I am walking on my own today whilst Lynnie meets up with my cousin Maureen for lunch and a catch up in Taunton. There is never any doubt where I will head for a walk when close to Taunton; I’m off to the Quantock Hills again.
Once again I park at Dead Woman’s ditch and leave the car park along the road opposite towards Dowsborough Hillfort, the same route we took yesterday. However, today when I leave the road at the bend, instead of climbing to the hillfort I take the path descending through the trees of Lady’s Combe.
I ford the stream and then turn right to wander down Holford Combe.
Holford Combe is one of my favourite spots in the Quantocks, the combination of bird song and the gentle bubbling of the stream make it a very tranquil place, though half-term holidays it is amazingly quiet.
Arriving in Holford I turn left heading towards the Bowling Green, where I briefly stop for a sandwich, then continue walking back up Hodder’s Combe. Just like Holford Combe this is a wonderful spot and also totally deserted.
At the head of the Combe I take the path to the right leading to Lady’s Edge and follow this, initially through woodland and then over open ground climbing to Bicknoller Post.
Now there is a wide range of options, I choose the path ahead of me leading steeply down Weacombe Combe; I cannot recall walking this path before. As I walk I am being watched intently by half a dozen red deer on the hill above me, I am then passed by a mountain biker descending at speed, fortunately she gives me plenty of warning of her impending arrival.
Through a gate the path levels as it heads down to the outskirts of Weacombe.
After going through a tall deer gate I carry on past a cottage and then take the bridleway on the left, skirting the edge of woodland, towards Bicknoller.
At the edge of Bicknoller I turn left away from the village to go up Bicknoller Combe, this starts as a gradual climb, soon becoming steeper.
Near the top I meet the mountain biker who passed me a couple of miles ago, she is taking a well-deserved breather beneath a tree. We stop to discuss the varied merits of walking or riding a bike around this terrain. It is clear we both prefer the benefits of our chosen modes of transport. We chat about the beauty of this part of the country and how surprising it is that so few people are out on a beautiful day. After ten minutes we bid each other farewell, I do enjoy these brief encounters with total strangers. At the top of the hill I turn right along the main track towards Halsway Post.
On reaching Halsway Post I take the left fork that leads the mile and a half back to Dead Woman’s Ditch. My route has covered nine and a half miles; it has been a stunning afternoon for a jam about. I never tire of walking in these hills!
16th February 2017
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 140 Quantock Hills & Bridgewater. ]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)