Rod & Maggie’s Stover Stroll – Saturday 27th July

Twenty seven walkers met at Newton Abbot bus station for Rod & Maggie’s circular walk to Stover Park, a distance of approximately 9 miles.
The day was warm and sunny but a substantial part of the walk was under trees, making for a very pleasant stroll along the river and the Stover canal.
Taking the riverside path,  we turned right, to meet the Stover canal and walked alongside its overgrown bed all the way to the junction with the Haytor Granite Tramway.
It is a great pity that this canal can never be completely restored even if the money was available to do so, as the Department of the Environment use the canal for drainage purposes. I was told by a member of the preservation society that they cannot even install gates at the lock, if they did these gates would have to remain open. At the end of the canal a digger was at work today, but it’s actual purpose was unclear.
After a second drinks break we turned under the railway bridge and took the road to the right, before passing under the next railway bridge and following the road (Templer Way), after a short distance we reached Stover Park. Here we had lunch under the trees, grateful of the shade. We were joined by at least one squirrell who took great delight in finishing off anything that we dropped.
After lunch we continued around the lake until we met the homeward path . Instead of retracing our steps here, we passed the rear of Stover school and paused for a while at a display commemorating the efforts of our Canadian Allies in the first world war (see photo).
We continued on the path to the railway crossing, finally  crossing the river, passing MTtums cafe and following the track all the way back to the B & Q roundabout to complete our walk.
It had been a beautiful day, a lovely level walk, steeped in history, with good company. What more could anyone want on a Saturday?
Rod W
Animal Pictures courtesy of Peter Hancock