The southern fringes of Dartmoor
Stroll on the Puffing Billy Track
The old Redlake Tramway across the south of Dartmoor provides a fantastic path for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.
Leave the car park by the gate at the top of the lane and make your way up to the track.
More energetic walkers may prefer to follow the grassy track straight ahead of the gate.
The start of the walk
It's a steep upward climb, but well worth the effort. At the top you'll find Western Beacon, a granite outcrop with spectacular 360 degree views.
If you don't fancy the steep incline, turn left onto the bed of the old railway just a few yards above the gate. You can follow the track for more than seven miles to Redlake, rising steadily all the way to a height of almost 1,500ft.
For somewhere so close to Plymouth and the bustling towns of the South Hams, walking here seems a world away from civilisation. To your left is Ivybridge, the busy A38 expressway, and the main railway line to Newton Abbot.
As you walk, you can catch glimpses of the distant traffic and watch the trains snake their way around Ivybridge, but this is soon left behind.
On a clear day, the South Devon coast glistens on the horizon beyond the patchwork of green fields which make up the South Hams. Don't be surprised to meet the odd mountain biker or rider on horseback.
By sticking to the track you can be sure there will be no steep gradients to tackle.
You'll be walking on the track-bed of the former Redlake Tramway which was built in 1910 to serve the clay workings at the end of the line.
Its main use was to transport staff and coal across country from Bittaford. The line remained in use until the early 1930s.
Within a few minutes you leave the built up area of Ivybridge behind you as the track heads further into moorland territory. At this point the track becomes part of The Two Moors Way.
The old track-bed where the tramway used to run
The route is rich in archaeological interest - you'll come across numerous cairns and stone rows as you ascend onto Ugborough Moor and Sharp Tor.
Although you can keep walking for miles, you can make this walk as long or short as you like. There are great views to be had all the way.
On the return leg, it's always worth keeping in mind that refreshments are close at hand in the pubs and cafes of Ivybridge - just a short drive away!
last updated: 12/02/2008 at 16:02