This new walk climbs gently up the hills to the south of Bruton to reach the ancient road of Hardway. It then takes the route of the less ancient Stourhead to Redlynch coach road and returns to Bruton by the Macmillan Way.
Although an easy walk underfoot, the route is less than obvious in places, so pay close attention to the directions. The walk is plagued with electric fences in places, and there are some very poor stiles. Dog walkers should note that some of the cattle likely to be met on route can be rather feisty, and that deer abound, though are not always visible.
Just over 4 miles (7 km), 130 m of ascent, 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours ten minutes, easy but with some moderate route-finding. Last checked February 2023.
Start at Station Road Car Park
On leaving the car park turn left. Cross the road just before the railway bridge, pass under it, and take the path up a few steps and through a gate on the right. Walk along the path next to the Abbey Ponds, continue through two gates and the Community Garden to a gate on far left. Cross the road (fast moving traffic) to a further gate and turn right through the Hauser and Wirth car park to a stile on the far side of the car park entrance.
Go over the stile and walk to the top of the field, taking time to admire the view of Bruton behind you with Creech Hill on the skyline. Go through the gate (or over the stile or cattle grid) into the woods. Follow the track and bear left to a gate and cattle grid. Turn right and follow the field edge all the way round to the first gate on the far side of the field.
Go through the gate and continue straight across the next field, bearing very slightly left (NOT the more obvious track slightly to the right towards houses, or a track half left to a gate) to a gate, a narrow bridge and a further gate.
Continue in the same direction along a fenced path across the next field, over a stile, into patch of wood, across a wet ditch and over (or round) a further stile. Turn left and follow the woodland field edge through this and a further field. At the corner of the woodland, turn left over or under the broken stile. Head across the field and uphill to the left of the large new house (not yet on the OS Map). Find a stile in the top left corner of the field. Go over the stile into woods. The path bears right, through a gate, past a house (with exuberant barking dogs) a further gate, then along a drive to a road (Hardway).
Turn right along the road and soon take a gate on the left (opposite a farmhouse) with a fingerpost, onto a straight concrete farm track. Continue through a further gate then a gap in the hedge. Turn right off the concrete track (there is a mess of electric and non-electric fences at this spot) and head straight for Moorwood House, obvious ahead on the edge of its wood.
Go through a kissing gate and between the house on the left and a converted barn on the right, to a further gate where the old coach road becomes more obvious, straight through an oak plantation with a fence on the right. After a further gate the route is lined with younger oak trees. A gate leads to a layby on the B3081, directly opposite the entrance to Redlynch Park.
Turn right, crossing the road when and where safe to do so. Take great care as the traffic here is fast. Turn left at the Redlynch crossroads, walk down past houses on the right, and take a metal gate on the right almost opposite St Peter’s Chapel. Go along the right-hand field edge to a gate, bridge and further gate, and continue in the same direction across the field (the field edge soon turns away to the right). At the far side of the field a new and dog-unfriendly stile leads to a gate. Once through the gate continue down the right-hand field edge. Views of Creech Hill open up ahead. Go through a gap at the end of the field, and down the right-hand edge of the next two fields to find a stile hidden in trees in the bottom right-hand corner.
Once over the stile, a small bridge and a further stile turn left. Head directly for the distant field gate at the bottom right corner of this large field (with Hauser and Wirth behind). There is no path discernible, and the field is often overgrown with crops, but this is a right of way and there is no suitable alternative. Once through the field gate cross the main road (fast traffic) and follow the verge downhill to the Hauser and Wirth entrance to re-join the outgoing route. (Go in to the car park and do not attempt to walk further down the road).