Bearacleave Wood, Shaptor Wood and Shaptor Rock Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Bearacleave Wood, Shaptor Wood and Shaptor Rock Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

This is a beautiful woodland walk on the eastern border of Dartmoor National Park near the gateway town Bovey Tracey. It starts at the edge of the National Trust's Bearacleave Wood and climbs through Shaptor Wood to the viewpoint on top of Shaptor Rock before crossing farmland back to where you started. There's a bit of walking on skinny roads so take care.

From Bovey Tracey, follow the narrow road that rises past Bovey Tracey Hospital to the south east corner of Bearacleave Wood. We've positioned a marker at this car parking area on the accompanying Google map. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see it. There's a National Trust sign and room for a couple of cars. If full, try the bigger car parking area just up the road by Furzeleigh Plantation.

The view from the south east corner of Bearacleave Wood down to Bovey Tracey, the National Trust's Parke Estate and Haytor Rocks is wonderful at the beginning of the walk.

Pass the National Trust sign and follow the path that crosses Bearacleave Wood. The line of huge beech trees is stunning. You'll come to an ancient, sunken road. Turn right and wander up this road. Shortly, to your left, you'll see a Woodland Trust gate. A track snakes through Shaptor Wood. You drop down to cross streams and then slowly climb to the upper section of the wood with its giant granite boulders.

On the way, you pass wooden posts with metal memorial plaques on them for those who loved the woods and supported the Woodland Trust. Some of the boulders are extraordinary. Eventually, you come to a waymarker. Walk east. You'll see the chunky rock face of Shaptor Rock. Loop to its top for fine views. Wander back down to the path and trend east.

You leave the wood, walk through Shaptor Farm and pass Higher Bowden before coming to a road. Follow the road back down to where you started. The road is narrow. People cycle and horse ride along it but take care.

The walk takes about two hours.