Cadover Bridge to Shaugh Bridge on Boxing Day

Boxing Day can be a tricky one to judge, depending on indulgences on the day before, will decide your start time. Also the fact that it will normally be very busy as 26th can be a popular day for getting out and walking and finally the weather, which can be fickle at this time of year. I’ve looked back and only once did I manage to walk on Boxing Day, back in 2015 and it was this exact walk. I’ve walked this route 3 times previously between Christmas and New Year (2015, 2017 and 2018), plus another two in the week before Christmas (2013 and 2014). It rightly sits as probably my favourite ‘go to’ walk. The weather this year was almost perfect, and a 11.30am start had me worried that it could be busy, especially as some shops had decided to stay closed on Boxing Day (which is a good thing in my book). We needn’t have worried, parking easily gained and we were quickly off, there were a few people out, but not too bad, those that didn’t walk today, missed out on a lovely day. I’d even argue we saw more deer on the walk than people, having disturbed one group on West Down and then had another group of 5 almost walk through our lunch on a rock at the top of the Dewerstone. A fabulous day and one that I’m grateful that my partner, Linda, wanted us to head out on. Roll on 2023 and happy walking everyone.

Start – Cadover Bridge parking

Route – North Wood – Shaugh Beacon – West Down (Rocks) – Shaugh Bridge parkingShaugh BridgeDewerstoneCadworthy TorWigford Down – China Clay pools – Cadover CrossCadover Bridge

Distance – 4 miles    Start time – 11.30am   Time taken – 3 1/2hrs  Highest Point – Wigford Down 271 metres

Weather – Sunshine and blue skies, cold but lovely for Boxing Day

© Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey FL 2022 SF
We started out from the Cadover Bridge car parking spots, there are more places to park at this end, so if you ever head out for this walk and want to start from Shaugh Bridge just keep in mind the extra parking at this end. The walk heads straight into North Wood alongside the River Plym
This is known as the clay pipe path as a this pipe was used to pump clay to the settling tanks at the Shaugh Bridge end
Looking back after walking through North Wood. We would head up hill to the right here, alongside the wall, picking up an improving path towards Shaugh Beacon
Before heading up hill I took this photo of the Dewerstone, this is probably the best angle to see it properly
At Shaugh Beacon now, with views to Plymouth Sound
The village of Shaugh Prior is below, there is a path down from here to the village, but not for us today
Higher tors around Sheeps Tor and Cox Tor in the distance, from Shaugh Beacon
Think these are called West Down Rocks, they aren’t far from Shaugh Beacon and not on my list, however both times I’ve walked to this outcrop I disturbed a herd of deer, so they obviously like these parts
Some of the settling tanks as we approach Shaugh Bridge
And more of the settling tanks in the Shaugh Bridge car park
The River Plym as we cross the wooden bridge by the car park
And Shaugh Bridge where we stopped for a coffee and a bite to eat, the River Meavy is coming in from the right to join the Plym on the left and head under Shaugh Bridge, the pillars are from the 17th century but the main top part of the bridge was washed away in a huge thaw in 1824 and rebuilt the following year.
Heading up from Shaugh Bridge you walk up tracks which would have been used to take granite down from the Dewerstone area, some of these paths can clearly be seen to be once a railway, which in this case were blasted through the tor (Dewerstone West)
More of the trackbed path as it rises to the summit rocks
This would have been the brake house used to stop the carts and the granite from ending up in the River Meavy below, they would have used the weight of the granite and cart to haul up the empty carts
Left over block, all roughly carved but not used
Lovely views out along the Meavy valley
The top of the outcrop, or Devils Rocks as I’ve heard it called a few times
Looking back towards Cadover Bridge along the Plym Valley, Cadworthy Tor is far left and our next target, but first we head right out of photo for some lunch and a view from the top of the Dewerstone
I have taken the photo of the Dewerstone, near the top of this post, from over there just above the trees in that clearing. The views along the Plym Valley from here are superb, and its a fair drop down to my right
Now at Cadworthy Tor and I like the way the two walkers are silhouetted on the top with Plymouth Sound behind them
Now at Wigford Down summit, the dark clouds are over Burrator Reservoir with Sheeps Tor still in the sun to the right. We’d been lucky with the weather today
Mainly blue skies for us on this walk and a lovely view from the summit pond
No walk on Dartmoor would be complete without some Dartmoor 365 squares, this is the China Clay pools, we’d also done Shaugh Bridge and Dewerstone today which are another two
Almost back and just time to see Cadover Cross which is from the 1200’s and a waymarker on the monks route between Plympton Priory and Tavistock. The word Cadover is from Caed-a-ford or Cadaford, meaning battle over the ford, suggesting a battle took place here. Being as no bridge was here at that time, the ford would have been a key crossing point of the Plym river.
And here is today’s bridge, now used by brave kids to jump into the waters of the River Plym. So a short but stunning walk in some fantastic weather, perfect for Boxing Day

11 thoughts on “Cadover Bridge to Shaugh Bridge on Boxing Day

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