NORTH BOVEY TO THE NUT CRACKER ROCK AND RETURN VIA HUNTER TOR

Starting Point Grid Ref: 741 838

This was the first ramblers walk I had been on in the new millenium and after the festivities, many of us needed a good walk to begin to work off the excesses.

The 5th Jan was a relatively good day after the horrendous weather of the last few days. Ten of us gathered together at the North Bovey Car park for a short briefing by Ivan Mead, who was leading the walk and at 10 AM we set down the road southwards from the village.

The weather forecast for later in the day was not good and because of this and the muddy conditions Ivan decided to cut out the loop which would have taken us down to Water before climbing up to Lustleigh Cleave.

In the centre of the village of North Bovey there is a neat village green, this one had a small cross and a water hand pump.

The car park is located just south of the green and is well sign posted.

Leaving the car park we headed south for a short distance along a road which had we followed it would have led us down to Manaton.

We turned off the road to the right and made our way up through a wood which eventually took us back to the road again.

As we made our way through the wood we passed an old house and this one had a rather unusual conical outhouse which was obviously very old and traditional.

We followed the road for a short distance and once more climbed up through wooded slopes before we eventually reached level grassy ground.

The path we took led us past some very large granite stones. We followed the path which eventually brought us out to a small road very close to the village of Manaton.

Instead ot turning right and going down to the hamlet of Water, most of us turned left and made our way around a house which took us along a path and into an English Nature reserve.

The woodland we entered at this point was called the Bovey Valley woodland and there were various paths through it one of which took us down to the river Bovey.

Again most of us took this route.

When we reached the river Bovey we saw that it was in full torrent and looked rather difficult to cross.

Luckily a short distance upstream we found large boulders which enabled us to traverse the river without getting wet feet.

On the other side we stopped and had our morning coffee break.

We realised that two of the group must have missed the turning, they obviously favoured Water or indeed the alternative route which takes in the bridge at Foxworthy. Apparently they did both!

Luckily Ivan and John managed to locate the two who had taken the alternative routes and we were back to our full complement of 10 within a half an hour of discovering their absence.

We made our way generally south east for about half a mile through the woodland slowly climbing but easy walking, despite the glutinous mud in places.

We then had a fairly steep climb up the hill, still south east. This certainly had some of us, me included, working hard and panting well.

After a few hundred yards we reached the high point where we stopped for lunch.

It was quite exposed at the top which overlooked Lustleigh Cleave and therefore much cooler than lower down the slopes of the woodland.

After lunch we had easier, if muddy walking and after a few more hundred yards we passed a well known landmark which was at the southern most end of the Cleave

The landmark is shown on the map as a Logan Stone and also as the Nut Cracker Rocks.

It was less than obvious from the rocks why it is so named but it is an unusual formation nevertheless.

Passing the stone on our left, we then swung through almost 180 degrees and started our return to North Bovey now on the other side of Lustleigh Cleave.

After all the woodland walking along the Bovey valley, we were now up on relatively high and moorland like terrain.

As we made our way north west along the northern side of Lusteigh Cleave we had good views across to Manaton and the route that we had covered in the morning. We made very quick progress along this section of easy walking.

We continued along this relatively flat section for almost a mile until we reached Hunter Tor, at which point we were about two miles from North Bovey.

From the high point at Hunter Tor we were faced with a muddy and quite steep descent down to Peck Farm below us. Shortly after that we had tarmac walking northerly up to a small group of houses at Barnecourt.

At this point we turned almost westerly and headed back for the last mile towards North Bovey.

We came very close to the Rover Bovey once again but the stepping stones across the river were impassable with the amount of water but it did give us the chance to wash our boots. My picture at this point unfortunately did not appear during the download.

With clean boots for the first time for many miles of mud walking we approached the village. The village church was naturally a landmark and a few minutes later we passed the village green and made our way past the church and down to the car park.

We arrived at the car park at about 2.45 PM and Ivans decision to omit the Water loop had indeed enabled us to avoid the bad weather.

The pedometers indicated that we had walked between 8 and 9 miles.

The thick mud we had walked through for most of that distance made it seem rather further than that. With thanks to Ivan for getting us back as a group we were off in our respective cars to Tesco and the car share point.

Overall a good and muddy walk and we were lucky both with the weather and the diverse routes taken in the Manaton, Foxworthy area.

Alls well that ends well!!