Drake’s Trail

Drake’s Trail located in West Devon links Tavistock and Plymouth over 21 miles. With the outstanding Dartmoor scenery and natural history of the region, you’ll love exploring the Devonshire countryside.

On your journey, you will also discover many iconic features of the area such as the Gem Bridge, Grenofen Tunnel, the disused Plym Halt railway station, and the Plym Valley Trail which passes through National Trust woodland.

The trail takes its name from famed Elizabethan explorer, Sir Francis Drake, as it links to many important areas from Drake’s life from his place of birth to his house and where he spent his time playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe.


Drake’s Trail is located in Devon and is a 21-mile cycling route from Tavistock to Plymouth.

Let’s Pedal

Drake’s Trail is suitable for people with a moderate level of fitness. The first half of the route features a steady climb with a gentle descent for the final five miles into Tavistock. Mostly traffic-free, the route alternates between a tarmac path and a stony trail with some short on-road sections at Clearbrook, Horrabridge and Tavistock.

Starting at Laira Bridge (PL9 7HT) in Plymouth, follow the signposted National Cycle Network route 27 north on The Ride passing through Plymbridge Woods.

Drake’s Trail ends at Tavistock Parish Church (PL19 8AU).

Route Distance

FromToDistance (Miles)Distance (Km)
Laira Bridge, PlymouthTavistock2133.8


You will find a number of refreshment stops available near:

Plymouth, Saltram House (National Trust), Bickleigh, Horrabridge, Whitchurch, Tavistock.

Public houses can be found near:

Plymouth, Bickleigh, Yelverton, Whitchurch, Tavistock.


Toilets are located at:

Plymouth (Quay Point or Armada Way), Saltram Park (National Trust customers), Tavistock (Canal Road (PL19 8AR) or Town Hall (PL19 0AE)).

Cycle Hire available at:

Plymouth and Tavistock

Tourist information available at:

Plymouth, Saltram House (National Trust) and Tavistock

How to get here

By Car

Plymouth is located on the coast in south Devon. The start of the cycling trail is at Laira Bridge (PL9 7HT).

Tavistock is north of Plymouth. The end of the trail is at Tavistock Parish Church (PL19 8AU).

Car Parking

Pay and Display parking available next to the trail at these locations:

Car ParkLocationPostcode
Plymbridge RoadPlymouthPL7 4SR
Saltram House (National Trust)PlymouthPL7 1UH
Bedford Car ParkTavistockPL19 8AU
Riverside Car ParkTavistockPL19 9AZ
Wharf Car ParkTavistockPL19 8AT
Buckland MonachorumYelvertonPL20 7LJ

By Cycle

Drake’s Trail is part of National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 27 from Plymouth to Tavistock.

The cycle route is accessible from Ivybridge in the east on NCN 2; from the north on NCN 27 from Okehampton; or from Launceston in the west on NCN 327.

By Train

Plymouth or Gunnislake.


  • Distance (miles): 21
  • Distance (km): 33.8
  • Start: Laira Bridge, Plymouth
  • Finish: Tavistock
  • Type: Disused railway line
  • Surface: Tarmac, gravel
  • Sat Nav: PL9 7HT


  • Car Park
  • Cycle Hire
  • Free Entry
  • Picnic Site
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Tourist Information

Cycle Hire

Tavistock Cycle Hire

Paddons Row
Brook Street
Tavistock, Devon
PL19 0HF

Plymouth Bike Hire

Coypool Park and Ride

Opening Times

Open all year round except for any temporary closures due to works.


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The information provided on this page is believed to be correct and is given in good faith. Please be aware that it may have changed since our research. Use of the information on this page is at your risk, we cannot accept any liability for any problems or incidents arising. The maps are based on the postcodes of the centres. The postcode provided for Sat Nav is the nearest postcode to the start of the trail or car park and is therefore not 100% accurate to the entrance of the location. Postcodes are provided as a guide only. We recommend that you confirm the location and other details before travelling.

Cycling With The Kids is not responsible for the content of third party websites, and travel times, prices, routes and providers are correct at the time of writing, but may alter at short notice.

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