Longtimber Wood is situated alongside the River Erme and can be accessed from two points on Station Road. For a map of the site please click here. The lower entrance is a more challenging walk whereas the entrance near the Viaduct is more accessible. The nearest parking is located in the Town Centre. Click here to see a map of the wood.
The wood is a 53 acre site of ancient semi natural woodland with riverside paths offering beautiful views of the river. These paths link up onto Dartmoor and the Two Moors Way.
The Town Council have
provided two barbeque areas in the woods, the first by the former swimming pool and the second just below Trinnaman's Pool. We would be very grateful if users could take their rubbish home with them to help us keep the woods clean.
The Town Council are managing the woodland as part of a long term management plan to encourage our natural species. The Dartmoor Horse Loggers have been involved in low impact thinning, as horses are able to access areas hard to reach with modern equipment and their hooves cause less damage to woodland paths. They also provide an interesting spectacle for anyone who would like to watch the horses at work. The thinning involves removing Larch and Spruce, and to favour Oak over Beech to allow regeneration of the ancient semi natural woodland. Part of the management involves removing non native invasive species including Pheasant Berry, Laurel and Rhododendron, work which has been carried out with the help of our volunteers.
Wildlife in Longtimber Wood
Another initiative which the Town Council are supporting is the Ivybridge Bird Project. A number of bird boxes have been set up in the wood to try to encourage Pied Flycatchers. For more information please click here to go to their Facebook page.
The Blue Ground Beetle which is one of the rarest large ground beetles in Britain makes its home in the woods.
Longtimber Wood was one of the sites included in the 2019 bat survey. 6 species were identified, predominantly Pipistrelles, but also a number of Whiskered Bats were recorded.
The Ivy Bridge to Longtimber Woods – a walk through the history of the woods
Should you be interested in the history of the woods, there is more information here on the Ivybridge Heritage Group's website, including the legend of Trinnaman's Pool
(Approximately 1 hour’s walking, medium difficulty)
Car parking: in one of the car parks near to the Town Hall.
Alongside the Harford Road short stay car park is the old Ivy Bridge. With your back to London Court cross the bridge, turn right and walk up Station Road, which is a continuation of Erme Road. Not far up this road you will pass the entrance to Stowford Mill, once a paper mill, the site is now being redeveloped. Just above that is a footpath marked with a wooden finger post.
Enter the path and walk along this to experience some spectacular views with the River Erme tumbling through gorges on its way to the sea. The path soon enters Longtimber Woods by crossing a bridge over the leat. The path climbs steeply now and passes underneath both viaducts into the Woods proper. The derelict viaduct was designed and built by I K Brunel who lived locally whilst the line was being built. Originally the line was designed for Brunel’s Atmospheric Railway. Turn right at the top. As you walk along this path you will soon see the remains of the swimming pool, converted from a former reservoir but now overgrown with vegetation, which was once extremely popular with local youngsters. Whilst the Americans were based in the town prior to D-Day they made use of this pool in their training exercises.
Continue until you reach the picnic area. Turn left at the wooden direction sign and climb up to the road exit. On your left-hand side you will see the “Kings Leat”. Its water, as with all the leats in Ivybridge, once provided the lifeblood for business in the town by powering the many mills in addition to providing drinking water for the residents. Immediately across the road or as you proceed down the road there are further footpath signposts to your right - these paths lead across Henlake Down with glorious views across Ivybridge and Ermington and on a clear day right out to sea. A footpath leads from the gate at the bottom of the Down back into Ivybridge.
There are many other walks in Longtimber and beyond, all requiring a fair amount of time. Should you decide not to venture further and return to Ivybridge, stay on the road, which is lined with ancient cart stopping stones, and descend gently back to the town.