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24 September 2014

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Cycle route: Plym Valley trail
Plymbridge Woods
Plymbridge Woods are owned by the National Trust
Cycle through the historic grounds of Saltram House and along the tracks of a disused railway.

The Plym Trail offers gentle gradients as it takes you from Plymouth to the fringes of Dartmoor.
Other cycle routes:
Granite Way
Devon coast to coast
Grand Western Canal
Torbay coast trail
Tarka Trail
Wessex Way
Devon cycling guides

Devon County Council

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Shaugh Tunnel was cut through solid rock by the railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The Plym Trail is part of the much longer Devon coast to coast cycle route between Plymouth and Ilfracombe.

Saltram House was one of the main locations featured in the film Sense and Sensibility.
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The Plym Valley trail is a superb off-road cycle route for families or beginners who don't want to exert too much energy.

The trail forms part of the Devon Coast to Coast cycle route which stretches for 97 miles from Plymouth to the coastal resort of Ilfracombe in north Devon.

From Plymouth the trail takes you on a gentle ascent through National Trust woodland towards Dartmoor.

Cycling in this direction has two benefits - a decent pub at the end of the trail and a pleasant downhill ride pretty much all the way back.
Alongside the tidal estuary
The path runs alongside the tidal estuary

The trail itself starts in the grounds of Saltram House alongside the Plym Estuary.

A good place to park can be found not far from Laira Bridge - just beside the council rubbish tip at Chelson Meadow.

Along the river you will pass an 18th Century folly and a bird hide where you may catch sight of wading birds such as curlews and red shank in the tidal estuary.

Signposts safely guide cyclists away from the busy Marsh Mills road junction to Coypool - where you will pass the Plym Valley Railway. The less energetic can join the trail here.

From Coypool you will be riding on the track of the old Great Western Railway line through tunnels and across viaducts.

Cyclists on the Plym Trail
Cyclists heading towards Shaugh Tunnel

Keep a look out along the way for remnants of the old railway and other historic remains - some with information boards.

A new section of track opened in 2005 avoiding a hilly detour on the outskirts of Bickleigh.

After passing the old platform at Shaugh Prior station you will come to Shaugh Tunnel. Cut through solid rock by the railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the curved tunnel has only recently been fitted with electric lights.

From here it's not far to the end of the trail at Clearbrook. Follow the steep path up to the fringes of the moor and before long you will be relaxing with a well deserved cool drink and lunch at the Skylark Inn.

  Make sure you are prepared
Bike icon Suitable clothing for the time of year.
Bike icon Bottles of drink and snacks.
Bike icon Map and Guide.

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