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Walking the edge of Somerset Levels: Wide skies and waterways

PUBLISHED: 15:35 24 October 2016

The east side of Long Load Bridge, spanning the River Yeo. ‘Load’ comes from the Old English ‘lade’ meaning ‘watercourse’.

The east side of Long Load Bridge, spanning the River Yeo. 'Load' comes from the Old English 'lade' meaning 'watercourse'.

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Simone Stanbrooke-Byrne enjoys vast views and easy riverside walking on the edge of the Somerset Levels

Holy Trinity Church, Long Sutton, is a beautiful Grade 1 Listed Building. Its pulpit is older than the churchHoly Trinity Church, Long Sutton, is a beautiful Grade 1 Listed Building. Its pulpit is older than the church

Settled at the northern edge of the Somerset Levels, Long Sutton is an attractive village with a wealth of history. It once formed part of the estates belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, hence the name of the inn, and the area was a busy place during the English Civil War. Allow time to visit the beautiful and historic parish church.

The village sits in an expansive landscape and the short, sharp puff up Knole Hill is worth the effort for the magnificent views it affords across the Levels. The region is good for birdlife; the absolute jewel in the crown for us being the rare and unexpected sight of a barn owl flying across the river at midday. In winter, murmurations of starlings over the Levels are one of nature’s spectacles.

Enticing stile between Ilchester Lane and Long Sutton Golf CourseEnticing stile between Ilchester Lane and Long Sutton Golf Course

In the raw months of the years the ways will be muddy and the wind can blow keenly. Wrap up – and relish the prospect of the Devonshire Arms at the end.

For the detailed route across the edge of the Somerset Levels, from Long Sutton and through the landscape of Knole Hill, pick up the November’s issue of Somerset Life available to buy here.

The embrace of the Devonshire Arms, Long Sutton. The village once belonged to the Duke of Devonshire, hence the nameThe embrace of the Devonshire Arms, Long Sutton. The village once belonged to the Duke of Devonshire, hence the name

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