This route is 8 miles (12.9km) long, and as it only involves one steep hill, it is ideal to venture out and explore the marvelous countryside and views around Sampford Spiney. I would say that it is suitable for children over the age of 8, though the usual care must be taken on the country lanes as you never know what is coming towards you around the blind corners.
Starting from the centre of Tavistock does make this route slightly more challenging as you have to climb the hill along Down Road, however this is a highly enjoyable route that makes an ideal afternoon ride.
|Distance||8 Miles (12.9 Km)|
|Height Gained||613 feet (187 m)|
|Bike Required||Road or Mountain Bike|
|Suitable for children||Yes, but take care on the roads.|
|Free Mapping File Downloads||tavistock-sampford-spiney-localdevon.gpx
Starting at the entrance to Tavistock Golf Club, you cycle to the end of Down Road and turn left onto Green Lane. You pass through the golf course and stay on this road until you come across a sign post for Sampford Spiney on your right. Pew Tor is to your left, which makes a good walk from Cox Tor on the Princetown road.
You stay on this road for several miles. It is flat and enjoyable as you have great views up to Leeden Tor on one side and down towards the River Walkham on the other.
On the outskirts of Sampford Spinney you will see the delightful St Mary’s Church. A church has existed on this site since 1250 and it is well worth wandering through the two old graveyards, particularly in Spring when many flowers are in bloom. The church is open all year apparently, and welcomes visitors.
You will soon have passed through the Sampford Spiney hamlet following the road towards Horrabridge. I took the road right at this crossroads, which heads back towards Tavistock across Middlemoor, however you will soon encounter the only hill on this route, which is quite steep.
Having climbed up this hill, it is a simple matter of following the signs to Whitchurch and Tavistock, where you soon come across the Golf Club again.
So this is a simple cycle route, but it does give a good flavour of the moors and scenery in this area, without taxing the legs too much!
When cycling around West Devon, it is interesting to that many of the churches are built out of the same Robourough Granite and have similar designs with four pinnacles. St Mary’s Church in Sampford Spiney looks remarkably similar to St Thomas a Becket Church in Sourton on the Granite Way.