The Stover Trail

Jul 2, 2024 | Easy, Featured Articles, Walks


Starts/Finishes: Teign and Stover Canal Car Park, TQ12 3QJ

Distance: 10 miles round-trip (2 mile additional distance to Jetty Marsh Basin)  

Time: 1 – 1.5 hours

Terrain: Tarmac and gravel-packed cycle path. Short sections of very quiet country lane

Difficulty: Easy – mostly flat

The Stover Trail

Jul 2, 2024 | Easy, Featured Articles, Walks

The full Stover Trail starts from Jetty Marsh Basin in Newton Abbot (a wildlife haven and interesting site to explore), but for ease of access for those travelling from further afield, we recommend parking at the free Teign and Stover Canal car park which provides access to the trail just a mile further up.

Turning left out of the car park, less than 100 yards down the lane on your right is the access point for the trail. (1) Follow from here enjoying smooth tarmac and hedge-lined meadows as you pedal.

After half a mile, you’ll come across the Stover Canal restoration site at Graving Dock Lock signposted on your left. The Stover Canal was used for nearly 150 years to transport clay and raw materials from Bovey Basin to Teignmouth Docks. Stop here to see the extensive work that has already been carried out and learn more about the boiler structure used to repair damaged planks of the barge hulls that used to travel along here.

Continue along the trail and find the quaint Locksbridge Tea Garden – a cute and characterful stop off for tea and cake amidst flowers in bloom and butted right up to the old canal.

The next section opens up with views across rolling fields again before reaching Ventiford Basin where you can see more restoration work, including tramway rails and crane, and foundations for the clay cellars originally built for storing ball clays. 

(2) From here cycle under the railway bridge and turn right, then right again onto a quiet road section on a small lane. (3) Follow the signs to eventually return onto the cycle path as you head towards and alongside the River Bovey. Wildflowers and wildlife adorn the route, with dragonfly hovering if you look close.

Before you reach the A38, make use of the bike racks to secure your bike and explore Teigngrace Meadow Local Nature Reserve. It’s a steep climb, but if you’re up for the challenge you can walk up to Bob’s Bench and enjoy views of the Bovey Basin and across to Dartmoor from this high point on the hill. Look out for marbled white butterflies in summer.

(4) Cross the A38 via the bridge and once over, you can choose to extend your route by detouring to Stover Country Park by continuing on the path alongside the A38. Otherwise, continue on the signposted route to Bovey Tracey.

From here the section becomes much more wooded, the leaves offering a neon glow in the sunlight.

(5) You can turn right to head up Newton Road for a few minutes to make a pit stop at the cyclist haven Café 3 Sixty. (6) Indoor bike parking and bike maintenance is available here, plus good coffee, light bites and lots of vintage memorabilia.

Follow the route in reverse to see it all from a different angle and get back to where you started.

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