After my very enjoyable walk around the flat lands of Steart Marshes yesterday I feel in need of a few hills, so I am returning to the Quantocks. I start my walk from the car park at Dead Woman’s Ditch (Grid Ref ST161381).
I head south from the car park and after a few hundred yards reach a path by a row of beech trees where I turn left to walk in an easterly direction.
Following a network of paths I soon reach a gate to a forestry track leading into Seven Wells Wood. As the forestry track sweeps to the left I take a narrower path directly in front of me.
This track goes through the trees to re-join a forestry track, where I turn right to head steadily downhill towards the edge of the woodland. Continuing on the footpath I ignore a forestry track on my left and take a footpath through a gate into pasture. My route is now uphill looking over to the hamlet of Adscombe on my right.
The footpath joins a minor road and I turn left to walk towards Friarn, gaining cracking views of the area around Steart Marshes where I walked yesterday.
After a couple of hundred yards I take a track on my left back into woodland where I turn right on a path alongside trees with pasture on my right.
At a junction of paths I continue straight on soon crossing a minor road to follow a clear footpath through the trees.
I cross another minor road and start heading steadily uphill to Dowsborough Hill Fort.
After admiring the view from the Hill Fort I follow the clear path in front of me heading north over Woodlands Hill.
Going by the cairn on the summit of the hill I continue downhill into the trees passing a pond to reach a gate by a minor road.
Through the gate I turn left walking along the lane into Holford then turning right at the triangle to take the next left to pass the Bowling Green. The road sweeps to the right past the dog pound and continues along the tarmac drive.
This section is part of the Coleridge Way, a fifty-mile trail from Nether Stowey to Lynmouth linking locations associated with the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There are great views over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales from this track.
Around the corner I reach Alfoxton House, between July 1797 and June 1798 this once fine house was lived in by the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, a frequent visitor was Samuel Coleridge. More recently the house operated as a country hotel but it is now sadly in decline.
Past the house I enter woods and head uphill leaving the Coleridge Way to go through a gate to follow a path up Pardlestone Hill.
Emerging from the woodland I reach a junction of tracks and turn right to continue on a broad, uphill path that climbs steadily giving cracking views as I pause and look behind me and out to the right over the Bristol Channel.
The grassy path starts to level a bit, but is still gradually ascending. I stay on this main track, marked on the map as The Great Road, until I pass the head of Gay’s House Combe.
Here I leave the main track and take a fainter path on the left to Bicknoller Post. From the post I have an array of options. It is a lovely afternoon so I decide to add a few miles to my walk by heading down Weacombe Combe. This is a cracking combe, free of trees with the path running besides the steam.
Eventually I enter a plantation and continue down to reach and pass through a high deer gate to a cottage. Here I turn left and cross the stream and then follow the path along the edge of the plantation with fields to my right. At a crossing of paths I turn left and head back up the steep combe to reach Weacombe Hill.
I cross another path and then a broad stone track to follow a faint path above Sheppard’s Combe before gradually descending into Lady’s Edge.
On reaching the well-used path through Lady’s Edge I turn right and head steadily downhill. At a junction of paths I cross the stream and ignore a path to my right heading up Slaughterhouse Combe, very soon after this I do take a path on the right leading up Somerton Combe.
After a few hundred yards I take a path on the left which heads steeply out of the combe to reach open ground around Lower Hare Knap. Here I turn right and head towards the cairn at Higher Hare Knap.
I now continue along the ridge heading towards Black Hill and on reaching the broad, stony track take a left turn and follow this route all the way back to Dead Women’s Ditch. My wandering about on the Quantocks has covered 13 miles and certainly achieved my aim of getting some hill walking in. I have had a total ascent of 2,745 feet, a good test for the legs!
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer 140 – Quantock Hills and Bridgewater
2nd March 2019
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)