Returning to the Quantock Hills

After a week in Fowey it is time to move on and head in the general direction of home.  This has been our first trip to Cornwall with the caravan and we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay.  It has been the ideal time of year for us to visit, without hoards of tourists, not that we’ve anything against tourists after all we fall into that category, but we dislike crowds.

We have also been fortunate to have chanced on a cracking site to stay.  Fowey CL fits the bill for us perfectly and we will be sure to return before too long.  We usually stay on CLs with the occasional night on a Caravan and Motorhome Club main site, it is to one of these main sites, Cadeside in Wellington that we now head.

Wellington is an area that we know well, for a number of years I had a job based in Taunton and we lived there for a few years.  So returning to the area is a chance for us both to catch up with old work colleagues and my cousin who lives on the Somerset levels.  It also provides a great opportunity to walk on the Quantock Hills, which is one of our favourite places to lace up the boots and jamabout.

It doesn’t take too long to make the journey from Fowey to Wellington and as soon as we have pitched up we are in the car and off to the Quantocks for a walk.  There are only a couple of hours daylight so we need to get moving and walk somewhere familiar so should it turn dark we will be able to find our way back to the car.

Arriving on the Quantock Hills through Crowcombe Gate we park at the second, large parking area on the left that is close to Wilmot’s Pool.  Leaving the car we head west for almost half a mile before taking a track on the right heading across the ridge overlooking Frog Combe.

At Higher Hare Knap we fork off to the left to pass the cairns. This is a cracking spot with stunning views, but we are conscious of time so do not linger.

On reaching a junction of tracks at Lower Hare Knap we turn left, I do love the place names we come across. This track soon starts to descend steeply into Somerton Combe.  The narrow track is strewn with tree branches, some appear to have been laid across the track deliberately to cause difficulty to mountain bikers. I know that some object to the increasing number of bike riders on these hills.  There is a potential issue but as long as bikers ride with care and keep to the tracks, minimising damage I can’t see too much of an issue.  It is better that folk are out in the countryside than sat in front of their televisions.

Our route then turns sharp right to descend on a very steep path to a point where paths join at the junction of Short Combe, Lady’s Edge, Slaughterhouse Combe and Somerton Combe.  It sounds bustling but it is a very tranquil spot.

There are so many options here but we choose Lady’s Edge, still heading west. The path, like so many in these hills, runs besides a stream in woodland.

As we leave the trees the path continues to rise gradually through Sheppard’s Combe to reach Bicknoller Post.  The final section is steeper and a good blow, but we are aided by a cool breeze that prevents us overheating.

From Bicknoller Post there are views out across the Bristol Channel and towards Minehead in the west.

Lynnie says we have about half an hours day light left and I think we have at least a couple of miles to go. So we turn left following the broad track at a steady pace as it heads south above Slaughterhouse Combe.

At Halsway Post we fork to the left along the track leading back to the car, the final section of our walk is in dusk and whilst we have torches in the rucksack it is good to get back before we need to use them.

Our walk has covered just over five miles.  Far enough to stretch the legs and relax after a travelling day.  I love being on the Quantocks, although I am a Wiltshire lad being here feels like coming home.

To view this 5 mile walk on OS Maps Click Here

To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 140 – Quantock Hills & Bridgewater

9th October 2017

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)

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