gem Bridge information board, I’d just seen a bright yellow butterfly which may have been a Brimstone (if so my first) but no photos!
This path has one more highlight, the Brunel Grenofen Tunnel
Not the best photo but the stalactites above along with the dripping water show this is a fun spot. 375 yards long built by Brunel
After the tunnel and the rest of the Drake’s Trail we headed up to Whitchurch and these daffodils. Spring is soon
Whitchurch Inn would have been a lunch spot normally but not today, instead we ate our sweet from the Game Larder, Yelverton
St Andrews Church, Whitchurch
Heading out onto Plaster Down with views opening up to the west and Brent Tor
Views to Cornwall and Bodmin Moor
The Grimstone and Sortridge leat and plenty of tors from Plaster Down. Cox Tor is furthest left, Pew Tor is over on the right and at the back is Great Mis Tor
Peek Hill and Sharpitor is the high point to the east
A vast flat playground with some great views to the tors
Leaving Plaster Down and one last look along the leat
Horrabridge is ahead, as you can see by my youngest, it is warm enough for just a t shirt
The bridge in Horrabridge over the River Walkham
The weir and the salmon steps on the left. The pub behind me is also called the leaping salmon
Horrabridge, this along with the Magpie bridge, Grenofen tunnel and Plaster Down made for 4 Dartmoor 365 squares today
Horrabridge Anglican church
One last view as we walk the short section along the A386 back to the car. Peek Hill over on the right. A great walk through some fine countryside in great weather. Keep it coming

7 thoughts on “Horrabridge and Plaster Down

  1. Must be the big kid in me but I love bridges and tunnels. Stunning day and we e been enjoying some well deserved sunshine this weekend. Totally agree with the comment about the press, let people enjoy the sunshine and outdoors if everyone is sensible. The risks are all indoors especially those poor souls who are not being supported by employers and Government, and forced to go into Work as they can’t afford not to.
    Also totally agree on the Star Wars films. I’m old enough to remember watching Empire at the Cinema for the first time as a kid and being shocked at the dark ending. Which ones do your boys rate, the latest ones I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No my boys like Return of the Jedi as their favourite followed by the prequel 3. Revenge of the Sith being high on the list. Madness!! My first ever film at the cinema was Return of the Jedi


      • Young people today. The prequels were all a bit rubbish if you ask me. My first film at the cinema? It might have been a very crap Japanese Godzilla movie, they used to put them on a Saturday morning with a bunch of cartoons, happy days, different times!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Used to walk that side quite a lot. My favourite was a circuit out to Double Waters. Must be over 30 years since I walked there,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The tunnel looks fun and those daffodils are gorgeous. I would love to see a yellow butterfly. I don’t think we have them here as I have never been fortunate enough to see one.


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