It’s surprising what fascinating finds might be encountered when out rambling. The Plym Valley is beautiful, shady, and verdant. Squirrels scurry to collect acorns and the sound of birdsong fills the air. The land is also home to deer, but unfortunately, we didn’t see any, although we did spot a giant serpent. In front of a high shallow cave, we came across a gnarled tree trunk. A creative soul has placed stones for eyes at the roots, and the wooden beast looks as if it has slithered from the pages of a mythological tale.

The remnants of railways still exist from when slate and granite were transported through the woodlands into Plymouth over a century ago. Ruins of old buildings along the pathways give an insight into the lives of people who frequented Plymbridge Woods, and some wheel pits are still evident. Listening to water gushing nearby helps to understand the enormity of the power produced.

In certain places the river’s surface is mirror-like, giving the perfect opportunity to take photographs of flora and foliage in symmetry. In other parts, the water trickles over rocks as it winds around bends and under Plym Bridge which has been on the site since 1238, although the present grade ll listed one is much later. It is built of stone and has five semi-circle arches.

We watched cyclists steer on tracks through the copses and along Cann Viaduct, which is one of three in the vicinity. Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s original design was constructed in timber but replaced in 1907. Imagine the great engineer’s amazement if he was alive today and saw the riders on their modern bikes. So different to the two-wheeled contraptions invented in his day, and definitely not the intention for the viaduct developed for steam trains using the South Devon and Tavistock Railway.

Further along, the weir is idyllic and the water shallow enough to paddle through. The sides are rich with moss and the ripples crystal-clear. After a short break on the banks, it was time to head back. Our planned amble had turned into a ten-mile hike and we hadn’t seen everything but opted to leave the rest for another time.

Until next time.
Sue. X