Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail

Cycling trail

Have fun with the family on this cycle ride which follows the route of an old Great Westen Railway track. From the edge of Plymouth, you plunge straight into glorious oak woodland before emerging out into open countryside. The trail leads you past dramatic industrial remains, including towering quarry faces, and across breathtaking viaducts. You’ll get the chance for close-up views of nesting wild peregrines (in season) and a taste of invigorating moorland fresh air all year round.

Kids cycling


Map route for Plymbridge Woods Family Cycle Trail


Plymbridge Woods car park, grid ref SX523585


Leave the main National Trust car park at Plymbridge Woods and cycle up a slope onto the old Great Western Railway line, now National Cycle Network route 27. Pause and look left at the disused Plym Halt station. Turn right, away from the city of Plymouth.

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Ride about 1.5 miles (2.4km) on to the Cann Viaduct. If youre visiting in spring and early summer, stop off at the peregrine viewing platform for fantastic close-ups of these majestic birds of prey through mounted telescopes. If youre lucky, you might see them tending the chicks at their quarry cliff-ledge nest.

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Proceed over three more massive viaducts, pausing to look down onto the surrounding woodland and countryside.

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After about 4 miles (6.4km), from the start, you will reach Leighbeer Tunnel, cut out of solid rock by railway engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This is curving and dimly lit, so proceed with extreme care.

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Leave the old railway line and go left down a minor road towards Shaugh Prior. At Shaugh Bridge, cross over the River Plym and immediately pull into the left.

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Dismount and wheel your cycle across the footbridge into the National Trust Dewerstone Woods. Here you can explore the remains of an old tile making kiln and search for the remains of old leats and wheelpits. It is an ideal place for a picnic. To return, go back over Shaugh Bridge, ignore the first road on the right (which you came down on from the tunnel), and take the next turning on the right. This will take you back up onto National Cycle Network route 27 at Shaugh Prior platform.


Plymbridge Woods car park, grid ref SX523585

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Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail


Well-surfaced, nearly level disused railway line. Can be muddy after wet weather, take care when walking near waterways and the River Plym. Beware that the Leighbeer Tunnel is dimly lit and a torch or bike lights will be handy even in the middle of the day. A variety of other paths offer shorter walks without your bicycle.

Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail

Contact us

Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail

How to get here

near Plymouth, Devon
By road

From A38 Marsh Mills exit, head towards Plympton and follow signs to Plymbridge Woods, 5 miles (8km) north-east of Plymouth.

By bicycle

NCN27, the Plym Valley Trail, starts in Plymouth, in the grounds of Saltram House. See Sustrans website.

Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome