Tavistock Canal Walk, Tavistock, Dartmoor National Park

Tavistock Canal Walk, Tavistock, Dartmoor National Park

Start from the large car parking area in the centre of Tavistock by Tavistock The Wharf. We've positioned this car park on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting of the accompanying map to see its location.

Wander down to Tavistock Meadowlands Leisure Centre and you'll see the canal to your right. Follow the canal through the park to the A386. Look right to see the Tavistock Sir Francis Drake Statue. Cross, or pass under, this busy road and continue along the side of the canal. Having passed Tavistock College to your left, the path and canal enter woods. The walk from here is particularly beautiful.

As you walk by the canal, look out for signs for the Tavistock Canal Walk. These have images of wildlife you might see on the way including Moorhen and Brown Trout. There are twenty to find along the walk. Also take the time to read the poetry on benches and posts. The poetry was written by students from Tavistock College with poet in residence James Crowden.

You come to an old warehouse on the side of the canal. This is part of Crowndale Farm built during the mining boom in the nineteenth century. Whilst nothing remains of earlier buildings, Crowndale Farm is said to be the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake.

The canal bends and the superb Shillamill Viaduct spans the valley in front of you. It's an immensely impressive sight and there's more poetry to enjoy at a viewpoint.

Pass under the viaduct and you come to a lock and aqueduct. Beyond those is 'End Game' poem and sculpture. This is as far as you can walk. The Tavistock Canal Northern Tunnel Portal is fenced off. The tunnel runs under Morwell Down to Tavistock Canal Southern Tunnel Portal and Morwellham Quay UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Return using the same route. When you reach the car park from which you started, wander over the River Tavy and walk upstream to see the beginning of the canal. There's a board providing information about the canal.