Allerford and Bossington from Minehead

Later in the week I plan to walk around Porlock Weir and think I will start from Bossington.  I have not walked from there before so decide that today I will check out the parking facilities.  I suppose the logical thing would be to drive there and have a look, but it is easy to include it in a circular walk from the caravan site in Minehead, which has the added benefit of providing an opportunity to walk through Allerford and head up Bossington Hill. 

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.

A network of paths lead from this car park, I take the route of the Macmillan Way West still heading uphill. I ignore a path on the right soon after leaving the car park and then where the Macmillan Way forks to the left I take the right fork to follow a footpath along a track.

It is still a steep ascent and then the path starts to level slightly on leaving the trees to enter an area covered in gorse.  At a crossing of paths I turn right to follow the route towards Tivington.

I am now back on the Macmillan Way heading 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 I have previously bagged, but Crosby insists on having his picture taken at the trig.

At the next crossing of footpaths I continue straight on to pass the National Trust plaque and enter Holnicote.  Within a short distance the track forks and I go right towards Headon Cross.

This path goes through an attractive area of woodland before descending steeply to reach the minor road where I turn right to cross the A39.  I now follow the minor road opposite as it climbs steadily, as the road sweeps to the right I continue straight on along a track towards East Lynch.

As I approach the farm I take a footpath on the right, which 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.

After passing Selworthy Church which has fine views from its car park I continue through the village forking right on a track heading towards Allerford.  The track passes some cracking old barns and then continues steadily downhill.

At Higher Allerford I go straight on along a narrow lane leading to Allerford, accessing the village by a ford to reach a packhorse bridge which 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.  Passing through Lower Allerford I stay with the lane and follow this all the way to reach West Lynch where I stop to look at the Lynch Medieval Chapel of Ease.  Originally constructed around 1530 this chapel was built for the monks from nearby Athelney Abbey, it was later used as a store for a local farm and then in 1880 was restored as a place of worship.

I continue along the lane to pass the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre.  At a junction on the outskirts of Bossington I take a turning on the left to make a brief detour to visit the interestingly designed Methodist Chapel which was built in the early 20th century.

From the chapel I retrace my steps to the junction and turn left to walk through Bossington.  Despite many trips to this area this is my first visit to this pretty village.

After passing Kitnors Tea Room I turn right to walk through the National Trust car park and take a bridge over the River Horner.

Now I turn left and follow the route of the South West Coastal Path as it follows the river towards the sea.   Soon the path turns to the right and starts ascending towards Hurlstone Point.  I stop and take a look at the view behind me across Porlock Weir.

Before Hurlstone Point I turn right at a junction of paths and start a ferocious climb up Hurlstone Combe on Bossington Hill.

This is one of those ascents that really make the leg muscles burn, but the view from the top is worth all the effort.

I now have a choice of routes to return to Minehead.  I opt to stay with the South West Coast Path.  This route passes just to the north of Selworthy Beacon and is the inland coastal path, as opposed to the rugged coastal path nearer the sea.

The route initially follows a gorse lined track with occasional views across the Bristol Channel.  The visibility is poor today so it is not possible to see South Wales.

I stay with the South West Coastal path until I reach a car park at the top of Burgundy Chapel Combe, here I turn right to take a path from the car park running parallel to a road and soon reach another car park near woodland.  I cross the road and take a path on the left which runs alongside the road heading downhill with fine views ahead.

This track joins the road by a cattle grid and the route is then downhill along the road until I reach a footpath on the right.  This path soon goes through a kissing gate to continue downhill through a paddock to reach a gate onto the driveway of a house and then Moor Road. I turn right and wander through Higher Town in old Minehead.

This is a very attractive part of the town, where the original fisherman’s cottages and other homes grew around the harbour.  It is far removed from the Holiday Camp image that is so often associated with this town.

I now follow roads downhill into the centre of Minehead and then wander through the residential streets to return to the caravan.  My walk has covered thirteen and a half miles and has been a cracking jamabout.

You can view this 13.5 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)

To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map OS9 Exmoor

29th October 2020

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)

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