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Ideally situated between atmospheric Dartmoor and the gorgeous coastlines of South Devon and Cornwall, Plymouth is an ideal city from which to launch your hiking adventures. A variety of landscapes are easily found on your walks around Plymouth.
Devon’s wonderful South Hams await, with ambles in superb countryside and offering shimmering seascapes. To the north sprawls the beautiful Tamar Valley and Dartmoor, one of England’s largest wilderness areas. Hikes around Plymouth also take you into Cornwall. Rame Head peninsula is one of the British coast’s best kept secrets, perfect for serene strolls along the shore.
Wherever you decide to roam, the picturesque villages and towns offer friendly West Country hospitality. After a day’s rambling, you will need some calories. Just remember, when it comes to your scones, Devon is clotted cream first, then jam. Cornwall is the other way around. Try not to offend the locals.
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Some of the best hiking trails around Plymouth explore Rame Head peninsula, known as ‘Cornwall’s forgotten corner’. Its secluded location means that it is hidden from the awareness of many visitors to Cornwall. And it is all the better for it. The twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand are positively idyllic, overlooking Plymouth Sound and boasting sensational sunrises across the bay.
Experience blissful tranquillity on a coastal stroll to Rame Head. A medieval chapel adorns the dramatic headland, meaning this stunning objective is discernible for miles around. The headland has the feel of an island, thrust above the waters below. It’s an invigorating spot to pause for a moment’s reflection. In the north of the peninsula is Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park, one of Cornwall’s finest country estates. Wander the grounds alongside resident fallow deer and take in marvellous views across the sound to Plymouth.
Hikes around Plymouth don’t come any wilder than on the expanse of Dartmoor National Park. There are 368 square miles (954 km2) of rugged heather moorland just waiting to be explored. Experience the unique atmosphere of this ancient landscape, where hardy ponies roam to the backdrop of rough hills topped with mystical granite tors.
The verdant landscapes of the South Hams offer gentler walking with lovely sea views, sandy beaches and picturesque villages. Hundreds of miles of ancient tracks and coastal paths present you with near endless permutations. Wherever you roam, quaint village pubs are never far away for that post-walk refreshment.
Some of the finest walks around Plymouth take you amongst the superb scenery of the Tamar Valley. Stroll along the River Tamar, on the very threshold of Devon and Cornwall and take in a variety of splendid sights, such as the spectacular Calstock Viaduct. Today, it is a haven for wildlife and hiking here is a peaceful escape.But this was not always so. Vestiges of an industrial past pepper the landscape, lying in ruin. In the 19th century the Tamar was home to a monumental copper mining industry, with over 100 mines lining the riverbanks. This included the Devon Great Consols mine, once thought to be the most productive copper mine in the world.
Explore more of England: Browse the best Hikes in other regions.