I thought it about time I turned my attention to my “use of ferries” back-log, which I have neglected for some time now. Just to remind myself, the “use of ferries” is where I re-visit locations where I opted to use a ferry to cross over river estuaries when I first walked this section of coast. In re-visiting the estuaries where I did this, I would now walk to the first bridging point of the river or estuary and complete a circular route, linking up my walked route. I opted on this visit to complete two walks over two days and therefore booked into a hotel for the night.
My first walk would be around the Tamar Estuary, linking Plymouth (Devon) with Cremyll (Cornwall) . The walk would be quite long and involve quite a lot of road-walking, including some on the very busy A38. I was not looking forward to this ……one bit!.
I departed Shropshire very early and drove to the small Cornish village of Tideford, which sits astride the A38. I parked in the free car park there and set off down the A38, walking along a footpath. After 400m the footpath stopped , but fortunately I was able to turn off down a quiet lane which lead to the next settlement at Landrake. I crossed over the A38 and continued down another lane, which joined the A38 half a mile away. Unfortunately, there were no other options but to walk along the busy road for the next mile. It was certainly the busiest road I had walked along. With incessant traffic travelling at speed in both directions. The quality of the available roadside verge was poor and I had to cross over the road a couple of times, when a safe gap appeared. I was really glad when I was able to turn down a minor road towards the village of Trematon. I managed there to follow a footpath that cut across a number of fields to take me to the outskirts of Saltash. The walk into Saltash was thankfully along pavements all the way until the Tamar Bridge. The Tamar Bridge marks the historic boundary between Cornwall and Devon and sits alongside the iconic Royal Albert Railway Bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel back in 1859.
The next 3 or 4 miles was through the suburbs of Plymouth. Most of this section was dominated by the large wall shielding the naval base dockyard at Devonport. I was pleased to arrive at the Admirals Yard and wait for the ferry to arrive. The ferry was quite full of people travelling across the estuary to visit Mount Edgcumbe park. The ferry only took 5 minutes and cost £1.50. As I stepped ashore in Cornwall the sun made a fleeting appearance and it became quite warm.
I headed out of Cremyll and shortly continued down a minor road alongside Millbrook Lake, basically an arm of the Tamar estuary and onto Anderton. The hamlet of Anderton merged into the large village of Millbrook, with a number of shops along its narrow streets. I popped into the Co-Op to get some food and a drink. I headed out of Millbrook along a quiet lane, that I hoped would be devoid of traffic.
I could have taken many routes back to Tideford, but opted for quiet lanes, avoiding the A & B roads and an off-road footpath. I arrived at Fort Tregantle which I had passed before back in 2014. I had great views then, but today the view was marred by some low cloud settling in; but I was still able to spot the Tamar Bridge in the far distance. I headed down more quiet roads to Sheviock and continued along lanes to the village of Polbathic. The last 3km of walking had been going down the infamous Cornish lanes with very steep sides, no verges and no means of letting vehicles pass other than leaning back against the steep-sided walls. Fortunately, all the drivers I encountered were aware of me. The last mile of walking was along a footpath across fields full of kale grown as a winter animal feed crop.
I arrived back at Tideford after 8.5 hrs of walking and was really glad to have got this section out of the way.
Distance today = 24 miles
Total distance = 4,214 miles