Back in the Autumn we decided it was time to change our caravan. We had been travelling in a Coachman VIP 675 for four years and really liked the van. However, we found a couple of sites were not prepared to take a twin axle and access to others was very tight. There was also the challenge of setting up and fixing the Alco locks to both wheels. So last week we collected a Coachman VIP 575 and I am away for a few days to test it out before we start our more serious touring in the Spring.
One of my favourite winter places to pitch up is the CAMC Minehead site. It is only a few hours away from home and it is really easy to access. It is conveniently located for Minehead but more importantly it has great access to Exmoor and the Quantock Hills. I have done numerous walks from the site and today I am going to do a variation of a walk I often do whilst staying here.
On leaving the site I turn left and walk uphill along the pavement besides the A39, Hopcott Road. On reaching the Hopcott I turn left to follow the narrow tarmac lane as it heads steadily uphill passing Higher Hopcott. The road then enters woodland with a steep final ascent to reach a small car park with an information board.
I take the path to the right of the information board on the route of the Macmillan Way West heading uphill. I ignore a path on the right soon after leaving the car park and then where the Macmillan Way meets a crossing of tracks I continue straight on, staying on the route of the long distance path.
The path now goes around the head of Long Combe, this is a cracking spot with stunning Beech trees lining the path.
Leaving the trees the path continues on to reach a junction of tracks. Here I turn right still on the route of the Macmillan Way West heading towards Tivington.
I am heading across the top of Hopcott Common and at a fork in the track I go left to keep with the Macmillan Way West and head west to reach another crossing of paths. Here the Macmillan Way turns left towards Wootton Courtney, however, I keep going straight ahead soon reaching an Ordnance Survey trig point tucked to the left of the track on a high bank. This trig on Periton Hill is one which I have bagged a number of times.
At the next crossing of footpaths I continue straight on.
I soon reach the National Trust plaque and enter Holnicote.
Within a short distance the track forks and I go right towards Headon Cross with the path leading through the attractive woodland of Tivington Common.
It has turned out to be a cracking day there is a definite warmth to the sunshine as I walk through the trees. Initially it is a gradual descent, but then as I near Headon Cross there is a short steep descent to reach a minor road. In front of me I can see East Lynch which is on my route.
Turning right on the minor road I reach Headon Cross and go straight over to take a minor road opposite. This climbs steadily, as the road sweeps to the right I continue straight on along a track towards East Lynch with great views of Dunkery Hill away to my left.
Approaching East Lynch farm I take a footpath on the right, this runs behind a fine old barn. I stay on the wide grassy track as it sweeps by farm cottages, ignoring a footpath on the left and continuing uphill to reach a minor road at Deans Cross. Here I turn left and follow the road downhill into Selworthy where I stop on one of the many benches in the churchyard and admire the view whilst I have my lunch.
Resuming my walk I continue through the village forking right on a track heading towards Allerford. The track passes some cracking old barns and I stop to look back towards the church.
The track continues downhill and soon reaches an area where a hedge has been laid. A couple of years ago I read the Natural History of the Hedgerow by John Wright. It is a cracking book and totally transformed my walking, I am now far more observant about the way hedges are constructed and the different styles of hedging as I walk in different parts of the Country.
The track leads to the outskirts of Higher Allerford where I go straight on along a narrow lane leading to Allerford via a packhorse bridge besides a ford. The bridge is thought to be medieval, though work to enlarge the bridge was undertaken in 1886.
After crossing the bridge I turn right to walk through this attractive village. Soon after passing the old Post Office I take a footpath on the right which passes Stokes Farm and goes through a gate to reach a footbridge over the river.
On the far side of the bridge I take a footpath towards West Lynch which, initially goes besides the river before starting to ascend into the woods.
At a crossing of paths I take the route signposted towards Hulstone Point, this path continues to steadily ascend through trees.
The path leads to a wooden gate and a crossing of paths at Lynch Combe. There is an information board explaining the work that has been done by the National Trust volunteers to restore the stone walls in the Selworthy and Cockerhill section of the Holnicote Estate. The walls are at least 200 years old and there are some fine examples in this Combe.
It is a steady ascent up through this Combe. As I near the edge of the trees I turn left on a path signposted to Hurlstone Point. This continues through trees and then emerges into Church Combe with cracking views over Porlock Beach.
At a path on the right I turn and continue up through Church Combe.
This is open access land and there is a wide choice of routes made by cattle and people. One route I choose is blocked by cattle. They seem very docile, but I decide to be cautious because I am always wary of cattle when I have Crosby with me. I take one of the other multiple options and carry on uphill skirting the cattle to eventually reach the route of the South West Coast path on Bossington Hill.
Turning right I follow the way-markers for this long distance trail. Soon Selworthy Beacon comes into view and then at a fork in the path I go to the right to leave the South West Coast path and continue uphill to reach the trig point besides the beacon.
It is an absolutely cracking day, there is a chilly breeze but it is mitigated by the warmth of the sunshine and the stunning views. I follow a track heading toward North Hill with views of the Quantock Hills in the distance.
The track leads towards a parking area and soon after passing through it I take a path on the left. This heads north and rejoins the South West Coast path where I turn right and soon go through a gate into an area of pasture.
The path ontinues with a fence and hedge on the left to reach another gate. Here I leave the pasture and continue on the South West Coast Path as it goes east across North Hill. This is an exposed spot and there is a stiff breeze, but despite it being late afternoon the sun continues to provide some warmth.
There are a network of paths that would take me back towards Minehead, but after passing a parking area I leave the South West Coastal Path and continue heading east towards woodland.
On reaching the trees I continue straight on until I reach a fork in the path, here I go to the left and descend towards a gate and then continue on the path going steadily downhill.
There are multiple paths in the trees that zig zag down through the woods. I take one that brings me down to the sea front by a park. From here I walk along the road to pass the Lifeboat Station and the Old Ship Aground pub and reach the harbour and beach.
From the seafront I turn towards the centre of Minehead and then follow the roads leading back to the caravan site. It has been a cracking day for walking and I have covered fourteen and a half miles. I am hoping that the weather is as good for another long walk tomorrow.
To follow my walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL9 – Exmoor
10th February 2022
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2022)