Bus Stop Walk 3 Wrantage (Canal Inn)
A disused canal, Hatch Court and some superb views
An all weather walk, but best when visibility is good
Distance 10.5 Km/6.5 miles.
Total ascent/descent 113m
1 From the bus-stop(GR308225) by the Canal Inn, go W (Taunton direction) past the lay-by. After 500m (550yds) just beyond Barcroft Cottage, turn R down a broad grassy track behind houses. After 300m (330yds) cross a footbridge, bear L and continue with the stream on your L, to reach a stile by a bridge which carried the Chard Canal (1) across the stream. Continue to follow the stream as it meanders round the edge of the field to cross a small footbridge on the L. Go ahead with the hedge on the R and after 300m (330yds) just before the copse go R and follow the track bearing L round the copse to reach a road in Lillesdon.
2 (GR303235) Turn L and follow the road for 600m (660yds) to a bridge crossing the Chard Canal (1).. (If time, go R over stile SP Public Footpath to view the canal on the R). Continue along the road for 400m (¼ mile) to the A378
3 (GR300225) Cross the road with great care to the road directly opposite (SP Meare Green). Follow for 330m (350yds) then go L opposite The Elms along a track (SP Public Footpath). After 30m (35yds) bear R between hedge and fence. After 250m(275yds) cross stile and continue in the same direction across field to a stream. Turn R for a few metres to a waymarked gate. Cross the stream, through another gate then bear R to far corner with two gates. Take the waymarked R gate and go L with hedge on L for 50m(55yds) to go through gate on L. Continue now with hedge on R and follow as it goes L then R and at next corner head for metal gate in far corner to reach a road
4 (GR298212) Do not follow the road, but turn L to follow a drive with a concrete post-and-wire fence on the L. Follow the fence as it bears L and then R to cross a waymarked bridge. Go through the edge of the garden to locate another gate then R to another gate. Here go L with hedge on L then two more gates to road by Picketmead. Turn R and follow 450m(500yds) until it passes under the old railway bridge. Turn L and follow for 400m (¼ mile) to crossroads by the Hatch Inn.
5 (GR302206) Go R, follow for 450m (500yds) and at Ashdale House go L to gate and cross field to far corner, then go L with hedge on L. Ignore gate on L but bear 450 R along path past sewage works on R. Aim for hedge corner, then bear L to kissing gate to road. Go L for 630m(700yds) to the Hatch Inn.
6 (GR302206) Go R (SP Church) and after 400m(¼ mile) L along concrete drive passing Hatch Court (2) on the R. At the end of drive pass the church (3) and car-park and go through waymarked gate to pass between the church and a house, along a grassy track to emerge on a concrete drive. Cross and follow the waymark on L aiming for a gap in the hedge, to reach a short track and road. Go ahead for 800m(½ mile) to reach a T-junction.
7 (GR314219) Just before junction, go L down grassy track SP Wrantage, then along a short track and stile to emerge in a field at the top of Crimson Hill with terrific views. Continue passing to L of first pillbox (4) down steep steps then across a field to cross a stile, beyond which on the R, the overgrown tunnel entrance of the Chard Canal can be seen. Continue ahead through the gate and down the track. At the road go R for 100m (110yds) to the bus-stop.
Refreshments: Canal Inn, Wrantage
Hatch Inn, Hatch Beauchamp
FOR A SHORTER WALK
Distance 5.1 Km/3.2 miles
From the start go to the lay-by, cross the road and go along Oldway Lane to emerge at the bridge in 4. Go L (SP Church) and follow from 6
1 Chard Canal, part of a plan to link the Bristol Channel with the English Channel opened 1842, went into receivership 1853 and closed 1866.
2 Hatch Court is a Palladian mansion built of Bath stone in 1750 by Thomas Prowse of Axbridge, for John Collins. It is listed Grade I
3 St John the Baptist originates in the Norman period, but the tower was built in 1500. It is Grade I listed
4 The pillboxes were part of the 1940 Taunton Stop Line, an anti-tank obstacle stretching from the north Somerset coast to Seaton in Devon, to prevent attack from the west.
For car travellers, there is a large lay-by on the north side of the A378 approximately 200m in the Taunton direction from the Canal Inn.