Clearbrook and the West Devon Way

Its taken me a while to get round to writing up these walks from Christmas onwards, as I type I’m four walks behind. All four aren’t huge walks, in fact one is barely a mile but the others are 5 to 8 miles ish and all very enjoyable. This one was constructed around picking the boys up for our Christmas get together, Rona (as my eldest calls Covid) had hit my youngest on 21st Dec meaning that he was stuck over Christmas, luckily a change in the isolation period meant that with 2 negatives he was out again. He was naturally negative and he was free on the 28th Dec (I’m still not convinced he had it in the first place anyway), I picked them both up and set off for Clearbrook to tidy up a rogue Dartmoor 365 square on Roborough Down. The walk didn’t look far on the map and was flat all the way, the way back was alongside the River Meavy following the West Devon Way, the bonus was that we could pick up lunch in Yelverton. After filling their lungs with fresh air for 2 hours we headed back to my mum’s so they could enjoy a couple of days swapping presents, eating lots and playing with their cousins (which means heads buried in phones and tablets!!).

Start – Clearbrook Parking

Route – Drake’s Trail Leat path – Drake’s Leat – Yelverton –  West Devon Way – The Skylark, Clearbrook

Distance – 4.5 miles    Start time – 11.45am   Time taken – 2hrs 10mins  Highest Point – Yelverton 190 metres

Weather – Breezy, drizzle, lots of low cloud

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
The main parking spot (out of shot to the right was full) so I stuck the trusty Audi on the verge on the other side, leaving the front wheels on solid gravel so as to not get stuck!
This is one of the main cycleways in these parts (Network 27 Drake’s Trail), it runs from Saltram National Trust property in Plymouth all the way out to Tavistock, it may well go further than that at either end as well, but not being a cyclist I’m not sure
Views north to the tors and moors, with Sheeps Tor on the right and the larger bulk of Peek Hill on the left
Here they are, delighted to be out walking and not in their beds staring at a screen all warm and cosy, honest!
That’s Clearbrook down there, and the wall in the foreground is Drake’s Leat (Plymouth Leat) which ran for 17.5 miles from, what is now, Burrator Reservoir and finished on North Hill in Plymouth in Drake’s Reservoir (it also carried on into the sea at Millbay). The leat was built in 4 months by 35 men, apparently in 1590. They must have been some workers!! The leat failed to provide water to houses in Plymouth, serving only the wealthy, instead Sir Francis placed mills along the leat and made money from its construction. It is said that on being completed Sir Francis rode a white horse ahead of the water as it first ran along its course.
In Yelverton now and we pick up a sausage roll and admire the church before turning back
Now there’s a fair bit of history on this walk, I’ve already told you about Drake’s leat on the right but on the left and running from Sutton Harbour to Princetown was the Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway which passed through Yelverton.
One of the old bridges that helped the P&DR get to Yelverton, we are now on the West Devon Way. The boys are moaning that we have gone back the long way round rather than the return the way we came.
There’s a bit of drizzle in the air and the views to Sheeps Tor mist over
Walking the track that hardrails the River Meavy
We reach a bridge with the Meavy underneath, the West Devon Way continues across that field on the right. We turn right however and head uphill towards Clearbrook
Clearbrook and The Skylark pub, the Dartmoor 365 square
As it says, this is Clearbrook. Its a linear village in that all the houses run in a line along the road, rather than spread out. Peek Hill pops its head up above the trees in the distance as we finish a fine little walk, next we were off for the food and time to see the family.

4 thoughts on “Clearbrook and the West Devon Way

    • To be honest I didn’t know too much about it and assumed it was a success at bringing water into Plymouth, the truth however appears to be different with very few people actually receiving the water as it was used far more for businesses and Drake’s mills

      Liked by 1 person

    • I plead my case on this, I was just stupid when guessing the distance. Looking back its a fair bit further than 45mins there and back as I thought initially. So I’m going for the inanity plea m’lud

      Liked by 1 person

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