Norman described the walk as a figure of 8 walk from Shaugh Bridge up the Meavy to Clearbrook and then onto Yelverton. From near Yelverton we returned down the Meavy by another route to Goodameavy and then across and up to the moors to Cadover Bridge followed by the final descent down the Plym and return to the car park again. Norman had estimated that the walk was in the region of 9 miles in all.
At just after 10.30 AM we were off, leaving the car park and making our way down the road to the entrance to the local beauty spot of Shaugh Bridge where the rivers Plym and Meavy merge together.
We crossed the footbridge over the Plym and turned right to follow a good footpath up a steep and zig zag ascent up towards the Dewerstone Rocks high above us.
The rocks are popular with climbers and abseilers and we passed a group of schoolchildren preparing to do just that.
There was scant evidence of the Dewerstone rocks as we made out way along the path towards the Scout Hut however. The only indication of rocks were a small semi plinth of rocks on our left hand side as we walked up.
To my recollection, it was the first time that I had followed this route up to the Scout Hut, in all previous walks in this area we had followed a diagonal track up to the hut from the Meavy.
The walk then levelled out considerably as we followed the path of the river Meavy on our left hand side. At Goodameavy we met the road and crossed over the road bridge to the west side of the river.
We then followed the line of the old railway for a few hundred yards before turning left up a newish looking footpath which led us up to the moors.
Once again although I had walked along the railway line many times, it was the first time that I had taken this zig zagged path up to the low moors. Although the old line does go directly to Clearbrook, sections of the line have been sold off for private dwellings so the route is blocked to walkers. After a break for drinks and to admire the houses across the other side of the vallery, we continued across the moor towards Clearbrook.
We crossed the road at the western end of the village and followed a path west up to near the edge of the golf course.
We soon turned more north and for a short time followed the route of the old leat from Yelverton passing the flatish Chub Tor to our left without actually seeing it.
We crossed over an old stile and followed a well defined track north towards Yelverton.
As we neared Yelverton we passed some impressive houses built overlooking the valley below.
About a half a mile on from Chub Tor we took a path to our right off the main path and started descending.
This was to be the most northerly point of the walk.
After a short descent we turned right again through a small kissing gate and made our way south along a narrow path with the Meavy well below us and to our left in the valley below.
We gradually descended towards the river as we made our way south and by the time we neared Clearbrook and a road again we were once again by the side of the river.
Although there was a bridge across the river linking Hoo Meavy with Clearbrook we didn't cross the bridge but turned right just before the bridge, over a new stile into a field with the river still on our left.
After a hundred yards or so we stopped for our lunch break; with the sun shining and the river babbling it was a very relaxing point to take lunch.
After half an hour we were on our way again following the river walking through the flat meadowland, over stiles and gates for well over half a mile. Just before reaching the Goodameavy bridge we had crossed earlier in the morning we left the meadow and followed a path to the road.
Norman had promised us a steep uphill section after lunch and this was to be it.
We turned left over the road bridge, and walked up the steep hill which took us through Goodameavy and on up north east towards the moors once again. After just less than half a mile we saw a stone cross, known as Urgles Cross. We left the road at this point and made our way up across the moors, heading now south east and still climbing. We kept a dry stone wall to our right and continued to climb up for about half a mile, although less steeply than our walk up the road to the cross.
At the top we swung east again and followed the higher and relatively level ground heading for our next point that of Cadover Bridge about a mile further on.
Walking was quick and easy across the short moorland grass and soon we could see the working clay pits across the valley north east of us.
After this section of easy walking we could see the river Plym flowing down towards Cadover Bridge.
Leaving the moorland and passing by a large cross, we were soon on road again and we crossed Cadover Bridge and followed the road around as it swung around by the large car park at this local beauty spot.
Even in midweek in May, there were quite a few people out and around the waters edge.
After cooling refreshments from the ice cream van in the car park we commenced our descent along the path to the east of the river Plym.
The path back is very easy to follow as it follows the meandering of the river. There are many large stones in the river in this area giving some effective water cascades downstream.
This one and a half mile section is virtually all downhill as we descended from 207 metres at Cadover down to less than 90 metres at Shaugh Bridge.
The descent is through woodland, along the banks of the river for some of the route with the occasional stile to climb over.
As we approached the Dewerstone on the opposite side of the valley, there were good views across to the steep rocks comprising the Dewerstone rocks.
The rocks, as can be seen in the picture on the left, are near vertical and offer obvious appeal to those who enjoy the challenge of climbing.
After over a mile, we emerged out of the woods into a field with clear views across to Bickleigh and beyond.
As we sat to take afternoon tea, we could see the thunder clouds forming and soon could hear the sound of thunder in the background.
The break was curtailed as we hurried down the final section through the woods and down towards the car park at Shaugh Bridge.
Suddenly below us there was the car park below us and we descended the steps to emerge near the cars once again.
Just as we did so, the heavens opened, no time to change our boots, into the car and out of the rain, just.
Norman has obviously practiced brinkmanship in an earlier life, just five minutes later and we would have all been soaked, we had got back just in the nick of time.
It had been a good walk with an interesting variation of terrain. It just goes to show that you don't have to travel far from Plymouth to enjoy splendid walking and outstanding scenery. Thanks were almost given to Norman but he too had disappeared into his car, so a belated thanks for the walk Norman.
The gardeners in the group indicated how the gardens needed the rain. Perhaps short memories, hadn't it been the wettest April for many years and it was only now the 10th of May.
Still I won't have to water my new plants this evening.