From the (54) Bus Stop Walk Series 2 – Walk 2 Taunton (Blackbrook)
Edge of the county town through hamlets and villages
Easy walking along tracks and lanes with a very steep climb
Distance 10.9 Km/6.6 miles
Total ascent/descent 122m
1 From the bus-stop (GR259247) walk in the direction of Taunton past the Toby Carvery to the large sign “Blackbrook Roundabout” Go down track on L through metal gate and across wooden bridge. Bear slightly R under new bridge then bear L to follow hedge close to M5 for 1.2Km(¾mile) to reach road. Go R then L into lane (No Through Road) and follow as it bears R then L and just beyond stream, go L through waymarked metal gate. Go ahead 400m(¼mile) with stream on L to wooden gate. Go L with hedge on L for 250m to metal gate and road.
2 (GR248229 Go L 30m(33yds) to junction, then R for 300m(330yds) and at bend cross waymarked stile on L and follow clear path across field. At hedge, bear R and where it bears L follow for 250m(275yds) and just beyond hedge gap, go R with hedge on R 100m(110yds) to stile and road. Go L 100m(110yds) to junction and go ahead (SP Corfe).
3 (GR241221)After 200m (220yds) by Taunton Racecourse (1) car park, go L over waymarked stile then R aiming for two small brick buildings ahead. Go L through white gate to cross to centre of racecourse then go R to tall white observation tower. Go L toward small wooden hut by tree. Cross race track exit racecourse and head towards Orchard Portman (2) church. Go R through metal squeeze and follow fence to broad track to road. Cross, go over waymarked stile and follow clear track across field to cross bridge to reach road.
4 (GR248217) Go over stile and continue ahead with stream on L for 400m(¼ mile). Do not cross bridge on L but continue ahead towards wooden barn. Cross stream and go R through metal gate then bear R & L to keep hedge on L. Just beyond the hedge gap at the end of the second field, go L over small bridge and go ahead keeping hedge on R. At top of field, go through the second metal gate on R and continue with hedge on R. At the metal gate, go ahead along enclosed track to road junction in Stoke St Mary. Go straight ahead (SP Henlade) for 400m (¼ mile) to junction near St Mary’s church (3). Go ahead and pass to L of Stoke House gate along bridleway. At waymark, after 80m(90yds) go L ascending steeply through woods with wire fence on L. At top go along enclosed path on L cross stile to drive and go R 300m(330yds) to road.
5 (GR271226) Go L 100m(110yds) then L through kissing gate along track for 70m(75yds) then R across stile by metal gate with far reaching views. Continue down field, with Henlade House (4) to the R, on clear path sometimes with hedge on R. After ⅔Km(½mile) at bottom of field enter enclosed path to reach road. Go L for 400m(¼mile) to L bend.
6 (GR267236) Go R over small bridge and go L round field. Go through hedge gap, bear L and at end of field go L over metal bridge. Go R keeping hedge on R to cross bridge, stile, bridge and stile and after 1.2Km(¾mile) reach ramp to roundabout. Go R 250m(275yds) to traffic lights. The bus stop to Taunton is on R &Yeovil is on L across road.
1 Taunton Racecourse opened in 1927 and was the last new racecourse to open in Great Britain until 2008. The track is built on the site of a 17th century mansion.
2 The Church of St Michael in Orchard Portman has Norman origins and was part of the former Portman family mansion on the site. One of the descendants of the de Orchard family married Walter Portman. The estate was sold to the Crown Commissioners in 1944
3 St Mary’s was built in the 13th century and is largely unchanged today. It is Grade II* listed. The tower is one of the few remaining 13th-century towers in the county.
4 Henlade House was built between 1805 and 1815, by an unidentified Italian architect for John Proctor Anderdon. It is a Grade II* listed building and is now a hotel.
For car travellers use the Gateway Park and Ride near M5 J25
Refreshments: Black Brook Inn
The Half Moon, Stoke St Mary