Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Exmoor walks with a railway theme

We recommend two excellent little books of walks from stations along the West Somerset Railway (see details below). Most of the walks are not particularly long, so are ideal for us when we have an afternoon off! Here are some we’ve done recently.

Moorland path, Woodcombe, North Hill
The South West Coastal Path begins at Minehead (marked by a sculpture of a giant pair of hands holding an equally gigantic map) and there are several other good walks from the town too. This is an easy one of about 5 miles which you can start from the railway station or the centre of town; it goes through The Parks area, up past the ancient farmstead at Bratton Court, via woods and moorland to Woodcombe and back down the hill from Higher Town to the town centre.

On the beach near Blue Anchor
Blue Anchor, Carhampton and Dunster
We combined two walks from the books, to make one of approximately 6 miles. Starting from the station end of Blue Anchor Bay, we walked parallel to the railway line for a short way before branching off through the fields to Carhampton. Then up to the top of the village and via the Deer Park to Dunster. Through Dunster, down the hill to Dunster Station and the beach; follow the seafront path all the way back to Blue Anchor.

Near Chapel Cleeve

Washford, Old Cleeve and Kentsford

This one is a little over 4 miles. Starting from Washford station, you follow the route of the old Monk’s Path for part of the walk; there is also an old sunken lane, some road and track walking and a woodland path. Take some time to look around the church at Old Cleeve, which is utterly charming. Eventually you’ll end up on the trackbed of the Old Mineral Line, from where you can walk back to Washford or, if you prefer, on to Watchet.

These walks are all taken from:
Country Walks from West Somerset Railway Stations
Some more Country Walks from West Somerset Railway Stations
By Audrey & Ron Short; updated by Malcolm & Natalie Short
Pub. West Somerset Railway Association
Available from the Buffer Stop shop at Minehead station
We have a copy here of both books here at Exmoor House; guests are welcome to borrow them during their stay with us.

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