Plymbridge Woods lies in the Plym Valley on the outskirts of Plymouth. There are walking trails for all ages and abilities, including a mammoth hike up to Dartmoor if you’re feeling extra energetic! It’s a fantastic place to explore with all the family. It has the perfect mix of afternoon picnic spots, pools to paddle in and off-road tracks to test out your bike. Plymbridge Woods has it all!
DOGSCLOSURE: This blogpost is part of ACAI Activewear’s Stride Out from the Crowds campaign. My ACAI Activewear MAX Stretch Skinny Outdoor Trousers were gifted to me in exchange for this blogpost
ACAI Activewear asked us to share our favourite local walk, somewhere we’ve spent a lot of time exploring recently, especially during the Coronavirus lockdown for their #strideoutfromthecrowds campaign. Plymbridge Woods instantly came to mind. It’s only a 20 minute drive from our house and is fast becoming one of our favourite local woodlands to explore.
Time stands still when you’re walking in Plymbridge Woods. It’s crazy to think that this incredible outdoor space is right on the doorstep of Britain’s Ocean City. The main trails tend to get quite busy during holidays and weekends. However if you keep walking you’re bound to find somewhere quieter. There are plenty of places to paddle in river. However the water levels rise significantly during winter and can get quite rough, especially after storms. You’ll want to wear wellies or boots at this time of year, as the paths have a tendency to flood. It’s also super muddy, not that we complain!
Plymbridge Woods is a popular place for cycling, whether that’s on the main tarmac track or more off-road dirt routes. If you’re walking on the main path, be sure to keep your dog on a lead. Some cyclists like to zoom past, so it’s best to keep your dog close by. The trail takes you over three viaducts too, which impressive views of the canopy and surrounding farm land. There is strong wire blocking the gaps in the viaduct. However I always keep Woody and Hen on lead just in case!
Our favourite walk by far clings tight to the river Plym. The path turns into an obstacle course in places, however clambering over the logs and rocks is always worth it. It’s so peaceful down by the river, we rarely bump into people here. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the kingfishers and otters in the riverbanks, as well as plenty of fish swimming with the currents.
Woody always likes to swim to the other side of the river, so he can run around and chase pheasants in peace. Hen’s started following him too, they’re a right stubborn pair! I’ve resorted to bringing a flask of tea and a snack with me, which I enjoy by the banks while I wait for them to decide they’re ready to swim back! We’ve spent many evenings like this during lockdown, a new tradition we’ll definitely be keeping up.
There’s a longer 10 mile walk we like to take too, which starts at the park and ride car park near Marsh Mills. It’s a simple route that initially follows the railway track before you hop onto the main cycle track and continue over the viaducts. Essentially you keep walking until you reach the end of the woodland. Of course the track continues but we usually turn back because it’s a long route. I’d love to continue walking up to Dartmoor one day but will definitely have to make sure we have enough snacks!
Plymbridge Woods is a great place for canicross too. In fact, there’s a weekly ParkRun here, which is dog friendly. I haven’t taken part in the official ParkRun just yet, however the dogs really enjoyed their run with Josh, while I cycled alongside. They’ve also really enjoyed bikejoring here during lockdown and Hen has even been promoted to running without a lead. I’m not sure we can trust Woody to follow us just yet… He’s too easily distracted but he does love running and pulling us on the bike.
What’s your favourite route at Plymbridge Woods? How do you like to adventure here?
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