A Circuit to Selworthy Cross

It is the last full day of my short trip to Minehead and I have decided to do a walk from the caravan site.  One of my favourite walks in this area is a loop to Selworthy.  Today I am going to do a variation of this walk by trying to find a few paths I have not taken before.

From the caravan site I head into the centre of Minehead and leave the town along Park Street  and then turn left into Parkhouse Lane and stay on this road until I reach the entrance to The Parks Walk.

The Parks Walk was first laid out in 1920 and links Minehead with Woodcombe, it is a pleasant recreational area with the path following closely to a stream which it crosses occasionally.

In Woodcombe I join Bratton Lane and head west on this minor road.   After passing Higher Woodcombe I continue on to reach Bratton Court. Which was originally built in the 14th century and over time has had various extensions.  It was designated as a Grade 1 listed building in 1967.

Soon after passing Bratton Court I reach a footpath on the left and go through a gate to walk up the side of a field.

I go through a gate at the top of the field and then turn right onto a path heading towards Little Headon Plantation.

Through a gate I continue along a fenced path at the edge of the woodland.  Earlier in the year this path had gorse starting to encroach upon it, but since then the route has been cleared.

It is a cracking day, over the other side of the valley is North Hill, if the weather stays clear for a few hours I should have good views from there later.

The path leads to a minor road where I continue straight on towards Dean’s Cross and Selworthy.  I had assumed it would be dry this high up, but there are parts of the road flooded with large puddles.  Fortunately I manage to pass without getting wet feet.

Soon the road descends into Selworthy.  

At Selworthy church I decide to stop on one of the many benches for some lunch.  I have sat here many times, the last time in July, the view from here is stunning.

Resuming my walk I continue down through the village and pass the Tithe Barn by which there is a plaque marking the visit of puppeteer, author and philosopher Walter Wilkinson.  He wandered through the village in the late 1920’s with his travelling puppet show.

On reaching a track on the right I take it and pass Selworthy Farm with its range of old barns and then continue along a track.  

Last year in February the hedge beside this path had just been laid and looked a bit of an eyesore. Now nature has worked its magic and the casual observer would not even know of the work to the hedgerow.

On reaching a footpath on the right heading up through Holnicote Combe I leave the track and go through a gate.  Instead of following the path towards Selworthy Beacon I fork to the left on a path towards Hurlstone and Bossington.

This is a cracking path through the woodland.

I cross a junction of tracks and continue heading uphill and then at the next junction of tracks I go left and continue on to reach a wooden shelter.

Taking a path besides the shelter I head steeply uphill.  As the path ascends it zig-zags up the hill and then as the path flattens, in a clearing sits the Selworthy Cross.

The cross stands seven metres high and is a memorial to Sir Thomas Dyke Acland a politician and educational reformer who was born in 1809 in Killerton, Devon. His family owned the Holnicote Estate, which includes the village of Selworthy, Bossington Hill and Selworthy Beacon.  The estate were given to the National Trust in 1944.

From the cross I continue uphill to reach a gate.

I go through, a finger post points towards Selworthy Beacon.  This path goes uphill on a path with a view point overlooking the coast line.

From the car park I have a number of options to get back to Minehead.  I choose to take a broad  path heading north to reach the South West Coast Path.

On reaching the South West Coast Path I turn right and follow the route towards Selworthy Beacon.  

At a junction of paths I fork to the left staying with the South West Coast Path, the option to the right leads to the beacon, but I have visited it many times and I am trying to keep out of the cold wind.  My route enjoys fine views.

The path becomes gorse lined and then goes through a gate into an area of pasture.

After another gate I stick with the coast path until it turns to the left to descend into Burgundy Chapel Combe.  Here I stay on the well-worn path that heads east across North Hill.  At a concrete parking area it goes straight on ignoring a concrete road to the right.

In 1942 North Hill was taken into military control and used as a tank training ground.  The concrete roads were laid to enable the tanks to travel to firing ranges.

At the edge of Moor Wood I pass a concrete building.  This was built in February 1942 and was a RADAR station used to detect ships and aircraft going through the Bristol Channel.  It was one of the 244 RADAR stations around the country and operated until 1946.

The path now enters woodland.  There are a number of options here that will take me back to Minehead.  I go left at a fork to stay in the trees, going right would take me to Beacon Hill.  My path gradually descends over Culver Cliff.

Descending into Minehead from here is fairly straight-forward, there are a range of options as the path zig-zags down the hill.  The routes to Minehead are clearly marked.  The one I take brings me to a park by the seafront.  Here I join the pavement and head towards Minehead Harbour.

After passing the Lifeboat Station and the Old Ship Aground pub I wander around the harbour wall.  

It is a chilly late afternoon in December but as I turn to head back towards the centre of Minehead I am astonished to see a group of people heading into the harbour for a swim. Watching them in the water chills me to the bone, I can’t imagine the effect it is having on them.

Walking along the sea front I pass the sculpture which marks the start, or end, of the South West Coast Path.  Erected in 2001 it was designed by Sarah Ward who at the time was studying A levels at the West Somerset Community College, it was sculpted by Owen Cunningham.  

From here I follow streets through Minehead to return to the caravan park.  I am heading home tomorrow so this 13-mile walk marks the end of this brief, but enjoyable trip.

You can view this 13 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL9 – Exmoor

10th December 2023

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2023)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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