This is a walk for days when the endless muddy fields of a wet winter seem just too off-putting. On minor or very minor roads, it visits the tiny Hadspen stone hamlets nestling to the southwest of Bruton, before climbing over Honeywick and Ridge Hills with splendid views to the east then west and north.
The walk comes within ten minutes of the cafés and shops of Castle Cary, so could easily be combined with a visit to and lunch in that town. Alternatively, half of the walk could be combined with a train journey for a shorter outing.
Best walked clockwise, the walk presents no navigational challenges and is easy underfoot, but long at 7 miles (11 km) with 160m of ascent. Allow 2hrs 15 mins to 3hrs.
Route description (as below)
Start at Bruton Community Office
Walk west along the High Street (against the traffic). Follow the main road downhill, round to the left across the River Brue and under the railway bridge. A couple of minutes up Cole Road turn right down Gants Mill Lane (un-signed). Continue parallel to the railway then through a small wood until a T junction is reached. Turn right and walk into the pleasant hamlet of Cole.
Continue along the road through Cole, ignoring a road to the right and various tracks on the left. After just over 1km the equally pretty hamlet of Hadspen is reached. Ignore two roads to the left (the second signed to the village hall) and follow the road round to the right, through the even more delightful hamlet (just a couple of houses really) of Honeywick, then steeply uphill to a junction on the edge of town where a very minor road cuts sharply back to the right (signed Wyke Champflower and Lower Wyke).
For the delights of Castle Cary continue straight ahead, across the main road and downhill into town. Otherwise turn sharp right on to Wyke Road. Shortly views open up to the right, with Bruton Church tower visible 5km to the east, and the Stourhead Ridge in the distance beyond. A few minutes further, at a sharp bend to the right, splendid views suddenly open up ahead to the north and then to the west.
Continue downhill more steeply, heading towards Wyke Champflower sitting under Creech Hill. Cross the railway and then take the un-signed road (Wyke Lane) to the right.
This very minor road meanders through open countryside, before turning sharp right downhill, under the railway, over the river Brue and back into Cole to rejoin the outgoing route.
I walked the old leaflet Hadspen walk today in glorious sunshine.However we were puzzled to find the footpath from the lane down through the valley to hadspen was closed.We had to use the Leyland trail path instead.Apparently the path has been closed due to complaints about the horses who have frightened walkers.
I wonder if this is legal?
Thankyou so much for the wonderful website detailing so many lovely walks.
Hi Pauline, yes this was a legal closure, as it had been initiated by Somerset County Council, the Highways Authority. It will be interesting to see what happens next. My personal opinion is that if there are scary horses on a public right of way then something should be done to allow the public to pass without being scared. However I haven’t looked into the details. As I remember (when I looked at the notice at the start of the closure) it was for a short time.
Thankyou James .I totally agree that the horses need to be prevented from scaring people rather than closing the path.We’ll be watching this space.
The website is wonderful!
The notice says 21 days from 1 December so I assumed it was an out of date notice and walked up the path yesterday.
The horses are still in residence but looked fairly amicable to me. I haven’t managed to get a reply yet from the SCC enquiry number on the notice. I wonder if anyone else knows more?
Quite agree Pauline, excellent website, which I only discovered today!
Who knows? The horses have always been amicable to me (and my dog) too. However they were reported to SCC as a group of wild aggressive horses. Danger to life.
Please complain to Eve Wynn, footpath officer for the county. It’s a long and complicated story which is long overdue for a solution.