On a fine, dry Saturday, 15 members of Torbay Rambling Club joined Sal and Barry on their Erme-Plym Trail Perambulation. We all set out from Ivybridge along the River Erme, which looked very inviting, along lanes and through colourful meadows heading towards the outskirts of Ermington, where a coffee break was taken.
The route passed through fields and woodlands before emerging at Sequers Bridge. After crossing the busy A379, we entered the Flete Estate via a sunken lane, with some quiet lanes to navigate and pretty hedgerows to greet us, exiting onto a short stretch of the Mothecombe road before heading through fields to reach Dunstone. Walking through the ‘main street’ we came across a shrine to St Dunstan (909-988), the statue was set high in the wall of Dunstone House. At one time he was the Abbot of Glastonbury, when the abbey had jurisdiction over Wessex including a place called ‘Yealmyngton’, so perhaps there is a link between him and Dunstone?
Lunch was taken by the River Yealm at Yealmpton, (here a certain member of the group dipped her toes in the flowing river). Heading through the village we veered off into fields of cereal crops before emerging into Brixton. Crossing further fields of crops, and a short stretch of quiet country lane, we came out at the other end of the village.
Crossing the road we entered a sunken green lane leading us under an arch which used to carry the old Yealmpton to Plymouth railway line, down to Cofflete Creek, where a refreshment break was taken. On up through woods and through three fields, one containing a herd of cows with the ever present bull. He showed no interest in us, fortunately! We then entered the small hamlet of Spriddlestone. There then followed a steep ascent into and through Hollacombe Woods to emerge onto the Wembury Road. Crossing this we entered Traine Road briefly before branching through more fields eventually entering the hamlet of Staddiscombe. A short stretch of lane walking brought us into more fields before a few, by now, weary legs, entered Radford Woods. Descending through this lovely wooded area brought us out to Radford Dip where we picked up a footpath which took us past Radford Lake and finally to the finish of the 16.5 mile walk at Hooe Lake, this is filled by the waters of the River Plym, hence Erme-Plym Trail.
A stroll along a disused railway line took everyone into Plymstock for the short bus ride into Plymouths Royal Parade. Here refreshments of various kinds, including tea/coffee/ice-cream and cider were very welcomed, prior to us boarding the 18.35 Gold bus back to Ivybridge where we collected ours cars before heading home, footsore, weary, but I believe all content with their achievement, and rightly so.
A certain member of the group, who shall remain anonymous, was pleased to come across post boxes of interest en route including a ‘Hovis’ top. I will leave it to you dear reader to work out who that person is!
Certificates will be awarded to all who successfully completed this challenge. These will be issued in due course.
Thanks to all from Sal and Barry for making it such a memorable day