We all met in the car park by Plym Bridge for a 10 AM start. Once again, although we had cycled along the cycle track nearby we had never walked this route. Don Millgate was the leader and he had planned a six to seven mile walk along the Plym Valley in the area of Plym Bridge. He indicated that there were some trees down which had forced him to make to changes to the original route he had planned.
The walk started with a steady uphill section through the woods. At the top there had been a lot of tree clearance and the views were good. After the quick uphill section we were on our way down again a different route and suddenly we were back again where we had been some half an hour previously. Was this one of the little diversions Don had fed into to make up the distance??
Following this loop we followed the cycle track along the old railway until we crossed a viaduct. The national trust now own the land and they had posted some signs describing some of the old buildings in the area. One described an old water wheel building.
Although the picture doesn't show you the depth, from the size of the building it must have been a rather large wheel. Mind you from time to time there would have been lots of water flowing down the Plym
We left the track and made our way down to the river below. Quite a steep descent but the river looked splendid and the weir was another local beauty spot new to us. Jack, who fishes this river a good deal, was able to enlighten us on the best spots for the salmon in the area and pointed out some of the areas he has fished. The river, although not in full spate, was flowing strongly and the weir certainly looked good. The dogs took every opportunity of leaping in, they obviously don't feel the cold.
We walked upstream for a while, then crossed a meadow and had a steady climb up back to the old railway track. We crossed this and continued up the steep track towards top of the valley. We were soon at the top and making our way downstream along the northern side of the valley.
I had no idea that all these tracks existed and we were quite close to Woolwell and then the Southway estates yet we might have been miles from anywhere. Apparently we were quite close to the industrial estate at Southway and above us we could see Wrigleys.
There were a couple of quite large caves just off the track and we had a slight detour to look into them. Almost certainly the results of quarrying but quite spectacular.
Shortly after we had our lunch break, out of the wind it was not too cold. We didn't stop long however and we were soon off again passing by some expensive looking houses on a relatively modern executive estate.
We dropped down to the Plym and continued down past Plym Bridge making our way down towards Marsh Mills. We didn't get that far however as we turned before reaching a caravan site, made our way across another meadow which must have been the home of a rugby team from the two rusting sets of posts.
I cannot remember how many times we crossed the Plym on this walk, perhaps it seemed more than it actually was. We continued up river again along a flat section through a long meadow and we were soon back to the car park. It was a pleasant walk with plenty of conversation. We had again been lucky with the weather and had avoided the cold northerly wind for the whole day. I bet it would have been many degrees colder had we been walking out in the open up on Dartmoor itself.