Depart earlier than usual as no tent and gear to pack.
Soon, I hit the moors at Throwleigh common.
Progress is rapid from here as I arrive at Belstone.
Okehampton; I slowly wind my way up the steep hill to the railway station. It’s like stepping into the past. It has a shop for everything a Hornby model railway enthusiast would want, plus Airfix kits too, a leap back to my childhood.
From here I can join the Sustrans (UK cycle route network) no. 27. This route joins Ilfracombe , (north Devon) to Plymouth (south Devon) coast to coast. It starts for me as a bridle way near the station.
I leave the bridle way at Prewley Moor, heading to Bridestowe then Lydford.
Lydford Castle is a 13th century tower, built on top of a 12th century predecessor. The castle is owned and managed by English Heritage.
The castle served as a prison for enforcing the laws that regulated both Dartmoor’s forest, and also its important tin mining industry.
I past Lydford Gorge, again National Trust, so money to get in!
I get the chance to go off-road with a bit of dirt track through Blackdown Moor, less of a track more of a rambler’s path.
The bike handled it no problems, well built….No skinny tyres here!
Brent Tor is a unique example of an early weathered down Carboniferous Basaltic Volcano.
The Church of St Michel de Rupe (“Saint Michael of the Rock”) atop the Tor dates to the 13th century, and is still in-service today.
On the hill over looking Mary Tavy is the Dartmoor gliding club. I call in for a chat.
Then a descent into Mary Tavy, and stock up on food.
I made my way up the River Tavy valley looking for somewhere to pitch for the night. I asked a farmer at Horndon for water as he was busy bottle feeding his new lambs. Helpful, and after conversation invited me to use one of his fields upstream, very kind.
I did not use his field, but next door a small piece of ground next to the river at Hill Bridge, ideal. Thank you farmer Palmer!