River Plym, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

River Plym, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

The River Plym rises at Plym Head on Dartmoor's south moor. Plym Head is close to Ducks' Pool and the William Crossing Memorial Stone/Monument on Crane Hill. The moorland forming Crane Hill is surprisingly easy to walk given the number of mires and headwaters in the general area.

From Plym Head, the River Plym runs west to Plym Ford. The banks of the river along this initial stretch of river are lined with reeds. The terrain is boggy and difficult to cross. Just above Plym Ford are the extensive remains of tin mining activity.

Plym Ford is a popular crossing place for those exploring the high south moor. The Abbot's Way (as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map) runs across the ford. From Plym Ford, the river runs between Calveslake Tor and the appropriately named Evil Combe with its boggy, treacherous terrain. The Plym then cuts through a deep valley to Plym Steps. The stepping stones after which Plym Steps was named are no longer there. Ancient tracks cross the river here.

Langcombe Brook tumbles into the River Plym west of Plym Steps. The river drops through a stunning valley towards Drizzle Combe. A path runs above the western bank of the river. The famous prehistoric standing stones of Drizzle Combe appear to the west before the River Plym meets another, wider, ford by Shavercombe Brook.

The Plym then heads to a weir before continuing through flat terrain on its way to Ditsworthy Warrren House. The flat terrain is covered by ferns and the remains of tin mining activity. There's another ford south west of Ditsworthy Warren House. The terrain surrounding the river becomes very boggy as it swings around to the Legis Tor area before continuing to the many car parking areas by Cadover Bridge.

From Cadover Bridge, the River Plym passes through the remarkably beautiful Dewerstone Valley on its way to the border of Dartmoor National Park at Shaugh Bridge.

Having left the National Park, the River Plym flows through a stunning area to Plym Bridge. Drake's Trail runs above and along the river to the National Trust's Saltram House. The Plym Estuary meets the sea at Plymouth.

Crossing the River Plym in Dartmoor National Park:

Plym Head. Walk around the headwaters on Crane Hill. Avoid crossing the river at this point. Whilst the Plym is skinny, it's flanked by boggy terrain and reeds.

Plym Ford. This is the classic crossing point for those wanting to explore the high south moor. The Abbot's Way (as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map) runs across the water here. It's easy to cross Plym Ford after a spell of dry weather. It's difficult after rain. If the ford is impassable, wander upstream and hop across the water channel.

Plym Steps. We've turned back many times from Plym Steps. There are several water channels here. The upper channel is wide and impassable after heavy rain. If the water level is high and the current strong, wander upstream to cross at Plym Ford.

Shavercombe Brook Ford. This ford is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map between Drizzle Combe and Shavercombe Brook. It's wide and potentially deep.

Ditsworthy Warren House Ford. Similar to Shavercombe Brook Ford, the ford here is wide and potentially deep.

Cadover Bridge. The River Plym widens west of Ditsworthy Warren House Ford as it swings below Legis Tor. The safe crossing place on this stretch of the river is Cadover Bridge.

Shaugh Bridge. At the western end of the Dewerstone Valley are Shaugh Bridge and a modern footbridge. You can safely cross the River Plym on these. The River Plym meets the River Meavy at this point.