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Drake's Trail Walking Spur 4 - Tavistock to Crowndale - 3 miles






Drake's Trail Walking Spur 4 - Tavistock to Crowndale - 3 miles This walks follows part of the Tavistock Canal, the construction of which was overseen by civil engineer John Taylor. The canal took 14 years to complete - with labour by Frnech prisoners - and was officially opened in 1817. The canal played an important role in transporting copper ore 4.5 miles to Morwellham Quay, at the time one of the biggest trading ports in the world. Sir Francis Drake was reputed to have been born at Crowndale Farm in around 1540. It is difficult to be exact, as only deaths were officially registered in the mid 16th Century. The farm at Crowndale now is not the building that Drake would have known. The original farm was demolished and the stone was carried north to be used in Lewtrenchard. The route is level, and follows paved surfaces and firm footpaths (note, if continuing to Shillamill Viadict, the path becomes more even and can be muddy). There are no obstacles along this route, although the path by the canal towards Crowndale Woods can become a little overgrown in the height of summer.

Walk Waypoints

  1. 1
    Start in Bedford Square in the central of Tavistock with the Town Hall on your left. Walk past the statue of the Duke of Bedford to the pedestrian crossing. Cross the road using the pedestrian crossing opposite the Post Office and turn left.
  2. 2
    Walk over Abbey Bridge and turn right onto the path, St John's Avenue.
  3. 3 After walking past the skatepark, turn right and cross the pedestrian footbridge into the Meadows. Turn left after the bridge and walk along the river for around 150m.
  4. 4
  5. 5
    Take a path that forks on your right towards the underpass. Continue along the path next to Tavistock Canal (the lower path is for cyclists).
  6. 6
    Continue along the path as is passes into Crowndale Woods.
  7. 7
    The site of Crowndale Farm is the reputed birthplace of Sir Francis Drake. The farm building is now longer there, having been dismantled and the stone taken north, to Lewtrenchard. Continue for another kilometre to Shillamill Viaduct, or retrace your steps back to Tavistock.
  8. 8
  9. 9
    After passing through the subway, turn left to join the path alongisde the canal.
  10. 10
    Take a path before the Meadowlands Swimming Pool, crossing to join the Tavy riverside path. Turn left here, and follow the path back to the centre of Tavistock.
  11. 11 From the end of the path you will see Bedford Square.

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