Bus Stop Walk 9 Somerton (Gassons Lane)
The levels & moors of Somerset
A comfortable walk on mostly level tracks and lanes
Distance 10.0 Km/ 6.2miles
Total ascent/descent 52m
1 From the bus-stop (GR 479287) locate the tarmac footpath opposite Gassons Lane which runs between a wooden fence and a post and wire fence. Follow for 180m (200yds) to reach Bancombe Road then turn L. Pass the Trading Estate on the R and after 200m(220yds) at the mini-roundabout continue ahead. Follow for 800m (½ mile) ignoring L turn to Westcombe and then descend gently to turn R into Slippery Batch.
2 (GR470298) Follow the road as it bends L to reach Somerton Door Farm and 300m (330yds) beyond, cross the bridge over the serene river Cary. Ignore the footpaths along the river bank, but continue ahead for 250m (275yds) to a cross-roads where the tarmac ends. Go L and follow the track (Somerton Drove) across Somerton Moor (1) for 1.6Km (1 mile), ignoring any side tracks, to reach a T-junction.
3 (GR454314) Turn L (SP Pitney Steart Bridge) and follow the track for 500m (550yds) to a junction. Fork R and follow for 200m (220yds) to reach Pitney Steart Bridge. Turn L to cross the bridge over the river Cary and follow the tarmac road for 800m (½ mile) to reach a junction by a small pond in the hamlet of Park.
4 (GR452302) Turn L(SP Somerton) and follow round a R then L bend and then a long straight section of 1.6Km (1 mile) to reach Wild Meadow Farm. Here the road starts to bend slightly R then L ascending gently for 400m (¼mile) to reach a junction.
5 (GR470298) Turn L into Slippery Batch and follow for 270m (300yds) and on reaching the fifth telegraph pole on the L go R (no sign) along a stony track. Ascend gently at first, then more steeply, ignoring the track to Etsome on the L, to reach the tarmac of Bradley Hill Lane. From the first gateway on the R is a good view across the Somerset Levels as far as Hinckley Point power station. Continue along the tarmac road for 800m (½ mile) to pass the new school and reach a junction by houses.
6 (GR482290) Turn R and walk for 300m (330yds) to reach a pedestrian way to the main Langport road. Turn R for 200m (220yds) to the bus-stop. The stop for Langport and Taunton is across the road.
FOR A SHORTER WALK
Distance 3.7 Km/ 2.3 miles
Follow as far as the end of point 1 and turn R. This point is coincident with point 5, so follow from there back to the start.
For car travellers, park carefully in Gassons Lane or one of its side turnings, but do not block any drive. Parking on the main road is not recommended.
Cafés and pubs in Somerton
1 The Somerset Levels and Moors is a sparsely populated coastal plain and wetland area of Somerset, between the Quantocks and the Mendips. It consists of marine clay “levels” along the coast, and the inland (often peat based) “moors”. The Levels are split by the Polden Hills, with the catchment area of the River Parrett to the south.
The total area of the Levels & Moors amounts to approximately 650 km2 (160,000 acres) of which 70% is grassland and 30% is arable Typically, there are open fields of permanent grass surrounded by ditches with willow trees. Access is by “droves” i.e. green lanes.
Much of the area is only slightly above sea level and borders the Severn Estuary so flooding has always been a problem. Early attempts to control the water levels were possibly made by the Romans and efforts to control flooding on the Parrett were recorded in the early 12th Century, but problems were not fully resolved until the sea defences were enhanced in the early 20th century.
Being largely flat, the Levels are well suited to bicycles, and a number of cycle routes exist.