The Trail takes its name from numerous connections with the famous Elizabethan seafarer Sir Francis Drake and forms part of (NCN) Route 27, the ‘Devon Coast to Coast’. This is a 102 mile route between Ilfracombe in North Devon and Plymouth. Much of this route is off-road on former railway lines including the Tarka Trail and Granite Way and Devon County Council is working to increase the amount of offroad sections.
LENGTH: Yelverton to Plymouth 13 miles(21km); Yelverton to Plymbridge 9 miles(14.5km)
TIME: Depends on ages of family members and route chosen, but allow at least 4 hours and longer if walking
START/FINISH: Drake’s Trail Pay & Display car park SX518679
TERRAIN: Surfaced cycle route with some short road sections
MAPS: OS Explorer OL28 Dartmoor
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: There are regular bus services from Plymouth and Tavistock. Please note that these do not carry bikes
PARKING: Drake’s Trail Car Park, Yelverton. Pay and display – up to 4 hours £1.50; 4 hours + £2.50
REFRESHMENTS: There are a number of shops, cafes/restaurants and pubs in Yelverton, a seasonal refreshment van at Plymbridge and a café at Saltram House.
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- Bar - There are pubs in most of the villages on and close to the main and spur routes.
- Café - There are many options for food along the routes, including cafe's in Tavistock and Yelverton, and pubs selling food at many of the villages near to the main and spur routes.
- Accommodation nearby - There is accomodation close to the route in Tavistock and Yelverton, and there are various options along all of the walking and cycling spurs including hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and camping.
- Experience level - beginner - The main Drake's Trail route is well surfaced and easy to follow.
- Experience level - intermediate - The spur cycling routes travel along quiet lanes. Good road awareness is recommended as these lanes can be narrow and well used.
- Fitness level required - low - The main Drake's Trail route is relatively level between Clearbrook and Yelverton. Beyond Yelverton there is a flat section across part of Roborough Down before the route descends towards Horrabridge.
- Fitness level required - medium - Some of the route include steep walking and cycling sections, and a good level of fitness will make the experience more enjoyable.
- Open All Year
- Route maps available - Route maps are available to download from this website, from www.drakestrail.co.uk, or can be collected from the Tavistock and Okehampton Tourist Information Centres.
- Self guided walks/cycle rides - The cycling and walking routes are self guided, by using the route maps and directions.
- Shop - There are various shops in Tavistock and Yelverton.
- Toilets - Public toilets are available in Tavistock and Yelverton. Public toilets are open for 7 months from Easter at Lopwell.
Parking & Transport
- Car parking - There are public car parks in Tavistock, Yelverton and Plymouth, most of which will incur a charge. There are informal parking opportunities in some of the villages and towns on the main and spur routes.
- Circular Route
- Easy Route
- Linear Route
- Moderate Route
- Drake's Trail Cycling Spur 1 - Yelverton to Burrator and Clearbrook - 12 miles Moderate Cycle
- Drake's Trail Cycling Spur 2 - Yelverton to Lopwell and Buckland Abbey - 15 miles Difficult Cycle
- Drake's Trail Walking Spur 1 - Yelverton to Clearbrook - 5 miles Easy Walk
- Drake's Trail Walking Spur 2 - Meavy to Burrator - 4.7 miles Moderate Walk
- Drake's Trail Walking Spur 3 - Yelverton to Buckland Abbey - 9 miles Difficult Walk
- Drake's Trail Walking Spur 4 - Tavistock to Crowndale - 3 miles Easy Walk