Starting at Bruton Community Office
Walk west along the High Street (against the traffic) and take the first right turn up steep and narrow St Catherines Hill. The road levels and crosses a junction into Higher Tolbury. Continue straight ahead. The road becomes a track through the wood and eventually emerges onto the B3081.
Turn left along the road and follow for 200 m (ignoring a stile to the right). Take great care here: although there is not much traffic the road is narrow and windy with blind corners and no verge. Go through a gate to the right onto a footpath (signed Snakelake and Milton Clevedon), and continue on an obvious route with the fence immediately to your right then between two lines of trees. The next stretch can be unpleasantly muddy. Go through a gate, down through a wood and another gate (often open) to a gate into a field at the bottom. After heavy rain the patch of field just beyond the gate can be awash.
The landowner has enclosed the bridleways with fences from this point. Although this rather spoils the rural ambience, it makes route-finding easy. Take the right fork uphill, which gets less steep after passing above a copse. Eventually at the far corner of the field go through a gate (not visible until you are nearly upon it).
Look round after going through the gate and ponder the meaning of the sign. Go straight across the field on the obvious path, and out onto Snakelake Hill. Turn right downhill. As the road bends to the right at the bottom of the hill an obvious footpath leads off to the left through a delightful wood to a small bridge and stile at the end.
Here the path vanishes again. Keep to the left of the field with the fence immediately to your left. Soon two stiles and a plank lead across the narrow ditch to the left. Henley Grove Farm is clearly visible ahead. Climb up the bank and through the gate into the farm.
The public right of way runs straight through this large busy dairy farm. Watch out for large tractors and other manoeuvring vehicles. The farmer is very respectful of walkers. Respect his workplace in turn, following the correct route, keeping dogs on a lead and children under control. Go straight ahead through the farm passing a barn on the left and several on the right then turn left up the drive between two cottages. At the top of the drive turn right onto Copplesbury Lane. This very quiet road is often driven rather fast, so take care.
Pass a footpath off to the left (with stile) and a house and continue uphill. About 500 m after turning onto the lane, take a signed footpath to the left. The clear track runs along the left-hand margin of a field (often full of hares). Go through a gate, where an even clearer track runs straight across the next field to reach a stile. Cross the stile. The path vanishes. Head directly and steeply downhill to the bottom corner of the field.
Ignore the gate to the left. Cross the stile through the hedge to the right and turn left to follow what may once have been a track but is now more of a muddy stream bed. Cows often lurk here. At the bottom either climb over the stile or the gate (depending on which is less overgrown), and into Moor Lane. Turn right and follow the lane down through a delightful small valley.
At the end turn right onto Portway Hill. Pass Seat Lane on your right. Just after the road crosses the river look for a gate and stile somewhat hidden in the trees on your left. Pass through, and head very steeply uphill to reach the road just below the church. (Rather than climbing up this field it may be easier to walk up the road (Vinings Hill)).
Batcombe to Bruton via Moor Lane (route D)
Starting below Batcombe Church
Walk a few paces west down the road to find a gate just to the west of the recreation ground. Go through the gate and very steeply downhill to a further gate, then out into the road. Turn right along Portway Hill. Take the second lane on the left: Moor Lane.
The lane leads very gently uphill past old orchards through a delightful valley. Where the lane turns sharp right go straight on either over a gate or a stile to the right of the gate (this area is often very overgrown and unpromising). Once past the gate continue up a muddy track (more of a streambed) to reach a stile on the right. Go over the stile into a field.
Head directly uphill (there is no path). On reaching the hedge opposite cast around to find the stile (not visible from the bottom of the field). Once over the stile take the clear path across the next field, through a gate, and continue along the right-hand field margin. Hares frequent this field. Reach Copplesbury Lane and turn right.
Go down the lane. Traffic is sparse, but often fast, so take care. After a house on the right turn left down the drive to Henley Grove Farm. The public right of way runs straight through this large busy dairy farm. Watch out for large tractors and other manoeuvring vehicles. The farmer is very respectful of walkers. Respect his workplace in turn, following the correct route, keeping dogs on a lead and children under control. Pass between two cottages, turn right in front of the barns, and continue through the farm passing several barns on your left and one on your right to reach a gate.
Once through the gate scramble down the bank to two stiles and a plank leading over the ditch to the next field on the left. Follow the fence and then trees down the right-hand side of this field (there is no path). Go over a stile and small bridge in the corner of the field and into a delightful small wood, where the path becomes clear again.
Emerge on to the road and turn right up Snakelake Hill. Near the top of the hill, where the trees end, take a bridleway to the left. The path runs directly across the field to the ‘Beware Rabbits’ gate, so-named for reasons that will be obvious when you get there.
Follow the enclosed bridleway as it eventually swings slightly left and more steeply downhill to a gate hidden from view in the corner of the field just beyond the trough. Head straight down to this corner (often very damp if not awash in wet weather).
Go through the gate and uphill on an obvious path. The next section can be unpleasantly muddy. Go through another gate (often open) then shortly a third. Follow an avenue of small trees out into the field keeping close to the fence on your left. The path reaches a gate onto the B3081.
Turn left along the road for 200m, taking great care as the road is narrow with blind bends. After the first house on the right turn right into the drive to On the Brook, and immediately take a path to the left into the woods. Follow the broad path that runs straight ahead through the top of the woods. At the end of the wood the path drops down to houses and becomes a road (Higher Tolbury). Follow the road straight over the junction, then more steeply down St Catherines Hill to reach the High Street. Turn left for the Community Office.