Drake’s Trail in West Devon is a 21-mile, multi-use route linking Tavistock with Plymouth. I've cycled Drake's Trail three times as part of longer rides. My first time was Tavistock to Plymouth (mostly downhill), the other times were Plymouth to Tavistock (mostly uphill). The trail follows the route of the old GWR Tavistock to Plymouth railway (apart from a section between Horrabridge and Clearbrook). Expect viaducts with magnificent views across to Dartmoor, wooded cuttings and the occasional tunnel from this age of grand engineering.


GWR Plymouth to Chulmleigh on 24th June 2023

Part of a charity ride from Plymouth to Ilfracombe for Bowel Cancer UK

GWR Plymouth to Tavistock https://www.strava.com/activities/9325420382 

The entrance to National Trust Plymbridge Wood (Photo Grant Sherman 24/6/23)


GWR Plymouth to GWR Okehampton on 3rd May 2023

A practice for my charity ride. This time I cycled around the edge of Plymouth Sound past the Hoe and Sutton harbour. The route along the eastern shore of the Laira through Saltram Woods was much prettier than the western shore. It was a steady climb to Yelverton, broken by a chance to watch the Plymbridge Peregrines. There was maintenance work at the Gem Walkway so I followed the diversion through Horrabridge and Grenofen to rejoin the trail at Whitchurch. 

GWR Plymouth to Marsh Mills https://www.strava.com/activities/9004098538 

Marsh Mills to Yelverton https://www.strava.com/activities/9004096209 

Yelverton to Tavistock https://www.strava.com/activities/9004094195 

The Plym Peregrine Project at Plym Bridge (Photo Grant Sherman 3/5/23)


GWR Okehampton to GWR Plymouth on 12th Sept 2022

This was my first exploration of Drakes Trail. I'd got the train to Okehampton and cycled the traffic-free Granite Way to Lydford and then through North Brentor, Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy to Tavistock. I had to check my map several times through Tavistock and Whitchurch to make sure I was going the right way. As soon as I reached the old railway it was "full steam ahead". The descent from Yelverton through Plymbridge Woods was stunning, especially as I didn't have to pedal. I planned to go through Saltram Woods but there was maintenance work on the trail. Instead I followed the western shore of the Laira and NCN2 to get to Plymouth Railway Station.


Gem Viaduct between Horrabridge and Tavistock (Photo Grant Sherman 12/7/22)


Explore Devon Drake’s Trail in West Devon is a 21-mile, multi-use route linking Tavistock with Plymouth. This important part of Devon’s recreational network runs along the western edge of Dartmoor with superb countryside, attractive scenery, and much historical and heritage interest along the way.

In addition to the main Drakes Trail route, there is a network of two other cycling routes (and four walking routes) linking nearby places that featured in Drake’s life, from his birthplace, to the house he owned at the time of his death, and following sections of the 18-mile Drake’s Leat to Plymouth Hoe, where he famously played bowls.



Sustrans Drake’s Trail is a 22-mile cycling and walking route, starting in the maritime city of Plymouth and ending in Tavistock, on the wild western edges of Dartmoor. Climbing through the Plym Valley, the scenery across Devon’s south coast, woodland and moorland is spectacular.



Drakes Trail Drake's Trail in West Devon is a 21 mile cycling and walking route linking Tavistock with Plymouth. This important part of Devon's recreational route network runs through superb countryside with attractive scenery along the western edge of Dartmoor together with much historical and heritage interest.

But the trails aren't just about Drake - they take you through wooded river valleys and across open moorland, up close to fascinating wildlife and history.



Visit Dartmoor The Trail takes its name from numerous connections with the famous Elizabethan seafarer Sir Francis Drake and forms part of (NCN) Route 27, the ‘Devon Coast to Coast’. NCN27 is a 102 mile route between Ilfracombe in North Devon and Plymouth. Much of NCN27 route is off-road on former railway lines including the Tarka Trail and Granite Way and Devon County Council is working to increase the amount of offroad sections.


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