This route is probably the quickest way to walk to Batcombe (other than following the Batcombe Road out of Bruton). Either the outgoing or return route can be used to shorten the Batcombe and its Bottom and Batcombe (the long way round) walks on this site.

3.5 miles (5 km), about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes each way, easy.

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Route instructions (as below)

Outward route: 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.

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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.

Walk up Mill Lane and turn right on reaching the road at the top. Turn left at the crossroads to reach The Three Horseshoes.

Return route: starting at The Three Horseshoes

Turn right on leaving the pub and right at the crossroads. 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.

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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, follow the street to the junction at the end, turn right, and once over the bridge turn left in front of the church to reach the car park.