<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Somerset Life today click here

Ancient and Beautiful Hills - The Quantocks

PUBLISHED: 18:50 26 May 2011 | UPDATED: 11:21 09 October 2012

Walk Map

Walk Map

The Quantocks are a precious and ancient place and were outstandingly beautiful long before 1957 when they were given national recognition as England's first ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'.

The Quantocks are a precious and ancient place and were outstandingly beautiful long before 1957 when they were given national recognition as Englands first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Join Helen Diamond as she explores the ancient history and quiet stream-cut combes, culminating with magnificent views from the highest point on the Quantocks, Wills Neck



Distance: 5 miles (9.2km) Time: 2hours Exertion: Moderate

POINTS OF INTEREST


Iron Age fort Cockercombe Castle
A Thankful village, Aisholt, from which all men returned from the First World War
Cockercombe, one of the quietest and most attractive of the Quantock combes
Wills Neck, the highest point of the Quantocks
Triscombe Stone, a Bronze Age standing stone
The chance to see wild ponies or glimpse deer





BOOTS ON? LET'S GO!



1 From the Forestry Hut continue along the lane, then along the track marked No vehicle access. This is Cockercombe, quieter and less used than most of the Quantock combes. At the top of the combe where the track comes to a T-junction, interestingly named Two Tree Bottom, turn right and follow the track as it twists uphill.
Just before the road turn left along the track towards Triscombe Stone. This 2ft-high stone dates back to the Bronze Age and was a meeting place; tris is Celtic for meeting. Its said that if you sit on the stone and make a wish it will come true!


2 At Triscombe Stone (car park), continue straight on, down the very steep hill, passing the old quarry. At the bottom youll reach Triscombe and the lovely Blue Ball Inn (or if you wish continue on for a further 5 minutes to Stable Cottage tea rooms). Triscombe Quarry was the only significant quarry on the Quantocks, but its now closed and nature is reclaiming it. This huge gash in the escarpment is an eyesore, but it
does expose the Hangman Grit (red sandstone).


3 After lunch (if youve stopped here) retrace your steps to the top of the hill at point 2. (Sorry, I know its not what you want immediately after lunch!) By the motor access sign turn right and pass through the gate. Then bear right to Wills Neck. This is the highest point of the Quantocks, at 384m, and has great views across Taunton Vale to Exmoor and across the Bristol Channel to Wales, with the Brecon Beacons visible. The strange name comes from Ridge of the Wealas, which refers to a local tribe that, according to tradition, fought with the Romans here.


4 From the trig point bear left, heading for the long row of trees, where youll find a find stoney path. Follow this path downhill keeping the earth/stone wall on your left. Hedgebanks like this are confined to the West Country; they consist of a bank of earth, typically
1-2 metres high, with a hedge growing
on top.
Pass Aisholt Common on your right, where youre likely to see wild ponies. Aisholt is a Thankful Village, one of only seven in Somerset and 31 in the whole of England. These are villages where all the men came back from the First World War.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wanted to live here but Sara (his sister) wasnt so keen since she wanted neighbours. However, another poet, Sir Henry Newbolt lived nearby in Holford. Eventually youll reach a gate; pass through it and turn immediately left through the earth bank. Continue downhill, following the track as it
bears left.


5 Ignore all side paths and continue straight on, to find Cockercombe Castle above you on your left. Its not immediately obvious but climb the bank and explore and youll see the various boundary/protective ramparts. Its not a castle, but a settlement that was occupied between 500 BC and AD 50. It consists of earthworks on top of which a wooden palisade would have been built.
Continue along the path, until it bears left. On this corner, turn right down a grass path that divides plantation trees. Take care: this steep path can be slippery when wet. Continue downhill to emerge at the Forestry Hut.


INFORMATION


Start: Car park at Cockercombe Forestry hut (grid ref ST187365) on the road to Triscombe Stone
Maps: OS Landranger 181 or
Explorer 140
Terrain: Good paths and tracks over moorland and beside streams; steep descent to Triscombe and at the end of the walk
Child/dog friendly: No stiles. Dogs on leads if near ponies and sheep on common land
Refreshments: Blue Ball inn, Triscombe (open daily); Stable Cottage tea rooms (Easter to end of October, open daily 2pm-5.30pm except Mondays; winter Sundays only)
Public transport: Closest bus stop is Aley, Water Lane, near the turning to Quantock Lodge, approx 1 mile from start point.
Traveline: travelinesw.com/

0 comments

More from Out & About

14:51

Over the weekend of 27, 28, and 29 May gardens across the country will be opening their gates for the National Garden Scheme’s 90th anniversary and we’ve highlighted the Somerset ones you can visit

Read more
Friday, May 19, 2017

Somerset is home to some of the UK’s most breathtaking coastline, and the landscape is a simply stunning place to enjoy a ramble. We pick six spots ideal for a walk embracing the county’s beautiful beaches

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Clare Gladstone takes a look at one of the jewels of North Somerset’s crown – the coastal town of Portishead

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

With historical pubs, quaint tearooms, iconic landmarks and thatched cottages, Somerset is home to some of the country’s most beautiful villages. We pick 9 of the prettiest to explore in the county

Read more
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

We scroll through the alphabet and reveal 26 reasons why Somerset is such a wonderful place to visit and for residents to call their home

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Home to some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and countryside whatever the season, there are plenty of walking routes to explore in Somerset. We round up some of our favourite rambles in the county

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Clare Gladstone takes a look at one of the jewels of North Somerset’s crown – the coastal town of Clevedon

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Although Somerset is wonderful all year round, there’s something special about the county when the weather gets warmer, daffodils start to bloom and we can enjoy a cider in the sun

Read more
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Clare Gladstone takes a look at some of the jewels in North Somerset’s crown – its coastal towns, starting with Weston-Super-Mare

Read more
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Gather family and friends, a selection of tasty treats, a gingham blanket and a bottle of something refreshing and head off to some of Somerset’s top picnicking spots. We pick 10 picture-perfect spots to enjoy a good old fashioned picnic!

Read more
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Colourful floral displays, rolling green countryside and blossom-adorned trees await with our pick of eight Somerset walks to try this spring

Read more
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Clare Groom picks her top events for 2017 that highlight the importance and beauty of the Blackdown Hills

Read more
Friday, March 17, 2017

Chris Gladstone discovers plenty of reasons to visit this bustling market town

Read more
Friday, March 17, 2017

Chris Gladstone discovers some fascinating tales from across the ages

Read more
 
South West Life advert link
 
A+ South & South West
 
South West Life advert link
 
South West Life advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
subscription ad


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Somerset Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Somerset's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search