Our walk on Monday is a steady stroll on the top of the Quantock Hills in the late afternoon. We appear to be alone in this beautiful spot and spend time watching the sky dramatically change colour as the sun sets. It is truly stunning, what a cracking place to be.
Tuesday arrives and the sun is shining again. Today is our 31st wedding anniversary, the day we married the weather was absolutely corking. I have been doing some research and found out that on the 31st wedding anniversary it is traditional to give gifts of a timepiece. I have been searching for an egg timer for Lynnie but cannot find one anywhere. (But she did get the pearls last year!)
As it’s a special day I think Lynnie deserves a treat, so we go for a walk on the Blackdowns. Parking outside the village hall in Corfe (not to be confused with Corfe Castle in Dorset) we walk back towards the B3170 and cross the road to go down Mill Lane alongside St Nicholas Church, as the tarmac lane ends we continue on along a track, through a gate and continue along the track. After a kissing gate the path is along the edge of the field above the nearly dry bed of Broughton Brook.
We take a footbridge across the barely trickling brook and cross a stile to enter a field where we turn right to follow the well marked footpath across a couple of fields. Then we encounter a herd of bears right across the track and one of them looks distinctly bullish. After a short discussion and a review of the map we decide to avoid these bears and take an alternative route. So we turn around and go back the way we came until we reach the stile just before the footbridge.
I know many will think we are over cautious, but when we have been close to bears they do take an unhealthy interest in Crosby. We assume that it is something about his colour, because they are not so bothered about Dexter.
We do not go back over the stile or footbridge but continue along the edge of the field with the brook on our left. After a second field we follow the footpath through a gate in the corner to go along a track that takes us to a road on the edge of Heale. Here we turn right and walk away from the hamlet along this quiet country lane.
In just over half a mile we take a track on our right, this leads us up into Lime Ridge Wood and then into Wytch Wood. There is an abundance of blackberries and Dexter and Crosby are ensuring that they get their fill.
Leaving the woodland we come to a forestry track and follow this uphill ignoring side tracks until at a sharp bend we continue on the waymarked footpath. This continues to climb up onto the Blackdowns. I have read about people coming across big cats in this area, I am a believer of such stories having seen a large cat on walks in the past near Salisbury. But Lynnie is sceptical, perhaps one day she will spot something that will make her change her mind.
Coming out of the woods we cross a field, then pause to study the map as the footpath on my map is straight-on but in the field it goes right. We follow the signs, which take us around the edge of the field rather than right across the middle. Clearly a diverted path since my map was printed. On meeting a farm track we turn right towards Staple Lawn Farm where in just under half a mile we come to a sign saying the path has been diverted we follow the way marks taking us around the edge of a field and then into Oakey Copse.
At the footpath sign we turn right towards the farm and after going through a gate turn left along the road which leads us by Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club. When previously living in Taunton I was a member of this club, it is a well kept, interesting course with some stunning views. In all the time I played it I never had a good round, which was a reflection on my golf at the time rather than the course. Perhaps I should get my clubs out of storage and pop up one afternoon to see if I can master it now!
After passing the golf club we turn right to walk down alongside the B3170 for a mile or so. We need to be alert because there is only a small verge and cars often travel along this road at a pace. We take the first lane we come to on our left and walk along this until a junction and there we turn right. This leads us back into Corfe. It has been a pleasant stroll, we have been out for a couple of hours and covered ground that we have not previously walked.
Back home we pop the cork from something fizzy and settle down to a romantic evening of blogging and sorting stuff in our temporary residence.
(23rd September 2014)
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 128 –Taunton and the Blackdown Hills]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)