From the (54) Bus Stop Walk Series 2 – Walk 1 Taunton
From the county town with canal, river and villages
A longer (but level) walk along tracks, lanes and towpaths
Distance 13.0Km/ 8.1 miles
Total ascent/descent 37m
- From the bus-stop (GR225246) at the terminus in Taunton (1) go ahead along Corporation St 100m(110yds) to the roundabout with the Burma Memorial (2). Turn L along North St and after 200m(220yds) cross the road at the Pelican crossing and go ahead into St James St. After 120m(135yds) go L into Coal Orchard past the Brewhouse Theatre on L and the County Cricket ground on R. At waterside go L down ramp (note Pluto of Somerset Space Walk (3) on R) and cross footbridge to supermarket. Go R with canal on R 400m(¼mile) to Firepool Lock and go across bridge 37 (SP Bridgwater). Follow path with the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal on the L passing under several bridges and the high Obridge Viaduct to bridge 32
- (GR243261) Continue along towpath for 1.6Km(1 mile) to reach bridge 30, a swing bridge. Continue ahead passing under the A38 in Bathpool and after 1Km(⅔mile) the M5 viaduct. After a further 1Km(⅔mile) reach bridge 27 and just beyond go R along ramp to road in Creech St Micha
- (GR273255) Continue along the road as it passes over the railway line and shortly bears R and crosses a single-track bridge over the river Tone. Cross another bridge after 200m (220yds) and opposite the turn to Ham, go R over a stile (SP Public Footpath). Follow the path with the river on the R to reach and cross an embankment, which carried the old railway line from Yeovil to Taunton. Continue passing under L arch of the five-arch bridge, then cross two more fields and at the end of the third field bear L to small brick building then ahead along a stony path to reach a road and turn R to reach the Ruishton Inn in 150m (170yds).
- (GR264250) Go R along Church Lane, pass the church and at the end of track go over the steps by Green House (actually painted white!) and follow the clear path across the field soon joining the river on the R. After a further 500m(⅓mile), go R over stream by the footbridge and pass under the M5.
- (GR259254) Continue to follow the broad stony path with water on the R and after 600m(⅓mile) reach a small footbridge at the head of a lake. Cross the bridge and continue with lake on L. After 250m(275yds) go up ramp on R to cross bridge and continue with river on L and railway on R 1.3Km(¾mile) to reach Obridge viaduct.
- (GR236255) Continue 130m(150yds) go L over river bridge and then R, with river now on R. After 250m(275yds) fork L under bridge by Dunelm to road and follow to roundabout. Take 2nd road on R (Priory Avenue). At traffic lights go L (St Augustine’s St) then third R (Duke St) to pass St Mary Magdalene church (4) and ahead into Hammet St to reach North Street. Go ahead past Burma Memorial into Corporation Street to the bus stop.
FOR A SHORTER WALK
Distance 6.3 Km/ 3.9 miles
Follow to end of point 1. Just before bridge go up ramp on R to road by Screwfix. Go R 100m(110yds) and follow as it bears L. After 70m (75yds), just before the recycling centre entrance cross metal stile on R and follow track crossing (with care) the railway. At the far side go R along the path and after 800m (½mile) reach Obridge viaduct. Follow from point 6.
For car travellers, use public car parks in Taunton or the Gateway Park and Ride near M5 J25.
Alternatively park in Creech St Michael and start at point 3
1 Taunton was founded in Saxon times and by 1086 had a population of 1500. It is the largest town in Somerset (pop 61,500). Taunton’s status throughout history has mainly been as a trading centre.
2 The Burma Memorial commemorates the men of Somerset Light Infantry who fell in the Third Burma War of 1885-87 where144 men lost their lives
3 The Somerset Space Walk is a true scale model of the Solar System with the planets placed along the canal. At its scale (1:53 million) Pluto is 11Km from the (2.4 metre diameter) Sun at Higher Maunsel.
4 The Church of St Mary Magdalene, completed in 1508, has a beautiful painted nave ceiling. The tower was built around 1503 and rebuilt 1860. At 163ft(50 m) it is the tallest church tower in the county and one of the best examples of a Somerset tower
Bars, cafes and restaurants in Taunton