Helen’s Sortie to Shaptor – Saturday 28th April 2018

Our Saturday walk this week started at Station Road car park in Bovey Tracey and took us through the village, up the hill and into Shaptor Woods and up to Shaptor, returning along paths and quiet roads to the village – a total distance of about 6 miles.
Although it was a cloudy day – with a bit of sunshine – the walk was enjoyed by the 17 people who turned up for Helen’s bluebell walk. As it turned out the day was just right for walking – not too hot , and not too cold. As we left the car park and turned right up Fore Street we were amazed to see that the whole village had turned out to welcome us. However we soon discovered that the dancing and stalls were not in our honour but formed part of the villages Green Man Festival and there was much merriment going on as we threaded out way up the hill carefully avoiding several groups of dancers. Just before we reached the church we turned left up a steep hill and into a bridle way which took us to the edge of Shaptor Woods. Here we paused for a drinks break before entering the woods to our left and climbing steadily up and up.
This walk was titled “The Bluebell Walk” but these lovely flowers were conspicuous by their absence. I am sure that this was due to the very poor weather we have experienced this year which seems to have delayed everything. However  as we climbed we did come across a clump of them so we paused to have a closer look. Continuing to climb we passed a rocky outcrop and witnessed a clump of primroses growing in the root system of a fallen tree. Bluebells were in evidence more and more as we ascended through the woods and I think that if we had been doing this walk a week or so later they would have been out in profusion, still they were lovely to see anyway so it did not matter too much.
As we reached the base of Shaptor we stopped for lunch and some of us climbed up the rock to observe the panoramic views afforded to those who take the trouble to scramble up the steep slope to the top. After lunch we followed the path over several styles and crossing a field we gained access to the road which took us down hill back to Bovey Tracy where the festival was in full swing. Some of us decided to stay for a while and enjoy the festivities while the remainder walked back to the car park and returned home. This was a lovely walk ably led by Helen which we all enjoyed.
What with some panoramic views across the valley and to the distant moors, together with multi-festivities – what more could anyone want from a walk!!