Granite and Gears Princetown Railway

About this route

Dartmoor has plenty of cycling opportunities along designated cycle tracks, public roads, byways and bridleways – though the open moor is always off-limits. The Princetown Railway mountain biking routes offer a choice of a long or short family friendly routes following the former railway and minor roads.  The short route is 6 miles/10 kms and circuits Kings Tor whereas the longer route of 19 miles / 30 kms heads  south along the former rail track towards Burrator Reservoir, set amidst stunning scenery, and returns along the same route.

Getting Around

Parking at the High Moorland Visitor Centre in the middle of Princetown.

Princetown: All facilities
Intermediate Grade
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OS Maps

Landranger (1;50,000): No 191 Okehampton and North Dartmoor
Landranger (1:50,000): No 202 Torbay and South Dartmoor
Explorer (1:25,000): No OL28 Dartmoor

For More Information

Dartmoor Information

Interesting information

The Princetown Railway was a 10¼ mile single track branch railway line in Devon, England, that ran from Yelverton on the Plymouth to Tavistock line, to Princetown via four intermediate stations, Dousland, Burrator and Sheepstor Halt, Ingra Tor Halt and King Tor Halt.

The line opened in 1883 and most of the traffic came from carrying prisoners, prison officers, and supplies for Dartmoor Prison, with some traffic from the quarries near the line, and also some excursion traffic.

Prisoners destined for the prison were no longer conveyed by the route after 1930 except during and just after World War 2, as the Southern Railway route to Tavistock and a road connection were more convenient. Two more halts (King Tor and Ingra Tor) were opened (in 1928 and 1936 respectively) to counter competition from local bus services and encourage tourist traffic.

The line closed in 1956.

Burrator Reservoir was constructed in 1898 to supply water to the city of Plymouth.

Photo of the former Princetown railway bridge with Kings Tor in the background
Former Princetown Railway, King's Tor Copyright Brett Sutherland

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