YELVERTON TO DOUBLE WATERS ALONG THE WALKHAM

Sunday the 9th Jan 2000 was a beautiful winter day with clear blue skies and hardly any wind. After the poor weather over the holiday period the ramblers took the opportunity to enjoy a good walk and 52 of us gathered for this walk from Yelverton down to the Walkham and then down to Double Waters, where the Rivers Walkham and the Tavy join together.

The walk was led by Margaret Hancock and she had indicated that it would be an easy walk of about 8 miles. This coupled with the extremely nice day led to the large numbers of us who turned out for the walk.

We gathered together at the Leg of Mutton car park and set off at 10.30 AM right on time. We headed off across the common at Yelverton and soon were slowed down as we had to individually pass through a kissing gate. As it turned our there were no more gates or stiles on the walk, lucky as stiles certainly slow down large numbers in the groups.

Having crossed Roborough common and covered the first mile, heading north west, we turned right and headed northerly down in the direction of Horrabridge. After a half a mile we passed under a viaduct which would have once carried a rail route to Tavistock.

Shortly after the viaduct we emerged at a car park close to the main road leading from Yelverton to Tavistock. Although I didn't see a bridge we were close to Bedford Bridge west of Horrabridge. Apparently it is also known as Magpie Bridge.

We stopped at the car park for our morning coffee break.

We were soon on our way again, walking down the left bank of the river Walkham.

Although not in spate, there was certainly plenty of water flowing. Jack Sycamore had fished this river quite a lot and he pointed out plenty of good fishing spots.

We followed the river down for a mile or so now on WNW, a bearing of about 300 degrees.

Soon we were at another local landmark at Grenofen Bridge. Apparently the section of the river below the bridge is privately fished and the signs told us no fishing or bathing allowed.

As can be seen from the photograph, this is a pretty little bridge and we made our way over it and continued on down the right bank of the river.

Having crossed the bridge we turned almost due south as we made our way down through this valley with the river tumbling and rushing along on our left.

From time to time the river narrowed and there were large granite rocks to divert the river from its smooth path.

We continued down with easy walking passing the odd remote house down to our next reference point.

How Salmon making it up this far to spawn always amazes me.

We made our way down for a mile or son and and then made our way up through rocks with a natural gap between.

Having made our way through the natural entrance we found ourselves down at the point where the Walkham and the Tavy merge together.

This local beauty spot is called Double Waters for obvious reasons There was a clear area at the junction and this was a lovely point to take our lunch.

There was a neat little wooden bridge crossing the Walkham at this point and after lunch we crossed over the bridge to the left bank of the Walkham.

There had been another small group taking a break when we arrived, the sight of 50+ ramblers arriving must have put them off since they were soon on their way.

A few yards further down and we were on the left bank of the Tavy.

As the picture shows, the Tavy is the wider of the two rivers and therefore the widest river wins when it comes to names.

As we followed the Tavy downsrteam for a short distance, we soon found evidence of mining in the area. There was a spoil heap right by the side of the river.

It must have been an arsenic mine, as there was absolutely no vegetation or growth in the area. Arsenic poisened soil will not support growth and there are several such mines in the area all with bare earth, getting on for a century after mining finished.

Since we had been walking downhill since leaving Yelverton it came as no surprise to find that the return to Yelverton must of necessity be all uphill.

We soon left the river and swung right south east, following a path up a steep hill to the top of the valley. From this high vantage point, there were great views back across the valleys we had walked down earlier.

At the top of the hill, I was back on familiar territory and we made our way back at the top of the valley of the Walkham, although we couldn't see the river below us.

We had about 3 miles of relatively easy walking to go to return to the car park.

We made our way back up to Roborough Down where we had an afternoon cup of tea and soon we could see Yelverton ahead. A quarter of an hour later we were passing through the kissing gate once again and back to the cars.

Once again, I had walked a route new to me. We offered thanks to Margaret for organising the walk and to the weatherman for getting it right and giving us such an excellent walking day.

The visibility had been excellent and the views magnificent from the high points of the walk.