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The people cycling on a paved track through green-leaved woodland
Plymbridge Wood cycle trail | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail

Have fun with the family on this cycle ride which follows the route of an old Great Western 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 fresh moorland air all year round.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Plymbridge Woods car park, grid ref SX523585

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Ride about 1.5 miles (2.4km) on to the Cann Viaduct. If you're 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 you're lucky, you might see them tending the chicks at their quarry cliff-ledge nest.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

End point

Plymbridge Woods car park, grid ref SX523585

Trail map

Plymbridge Woods cycle trail map
Plymbridge Woods cycle trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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The viaduct among the trees in Plymbridge Woods, Devon

Plymbridge Woods 

A wooded valley opening up to the moors of Dartmoor with a rich and varied industrious past

Plympton, Devon

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Plymbridge Road, Plympton, Devon, PL7 4SR

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