A few years ago, I walked the entire length of the West Somerset Coast Path (which also forms a completed portion of the England Coast Path) with my friend Anna. I’d been meaning to return and revisit a couple of areas but was mainly put off by the inability to plot an appealing circular route that would avoid the many roads.
Well, tarmac or not, I was prepared to revisit this lesser-travelled stretch of coast on a particularly windy day, one weekend at the beginning of 2019.
I awoke in my tent, after my first night of camping down in South Somerset. My intention for this day was simple: leave the car alone and go for a walk that explores the immediate landscape. I’d already highlighted a nearby river that I could use as a guide to lead me on to Langport and back.
I’ve driven down in the southern half of Somerset for a few days, in the second-half of the week I’d booked off work for tackling The Ridgeway (which was, of course, cut short and put on hold). My day had begun with a visit to the National Trust-owned Montacute House (one of those long-term goals, finally ticked off) and, leaving my car in the parking area, I decide to venture off and explore the surrounding countryside.
This walk began in the village of Chew Magna, where free use of the car park is available, provided you get there early. It’s an area I’m quite familiar with and a popular ‘commuter route’ linking the A38 with the A37 and beyond.
Bearing in mind this is less than a thirty-minute drive south of Bristol, it commands appreciation. My walk was to begin by following a portion of the local Three Peaks Walk, before looping back along previously unexplored footpaths.
This was the day immediately after my most recent walk along the Severn Way. While I’ve forgotten my precise reasons for heading out on a day bearing the threat of rain, I imagine I was most likely looking to make the most of a day that might otherwise have been spent indoors, ‘waiting’ for Monday morning to come and go.
I’d been asked about leading a walk as part of our walking group’s annual ‘Mini Walking Festival’. This takes place towards the end of June every year, on a Saturday and it just so happens that we will be heading south to the Quantock Hills next month.