At nine miles this is a long walk. Various ways of shortening it can be seen from the OS Map and most make for a pleasant walk. However don’t walk on the B3081 between Milton Clevedon Bruton (except as described here), or along Portway Hill in Batcombe as neither road can be considered safe for walkers.

The Three Horshoes in Batcombe, about 4 miles into the walk, makes a pleasant stopping off point. The direct route to and from the pub, also on the website, is the quickest and easiest way to shorten the outward or return trip.

Nine miles (14.5 km), moderate.

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Map

Route guide (as below)

Start at Station Road Car Park

From the car park turn right along the road with St. Mary’s Church on your left. On reaching Church Bridge cross the river and the road and continue up Patwell Street, turning left into the High Street. Go along the High Street 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.

Go through a gate to the right onto a bridleway (signed Snakelake and Milton Clevedon) with the fence immediately to the right then between two lines of trees. This stretch is often very muddy. Go through a gate, down through a wood and another gate (often open) to a gate into a field at the bottom.

The bridleways beyond this point have been fenced in, which makes route-finding very easy, but the ambience less pleasant. Take the right fork uphill to a gate about 500m on. Go straight across the field on the obvious path to reach the road at Snakelake Hill.

1

Turn right downhill. As the road bends to the right at the bottom of the hill an obvious footpath leads to the left through a delightful wood to a small bridge and gate at the end of the wood. The path vanishes. Continue slightly left along the floor of a small valley, with the fence to the left and the barns of Henley Grove Farm ahead. Soon two gates and a plank lead across the narrow ditch to the left. 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. 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.

2

Pass a footpath off to the left (with stile) and a house and continue uphill. About 500 m after turning onto Copplesbury Lane, take a footpath at a stile and broken gate on the left (fingerpost). The clear track runs along the left-hand margin of a field (sometimes full of hares). Go through a gate and follow a clear track straight across the next field to reach a stile. Here the path vanishes. Head in the same direction steeply downhill to the bottom corner of the field.

Ignore the gate to the left. Instead cross a stile through the hedge ahead then turn left to follow what may once have been a track but is often more of a muddy stream bed. Cows sometimes lurk here. At the bottom climb over either the stile or the gate (depending on which is least 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 the right. Look for a stile somewhat hidden in trees on the left. Go over the stile and head very steeply uphill (passing a marooned stile in the middle of the field) to reach the road just below the church. [Alternatively, just walk up the road].

3

Turn right then immediately left to visit the Three Horseshoes [or straight over the junction if you have walked up the road]. Otherwise turn left along the road. Pass a minor road on the left and continue passing houses on both sides. Just before the road swings right (in front of Boords Farm) find a footpath heading off to the left under a house. Go along the narrow-walled footpath, emerging through a kissing gate into a field. Turn right along the top of the field, through another kissing gate then slightly left and downhill towards an obvious field gate at the bottom.

Cross the road and go through the field gate immediately opposite. Go half-left through the field (often full of Shetland ponies) to reach a gate and a wide wooden bridge. Once over the bridge turn right to follow the riverbank. Go through a gate and cross the river by an old bridge. Continue to a wooden gate, on across the next field and over a pair of small footbridges to another wide field.

Go along the right-hand edge of the field, turn right over a bridge (footpath sign) and continue between the mill leat and the river. Ignore a bridge on the right which leads to the garden of Batcombe Bottom Farm. Continue to a further bridge into the next meadow and on in the same direction. Once over another small bridge Spargrove becomes visible. The right of way heads just to the right of Mill House at the end of the meadow, through a gate and onto the road. [Don’t take the more prominent permissive path which leads closer to the river].

4

Turn right on reaching the road, and then left through a (signed) pedestrian gate just before the road crosses the river. Follow the footpath to another pedestrian gate. The line of the path disappears. Head half-left and slightly uphill almost in front of the Manor House, then drop down to find a field gate in the thick hedge at the far corner of the field.

Go through the gate and almost immediately a second (very poor) field gate. Turn left and follow the field margin until a new farm track is reached. Turn left and follow this track as it climbs along the right-hand margin of two fields. The track ends at a field gate. Cut across the corner of the next field to an obvious field gate. Once through this gate continue in roughly the same direction, heading for the left-hand of two field gates opposite. Once through the gate take the obvious track with wooden rails and housing on the right to reach another field gate. Emerge onto the B3081 in Milton Clevedon.

5

Turn right and walk down past cottages on the right, taking care as there is no pavement. Cross the road just before it turns sharp right, going left at the junction onto a minor road (signed to Lamyatt) which shortly leads to tremendous views of most of Somerset. About 600m along, the road turns sharp left at Lamyatt Lodge. Turn right at this corner. Having climbed up the bank Lamyatt Church is clearly visible across the field. A footpath, which may or may not be clear on the ground, runs directly across the field towards the church [if unsure, or if crops are heavy, just continue on the road round two sides of a triangle to reach the same point].

Cross the road, walk up to and into the churchyard, round the right-hand end of the church and over a stone stile. Continue past a disused bowling green on the left, then into the wood ahead. The footpath drops sharply down into a gully, over a concrete bridge and up the other side to a pedestrian gate, then vanishes.

Straight ahead two houses can be seen on the skyline above. Climb directly uphill heading for the left-hand of the houses, eventually reaching a pedestrian gate. Go through the gate, past the side of the house, through another gate and emerge on a lane. Continue in the same direction along the lane opposite, which doglegs twice and heads gently downhill to reach a junction.

6

Turn left, then right at the end of the barn and down a permissive track, turning left along the track at the bottom [this route is permissive and easier to follow than the right of way on the map].

Follow the track as it doglegs to become a path (a restricted byway), narrowing with bushes then trees on either side to become an enclosed green lane (Huish Lane). After a fairly steep and often muddy downhill stretch the lane reaches and crosses Coombe Brook at Ladywells. Keep straight on to reach Tolbury Lane. Turn left up the lane, then right at the crossroads at the top to rejoin the outgoing route on St Catherines Hill.