A couple of years ago Lynnie and I did a walk on the Blackdown Hills from Hemyock taking in Culmstock Beacon. We had not previously visited the beacon and I was struck by the stunning views. It is my last day on this brief tour with Crosby and rather than hop in the car I decide to start my walk from Cadeside Caravan and Motorhome Club site.
I head off into Wellington and turn left at the main crossroads and walk up the road passing the Green Dragon. I am meeting my old work mate Ray here later and look forward to catching up with him. This is bound to involve a couple of pints and at some point in the evening a discussion about the current state of play at Bristol Rovers. Ray is a lifelong Gashead, whereas I follow them closely from a distance and would regard them as my second team.
After passing the entrance to Wellington School I turn right along a tarmac lane, at the end turning left to join a footpath heading south, which I follow out of town to cross the busy A38 before entering a field of tall reed. Lynnie and I walked this way in February this year and I had expected to see the reed cut by now.
The path is well marked as it follows alongside paddocks before crossing a lane to carry on south with the Wellington Monument high on the hill in front.
After going under the M5 I cross another couple of fields and then a minor road where I go straight across to join Beacon Lane. This has a gradual incline which becomes steeper after Beacon Hill Farm. When we walked this way in February the path was decidedly boggy, and it is no better today. Full concentration is needed to avoid slipping in the deep mud on the steep incline. After passing through a gate into woodland I soon arrive at steps leading up to the base of the monument.
Little progress appears to have been made to the renovation of the monument since my last visit. Hopefully the National Trust will soon find a way of financing the restoration project, perhaps by utilising some of their substantial reserves.
I leave the monument by taking a path heading west, as this enters a beech copse I take a footpath through fields to the south of the copse. The route is well defined as it goes through a number of small fields and then descends towards a minor road, there is a cracking view of the monument from here.
On reaching the road and I turn right. There is very little traffic and after the mud earlier it is pleasant walking on firm ground below the beech trees. I think of all the woodland trees the beech is my favourite. However, I am not so keen on it in urban areas, it is a grand tree that should be enjoyed in the woods!
At a crossroads I continue straight ahead and then as the road sweeps to the right I continue on towards Crossways Farm and then carry straight on to enter woodland for a while before emerging onto Black Down Common.
I continue along the track in a southwesterly direction, this is a cracking spot and Crosby enjoys exploring as we head across the common towards Culmstock Beacon. The first time we visited here I was bowled over by the view from the Beacon. Even though I am expecting it, the vista has the same impact today.
Apparently there has been a beacon on this site since the 1500’s when it formed part of the national network of beacons to warn of a Spanish invasion. The beehive shaped structure is built of flint and is said to have been rebuilt in 1870 after the collapse of the earlier one. It is thought locally that the stone structure is unique in its survival.
Close to the beacon is a trig point, this is the forty second I have bagged on our travels.
I avail myself of the bench with a stunning outlook to the west and stop for lunch. I cannot take my eyes off the view, whilst Crosby does not take his eyes off my ham roll! Crosby has quickly worked out that if I remove my rucksack anywhere near a bench then it is time for a bit of snap. I used to think he enjoyed the walking, but I’m increasingly of the view that he only does the walk to get the treats! This is definitely the case with Dexter!
Reluctantly I leave the bench and turn around and walk back along the northern side of the hill to cross the common, at a pond I turn left to walk to Sampford Point.
At Samford Point I turn right and follow a path as it descends to follow a boggy path on the lower edge of Sampford Common. I keep on this path, ignoring a track on the left, until I reach a minor road where I turn left. After passing Coombe Farm the road sweeps to the right and then after passing Southeys Farm and Hangeridge Farm I arrive at another junction and turn right to walk a short distance to a reach a B road. Looking at the map it looks like I can take a footpath that heads opposite and then after Higher Woodford goes under the M5. I take this route, only to discover that the footpath ends at the motorway. There is no underpass or footbridge to join the path on the opposite side!
I turn around and head back to the B road and cross the motorway and continue on the road to reach Pleamore Cross. Here I turn right and then walk through Bagley Green to reach Rockwell Green, where I take a slight detour to visit the two splendid water towers. The redbrick tower is the older of the two and was built in the late 1800’s, whereas the concrete tower was built in the 1930’s.
Returning to the crossroads in Rockwell Green I turn left and follow the road back through Wellington to reach my pitch at Cadeside. It has been a cracking afternoon’s walking, covering twelve miles and hardly anyone about. A perfect afternoon for Crosby and I. Tomorrow we head home to Lynnie and Dexter so I need to do some packing before giving Crosby his tea. Then I must polish my drinking boots and catch up with my mucker Ray over a well-deserved pint or two.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 128 – Taunton & Blackdown Hills]
13th November 2017
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)