Tavistock Railway and Canal

27. 5. 2023

Peter Schrammel




**: Nice walk along a disused railway track and on a canal towpath


Tavistock, 83m - Lumburn bridge, 91m - Tavistock

Elevation gain





1 1/2h (3/4 + 3/4)






1: hidden drops a the edges of the railway embankment; path next to canal waters

Visitor frequency 

c: quiet on the railway track, lots of dogwalkers on the towpath



I was going to spend a bank holiday weekend in Cornwall before attending a colleague‘s wedding. I had little time to plan thoroughly, so I just booked some accommodations in the region. For the night to Sunday the only easy-to-reach accommodation was in Tavistock, a town I had never heard of before. I arrived in Plymouth shortly after 2pm and took the bus on a hilly route to Tavistock. The town is situated in the Tavy valley on the foot of the Dartmoor hills, whose highest peaks are crowned with bizarre granite rocks. I had enough time before dinner to explore the surroundings. A footpath on an old railway track had caught my attention when studying the map. So, I walked up to the western end of the small town crammed with buildings suggesting a rich history. The path offers some beautiful views over the town. In some sections a brook has found its new course on the path that leads through the rocky canyons that had been cut into the slopes above the Tavy valley. The path ends at a gate that blocks access to the Lamburn railway bridge, a multi-arch bridge that spans over the valley. The path continues off the railway track down to the Tavistock canal, first crossing under the railway bridge and then further crossing under the canal to reach the south bank of the canal. From there I had impressive views of the railway bridge again. I followed the towpath back to Tavistock. Suddenly, a rabbit crossed my path towards the canal. It tried to hide on a tiny ledge between the path and the waters of the canal – I could see the fear in its eyes when I passed silently. The canal is picturesque with trees bending tunnel-like over the canal and the towpath, a stone arch bridge, and trees and bushes in full bloom. After having encountered many dogwalkers I returned to the town centre and finished this nice walk at the Cornish Arms pub.

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