Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bere Alston Cycle Route

The Bere Alston peninsula is a strip of land sandwiched between the Tamar and Tavy rivers, and is conveniently close to Plymouth.
Never having been there before, I read about cycling there from a far better blog than this one. Earlier today I took the opportunity to go cycling there. There is a marker "Bere Alston Cycle Route" and I figured that in the absence of any other well thought out plan that I may as well follow the signs. (I often do things completely unprepared. Especially when out cycling, with nowhere particular to go, this approach has helped me discover things I otherwise may never have seen).

It isn't properly signed everywhere, but by sheer luck I managed to stay on the route. A few times, just as I thought I've gone completely off the route, I'd spot another sign.

Anyway, here's a map of the route. I included a slight detour down Bedford Street, as that would allow you to come past Fore Street, which appears to be the only street in Bere Alston with shops, in case you wanted to stock up on any supplies.




There are some stunning views to be had, but be warned: there is a price to pay for such views, and that price takes the shape of uphills.

While I certainly wouldn't say the hills are torturous, before you go cycling there first have a look at the elevation map above: you'll be climbing from 67 foot above sea level to 388 in half a mile, up a narrow lane that today was covered in mud in some parts.

I think this is a mostly undiscovered (by the masses) part of the region, and certainly well worth cycling. When I cycled it the weather was sunny, but cold, and I can imagine it would be rather stunning on a glorious summer's day. As it was, from where I started it was pretty much downhill for some distance, so I had no chance to warm up through pedaling, and I felt the cold. This soon changed when I encountered the uphills, and in no time I was well warmed up!

I drove here, simply as I didn't have enough time, and didn't plan it well enough to have the time, to wait for the train from Plymouth. The train you'd have to take is the Tamar Valley Branch Line, and that journey in itself is well worth it, with many gorgeous views to be had.