From the (54) Bus Stop Walk Series 1 – Walk 2 Thornfalcon (Nags Head)
Small villages and an ancient woodland
Lanes and tracks with one considerable long ascent
Distance 10.8 Km/6.7 miles
Total ascent/descent 158m
- From the bus-stop (GR 282230), go along the minor road beside the (now closed) Nag’s Head. After 500m (550yds), turn R into Ashe Farm Caravan site. Follow tarmac straight ahead (not R) to waymarked wooden gate, bearing slightly L with hedge on L on faint track up hill to a gate. Go ahead through trees and up steps to a gate to emerge in field. Aim halfway between the power poles to locate a pedestrian gate at the far side. (If the field has cattle you may choose to skirt round the right keeping the hedge on the R). Go through the gate and go L with great views as far as the Mendips to the R. Just beyond bench go L along waymarked track for 400m (¼ mile) to reach road. Go R and follow 330m(360yds) to sharp R bend.
- (GR273221) Go along unsigned track on L for 550m(⅓mile) at first a slight rise, then descend steadily through trees to reach road by gate to Stoke House. Continue downhill along the road for 90m (100yds) to join a more major road by the church. Continue ahead through the pleasant village of Stoke St Mary (1) pass the Half Moon Inn and at the village hall turn L (SP Thurlbear).
- (GR262222) Go 800m (½ mile) to Greenway Farm and turn R for 550m(⅓mile) passing the school and church. Where road bears R take the concrete track on L. Go to L of the house, cross the small stream and follow the waymarked track through Thurlbear woods (2) (you will also see “Herepath” signs (3) in a steady ascent of 1.6Km(1 mile) to reach a metal gate and a road. Bear L along the road for 100m to a junction and turn R for 60m to reach a fork.
- (GR272198) Go L (SP RSPCA Animal Centre (4) pass the Farmers Arms and continue 400m (¼mile)
Go L (no sign) and follow 1.7km (1mile) to West Hatch. Ignore Church Lane on L and just beyond road on R go L over stile and skirt round field aiming for building ahead. Cross stile and turn R down track (but turn L to visit church) and after 50m (55yds) go sharp L along drive of Perrington Lodge. Locate a waymarked gate on the R.
- (GR286211) Go along path along edge of woods. Cross stile to open field to go through gate. Turn R, go over stile on R and keep hedge on R as it curves gently to L. At the far corner, cross stile through wooded area to reach another stile. Continue ahead with hedge on R and after 20m (22yds) cross a stile and bridge. Go ahead with hedge on R and when trees are reached go L.100m(110yds) beyond end of wood, ignore stile on R by metal gate, but go ahead, and after 100m (110yds) cross stile by gate keeping hedge on R to emerge after 350m(400yds) at a road.
- (GR277219) Turn R and follow road for 1.6Km (1 mile) to reach the Nag’s Head Inn. For Yeovil, cross (with care) the dual carriageway and the bus-stop is on the R. That for Taunton is to the L.
FOR A SHORTER WALK
Distance 4.8 Km/ 3 miles
Follow to point 3 and continue along the road for 800m (½ mile) to a junction. Turn L and follow for 2Km (1¼ miles) to the Nag’s Head.
1 Stoke St Mary has less than 500 people and was first mentioned in 854 AD. The church has one of the few 13th century towers in Somerset.
2 Thurlbear Wood is a 65-acre Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by the Somerset Wildlife Trust. The woods are of considerable antiquity.
3 Staple Fitzpaine Herepath is a 20km circular path through the Blackdown Hills. A good start point is the car park at Castle Neroche. For map see www.gpsroutes.co.uk
4 West Hatch RSPCA is one of two centres in the UK used for cleaning of seabirds covered in oil.
For car travellers, there is a lay-by in the lane opposite the Nags Head, 50m along on the L.
Half Moon Inn, Stoke St Mary
Farmer’s Arms, West Hatch