Over many trips to this area I have walked Hopcott Common and Periton Hill and seen footpath signs for Wootton Courtenay but have never ventured into the village. So today’s walk will take me to the village, but I have no set route in mind, I am just going to jamabout and pick a route as I go along.
I leave the caravan site and turn left to walk along the pavement besides the A39 and stay with this for just over a mile until I reach a junction with Periton Lane on the right. I cross the A39 and take a bridleway, opposite, way-marked to Wootton Common.
This bridleway follows a track uphill through the attractive woodland of Periton Combe.
The path continues to the top of Periton Hill and I stay with the footpath to a junction with the track that runs along the top of the hill. I turn right and then left on a track leading to Roadway Lane.
Joining Roadway Lane I follow this ancient track as it heads downhill to Wootton Courtenay.
Arriving in the village I turn right and then after 100 yards at a junction I fork left onto Brockwell Lane towards Brockwell and Ford. At an outbuilding I turn left and follow a lane.
Reaching a minor road I turn left and walk through the village to reach All Saints Church. In front of the church is a convenient bench to stop for lunch.
From the church I follow the lane heading east out of the village. This is a quiet country lane and it is pleasant walking, I stay with it for 3 miles heading towards the A396. There are fine views across the valley.
On reaching the A396 I take a footpath on the left just before reaching the main road. This leads uphill onto Grabbist Hill.
I stay with this path as to follows the contour around the hill to reach a junction of paths where I turn right and walk through Dunster cemetery and then past allotments. At a junction I turn right and follow a lane to reach a school on the corner of St George’s Street, here I turn right and then very quickly take a left into Priory Green. After going under a stone arch I reach Dunster Dovecote.
This dovecote was built as part of the Benedictine Priory of Dunster and is thought to date back to the 13th or 14th century. Repairs were carried out in the 18th and 19th century and then more recently in 1990 a full restoration was undertaken to repair the damage caused by a storm in 1987.
Opposite the dovecote stands a Tithe Barn, this was also part of the Benedictine Priory and was used to store produce collected as part of the tithe for the priory. It is known that a barn has stood here since the 14th century and the existing barn was given a major restoration in 2002.
I continue along Priory Green until I reach a junction with a lane called The Ball, here I turn right and follow the lane to reach the A396 where I turn left and head out of Dunster. As I approach the junction with the A39 I cross the A396 and take a path way-marked to Minehead via a subway. This leads under the A39 and passes the old Dunster Police Station which has now been converted into homes.
At a junction I turn right into Marsh Street and follow this to a junction with Station Road where I turn right and follow the lane to reach Dunster Railway Station. This station was opened in 1874 by the Minehead Railway, later becoming part of Great Western Railway which operated until the line closed in 1971. Fortunately the West Somerset Railway company was then formed as a heritage line and the station reopened in 1976.
From the station I continue on the lane to cross the railway line and keep with it to the Old Manor at Lower Marsh Farm. Here the footpath continues past the manor house and farm and goes along a track heading towards the coast.
Reaching the coast path I turn left and follow the path along the edge of Minehead and West Somerset Golf course. So far I have managed to avoid the rain today, but the clouds ahead look rather ominous and I am not sure my luck will hold.
The path leads to the seafront in Minehead passing the entrance to Butlins.
Heading into Minehead I follow residential streets back to the caravan site on Hopcott Road. My walk has covered 12 miles and it has been pleasant walking on an autumnal day.
You can view this 12 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map OS9 Exmoor
30th October 2020
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)