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 left up the road and continue over the Hedgestocks crossroads. Fine views open up to the north-west. Continue straight ahead at the next junction (most Batcombe traffic forks right at this point). The road narrows and drops downhill. Shortly after ruined barns on the right, turn right at a gate and a stile.
Follow the path (often rather indistinct) below the hedge along the top of this field. As the hedge swings round to the right, the tower of Batcombe Church comes into view. Continue just below the hedge until nearly directly above a stile in the fence below. Head down and over the stile, continuing on the same line to reach an almost invisible gap leading into the woods below, where the path suddenly becomes clear again. Go downhill through the delightful woods, over a stile, cross the river, and arrive at the bottom end of Mill Lane.
At this point the route to Spargrove turns left between the river and the large house (see separate route description). For Batcombe walk up Mill Lane and turn right on reaching the road at the top. Continue to reach the church.
Batcombe to Bruton
Walk west along the road below the church. After Church Farm is passed on the right, turn left down Mill Lane.
At its end ignore the path to the right along the riverbank (towards Spargrove) and take the path directly ahead across the river and over a stile. The path climbs through the wood, emerges into the field and then vanishes.
Head uphill and slightly right, over a stile and continue steeply on the same line to reach a feint path just below the hedge-line at the top of the field. Turn right along the hedge-line to eventually reach a gate and a stile.
Go over the stile and turn left up Crow’s Hill. Go straight on at the junction. The road flattens, with fine views to the northwest. Go straight over Hedgestocks crossroads. Ignore the first footpath on the right across a field. Turn right down the next footpath (just before the trees start on the right-hand side of the road). The path runs directly across the field to the ‘Beware Rabbits’ gate, so-named for reasons that will be obvious when you get there.
Once through the gate 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.
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.