As I have said before, one of the beauties of being in Taunton is walking on the Quantock Hills. Followers of the blog will know that it is one of my favourite places to walk. I have resisted blogging every outing over the last few weeks, but have, so far, kept my vow that at least part of each walk is over ground I have not walked since last living in the area almost ten years ago.
Today’s walk takes us back to a route that we used to cover on a regular basis. It was a favourite with our old Collie dog Baggins, mind you any walk or trip in the car was a hit with Baggins!
We drive to the top of the Quantock Hills and park at Dead’s Woman’s Ditch. Usually at this point we head north from the car park, but today we head south and follow the ditch down to the line of beech trees and then turn left to follow the well worn path. As the trees end there is an abundance of paths, our route is initially straight on with a slight veer to the right from the brow of the hill.
The path leads to a five bar gate with a walkers gate alongside. Through this gate and into Seven Wells Wood we follow the broad track in front. Disappointingly we are seeing all the signs of autumn.
It is stunning to look at but signals the end of what has been a wonderful summer. Freddy’s are not good in the winter, they like it warm with a daily dose of sunshine!
Our way is very straightforward, we follow the main track in an anti-clockwise direction, (avoiding the steeply descending path that soon appears on the right and the narrower path heading straight on shortly after), and after a short downhill stretch we follow the main track as it turns to the right. This leads to the foot of the hill where we depart the broad track to take a well-used path on the left.
Soon we are amongst large pine trees which give way to beech trees on our right providing a spectacular autumn display. There is a level of poignancy to the way nature creates such beauty as a forerunner to months of grey drabness! (I must ensure that I don’t listen to any Leonard Cohen for the next six months!)
At a junction of paths we turn left and this climbs until we reach a stony track on the boundary of the woods. In front of us is a gate, we go through and then have a challenging climb, and near the top of the hill we veer left to take a pathway through the gorse that roughly follows the tree line. (If you go into the trees you are too far left, if you reach the road you are too far right – this is access land so there are no footpath signs.)
Soon we are back at the car, the whole trip (with occasional stops for pictures) has taken about ninety minutes. Like many a walk on the Quantock’s it has combined some easy walking with the occasional short ferocious climb and an eclectic mix of surroundings. Cracking countryside!
26th October 2014
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 140 –Quantock Hills and Bridgewater]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)