Quintessential Somerset Walk
PUBLISHED: 13:30 04 September 2013
Roz Golding stumbles upon a breathtaking circular walk around a sleepy corner of Somerset
The walk starts with the heady scented fragrance of lavender, sure to awaken you from the bygone era of the1 9th century mining village of Faulkland. This spot of Somerset boasts extensive views over rolling hills, farmland, combes, woods, streams and untouched quintessential English villages and hamlets.
Start the walk:
Park around the village green and take a look at the fine stocks which are in front of a grand 18th century house built by Thomas Turner. Take care when crossing the road to the footpath marked opposite the green.
At this point, if you’re in need of refreshments or would like to visit the farm shop (closes 5pm, not open Mon and Tues) before the walk, then take the right hand path and follow your nose to the Lavender Farm, shop and café.
If not, then continue left onto the tarmac drive, and take the path ahead over a stile. Go up the field with the hedge on your left and head for the far corner. Continue in the same direction as before with the hedge still on your left. At the corner of the field go through double kissing gates. Continue in the same direction going through fields and kissing gates (you might need to go round the field edges to avoid crops). At the far point, you will go through a gate, which will bring you on to Chickwell Lane.
Turn immediately left. Pass a farm and at the bend, go straight ahead onto the bridleway (approximately 0.75 miles). Go through a metal gate at which point the path will narrow slightly. The path will then drop down a gradient or two, before reaching a farm go through another metal gate, and then turn right through another.
Go left past the barn at Charlton Farm and left again to reach a metal gate, which will bring you onto a lane. Turn left, after a few yards, turn right onto another lane. A little way along here turn off left onto a bridleway (Marrow Pole Lane), which is unmarked.
Continue on the main track until you meet a metal gate. Go through the gate and maintain direction.
The next stretch is a little twisty: on reaching a field follow the bend right with the hedge on the right, you will then enter another field, turn left down the side of the hedge. On entering another field turn left and follow the hedgerow until you reach a gate, go through a gate and turn right following the right edge. Curving right then left follow the hedge on your left until you cross over a small wooden bridge. Turn right and continue down the field (ahead you will see Norton St Philip). At the end of the field turn right again and walk over another wooden bridge, then turn immediately left.
Following on in the same direction, you will arrive at the beginning of a long sunken track aka Watery Lane. In the summer this part of the walk is a welcome break as it is cool and shady, although a little stony.
On rainy days your shoes could get a little wet. Towards the end of the lane it gets much drier.
At the end of the lane you will be close to the main road - the edge of Norton St Philip. Before you do, turn right onto a marked stony path between walls, go in front of a cottage and over to a field. Continue straight ahead towards the old vicarage close to the church. Cross a stile onto a drive and turn left. Walk down the road a little way, and in front of the old vicarage you will reach the small village green with a welcoming seat around a maple tree – a great place for a welcomed break!
Walk through the churchyard, or go into the church.
Continue into the recreation ground. Turn right along a stony path and follow it around to the far side of the grounds, leave by a small gate, that will take you up a path and through a further gate at the end. You will now join the High Street in Norton St Philip.
Norton St Philip
Turn left, you will reach the George pub. At the side of the George is the top of Bell Hill.
Cross the road here, go right along a row of cottages on North Street, continue until you reach a junction, turn left downhill to a triangle of grass at Lyde Green.
Lyde Green is said to be the earliest part of the village. Go left and continue down the lane for 60 yards. Go straight at Lyde Green down Ringwell Lane where you will pass a row of cottages, a little way along the cottages you will reach a right turn, take this and continue on a track to Hassage. Follow the track on through a gate, and continue until you reach a point with Mount Pleasant Farm ahead.
Follow the track right and cross the footbridge at Norton Brook. Here, head for the metal gate (do not turn left) this will take you on to a track. This next stage is the steepest part of the walk. Once in the field, follow along the right edge and continue on through a gate to the top. Bend left and go past a ruined barn. You will now join a stony track, maintain direction and drop downhill.
At Hassage turn left up the lane past the manor house. Go round a left bend where you will see an attractive house conversion, at the right bend go up the wooden steps over a stile on the right into a field. Head for the woodland in the corner on the far side. Keep the wood on the right. Cross a stile and carry on with the wood on the right, continue across the field and go through an opening in the hedge near the end. Cross a stile and through a narrow field and over another stile into the plantation.
Continue on the shady path until you reach another stile, this will bring you out into a field. Turn right and go across fields towards a house above on the left. Continue walking below the house.
Head for the far top corner of the field, avoiding the taped off area used for horses.
On the lane again
Cross the stile onto a lane, turn left, then take the first turning right, this will take you onto the main road. Turn right again, and continue along the footpath until you come to the green where you parked.