Into the Walkham Valley0
This walk as most around Dartmoor and rough tracks you will need suitable footwear. The paths are still quite uneven so watch your footing. Something with ankle support is wise because if you do fall over on your ankle the chance of injury is far less. Is is worth walking the hills for the views you get over Horrabridge also to the north east the views of southern Dartmoor on a clear day is quite spectacular.
If you look for them there are old granite benches around the top of the paths above double waters which give a great place to have a bite of lunch and enjoy the views. On the other hand you would hope for a rainy day or a few rainy days previous to view the ferocity of double waters in full flow. With a small footbridge crossing the rivers this is a fantastic place for some pictures.
Along the river on the second part of the walk is a wonderful time to have a slow walk and loose yourself under the canopy of trees and serene setting. The walk even though 5 miles will fly by as there is so much to look at. Even in the Great British summer months don’t forget you waterproofs as if it is raining at times it can be monsoon like under the canopy of trees.
The Walkham Valley has lots to offer the walker, wildlife, industrial remains, rivers, magnificent views across the valley, a disused train track and a viaduct to name a few!
Recently the Walkham Valley has been opened further for walkers & cyclists with work on the trail that has opened the new Drakes Trail, launched in March 2009, the Drake’s Trail is a network of walking and cycling trails.
The walk featured here starts at Magpie Car Park and is approximately 5 miles long; allow 3-4 hours for the walk. Strenuous at times and with a few steep climbs, you will need to be quite fit to walk the full length. There are some short cuts to the walk and taking these can cut the walk in half, and cut’s out a few of the steep climbs!
It is recommended you take a map with you when following a walk route.
Getting there from Tavistock or Plymouth should be easy, there is a bus stop by the entrance to Magpie car park and if coming by car then the car park offers plenty of spaces and even a toilet block.
River Walkham Walk
Start your walk by heading west out of the far end of the car park and over the small wooden bridge and along the path into the woods. The river should be to your right down the bank about 50 metres away, carry along this path until you see the path fork, take the left trail that goes up the hill.
Further up the hill you will come across a railway bridge, the bridge has been repaired recently and now has fencing to stop people climbing down onto the railway path, continue on this path across the bridge and up the trail. The path narrows and at times can look overgrown, but soon the path opens up onto the downs and the views from here are spectacular across the valley.
There is a crossroads of paths here, left right and straight ahead, follow the path that goes straight ahead, (the left path will take you down towards the river and a shortcut back), keep walking and to a line of trees and a pass through them, carry on till you come to a rough car park and the start of a tarmac road.
To the right of the tarmac road you will see a path along the trees, follow this for about 100 metres and as the path forks, take the right hand path, this will lead you down towards the woods that skirt around two fields. A clear path through the woods is easily visible and follows an adjacent rough road to your right.
Carry on through to the end of the woods and join the rough road as they merge and continue uphill until you come across another tarmac road on your left and two paths, one straight ahead and one to your right.
Take the right hand path down towards the valley; to your right you should have excellent views across the valley.
The path is a rough road and is an easy walk down, keep going till you pass an old disused mine entrance on your left, overgrown and slightly hidden and then on further past a house on your left.
The road bears right and as you reach the bottom of the road keep your eyes peeled for the bridge which crosses the river on your left. It’s a wooden bridge and very sturdy.
Cross the bridge to the other side which is the corner of where the river Tavy meets the river Walkham, and is called Double Waters. A great spot for a rest and is the halfway point of the walk.
Facing the river, the large rocks behind you have an opening between them, a narrow path to walk through, take that path and continue up past the entrance and past two homes. This is a steep climb till you join the rough trail that takes you through to Grenofen car park.
Continue on this path along the river bank till you come out at the entrance to the car park. Cross over the bridge into the car park area and look out for a path to your left just opposite the parking area.
This path takes you along the river side to the new bridge built only 2 years ago, it’s a bit muddy in wet weather and has many tree roots showing so be careful where you tread!
At the new bridge crossing take the right path up the steep hill, the path has been zigg zagged to make it an easier climb, but people have shortened some of the route.
At the top you’ll find yourself on the old railway, from here it’s an easy and enjoyable walk through the woods and across the viaduct some 1 mile along the route. As you walk over the viaduct look for a path going downhill to your left, it’s about 10ft past the viaduct. Take this path; it leads back to Magpie car park and the end of the walk.
Additional Walk Information
- Length: 8.82 Km
- Ascent: 323 metres
- Grade: Regular Walkers
- Start Ref:: SX 503 702
- End Ref:: SX 503 702
- Estimated Time: 2hrs 18 minutes
- Hidden Length: 8.86 Km
- Suggested Equipment: Walking Boots / Poles / Rain Jacket
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