Nether Stowey & Stogursey, West Somerset
Welcome to the second of our 2022 series of ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ blogs – a curated collection of places to visit, each focused around a Strongvox development located in the glorious West Country. We hope this will inspire you to get outdoors and discover the treasures and beauty of our local areas on foot!
Our intrepid explorer Viv, has been discovering the Quantock Hills – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is on the doorstep of two of our developments. Nestled at the northern foothills of the Quantocks, Cricketer Farm is a thoughtfully designed Strongvox development of one, two, three and four-bed new homes on the edge of the beautiful village of Nether Stowey. The first phase is currently under construction and is selling fast! Three miles north and close to the coast, the vibrant village of Stogursey is home to Paddons Farm, a Strongvox development of 27 two and three bedroom homes, also currently under construction and available to buy off plan.
Rambles galore in the Quantock Hills
There are numerous well-trodden paths criss-crossing the glorious Quantock Hills, yet it feels like their splendour is still very much a closely guarded secret, only enjoyed by those ‘in the know’! And with so many options, it was quite hard choosing the walks to feature! These three circular walks offer contrasting landscapes and scenery, with the opportunity to go fossil hunting too!
Holford – 2.7 miles from Nether Stowey
Hawkridge Reservoir and Lime Kiln – 3.4 miles from Nether Stowey
Somerset’s Jurassic Coast from Kilve – 4 miles from Stogursey
Ramble from Holford to the Quantock Ridge
This 5.5 mile (9km) circular walk from the pretty village of Holford, just a few miles from Nether Stowey, features beautifully sheltered combes (small wooded valleys) and spectacular open moorland with gorse and bracken, crowned with phenomenal views along the coastline and across the Bristol Channel to Wales. The walk is taken from an old AA book called ‘50 Walks in Somerset’.
The walk ascends alongside the gently flowing water of Hodder’s Combe Brook up to Bicknoller Post and then gradually climbs along the Quantock Ridge to the trig point at Beacon Hill (310m above sea level). The combes are perfect for picnicking and even paddling in places, especially as you descend Smith’s Combe, with its babbling brook and grazing sheep.
The final part of this walk follows in the footsteps of the great poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, along a section of the Coleridge Way, a 51-mile walk between Nether Stowey and Lynmouth. You’ll pass directly in front of Wordsworth’s grand old house at Alfoxton Park, currently undergoing major renovation.
The walk culminates with a ravine crossing at Holford Glen via a narrow wooden footbridge, not far from the site of 18th century silk mills, featured more recently in a Bryan Adams music video! Click here to view full details of Viv’s walk with photos and navigation on Komoot.
There is a small, free car park at Holford Green (closest postcode TA5 1SA). The walk follows wide, smooth paths with one short, stony and rough descent. There are a couple of gates and no stiles. Suitable for well-trained dogs, but please keep dogs on the lead where livestock are grazing. Pop into The Plough Inn for refreshments, or the Combe House Hotel, located in Holford village, adjacent to the third largest water wheel in the British Isles.
Ramble around Hawkridge Reservoir and Lime Kiln
Tucked away down winding country lanes is the peaceful Hawkridge Reservoir. If you are looking for a short, easy amble and you are nimble enough to climb over a few stiles and don’t mind a short climb, then this walk is ideal.
The walk circles the whole reservoir, which is a distance of less than two miles (2.7kms), passing through fields beyond the dam wall, then alongside the outflow stream in a small section of woodland, followed by an elevated grassy path with scenic views across the water. Viv encountered some adorable highland cattle in one of the fields, so please be vigilant if you are walking with a dog.
If you fancy a slightly longer walk – an additional mile – just before returning to the parking area take the footpath up through the woodland, which is pitted with old quarries, to discover the restored lime kiln. You might be lucky enough to spot a red deer or tawny owl! A minute’s walk beyond the limekiln to the left of the path, is a wooden seat with lovely views of Aisholt Common. Full details of this walk, with navigation and photos of interest are available to view on Komoot here.
There are no accurate postcodes for the reservoir, but it is located on Lawyer’s Hill, near Spaxton. There is free parking for around 20 cars on the roadside alongside the reservoir. The walk follows mainly grassy footpaths, but it could be a bit muddy in places during wetter weather. There are at least five stiles and dogs should be kept on a lead whilst close to the water and near grazing livestock.
This walk is one of numerous local walks of varying distances featured on Stowey Walking, a great website set up by local walking enthusiasts.
Fossil hunting along Somerset’s Jurassic Coast from Kilve
If you’d like a coastal walk, check out the well-trodden three-mile (5km) circular walk from Kilve via East Quantoxhead, which explores a section of Somerset’s Jurassic coastline. Exposed limestone from the early Jurassic period presents fossil beds containing some of the earliest ammonites recorded in Britain. Perfect for young fossil hunters, the walk also offers ample parking, toilets, picnic benches and a tea room/garden alongside the historic ruins at Chantry. You’ll find full details of the walk on the Stowey Walking website here.
We hope these suggestions will inspire you to get outdoors and get active during the glorious Summers months.
Look out for the next Walk on the Wild Side blog, when Viv will be exploring more hidden gems and beautiful places to visit close to our Strongvox developments.
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