From the (54) Bus Stop Walk Series 2 – Walk 3 Thornfalcon (Nags Head)

Small hamlets, the River Tone and a disused canal
Easy walking along lanes and tracks with good views
Distance 10.2 Km/ 6.4 miles
Total ascent/descent 72m

1 From the bus-stop (GR 282230) take the narrow lane opposite the Nag’s Head Inn (SP Thornfalcon (1). Pass Glebe Cottages on the L and descend gently for 400m (½ mile). Go round sharp R bend, ignoring L turn and go sharp L by entrance to Manor Farm. At war memorial, continue ahead for 1Km(⅔mile) passing a staggered crossroads and at “30” sign, turn R into Ham Road (SP Ham). Pass the Ham entry sign and follow road through the village. At Ham House, go L along a short track to view the River Tone (2) from the footbridge. Return to the road and go L.

2 (GR286251) Follow the road for 400m(¼mile) and just beyond Old Ham Wharf Farm, where the road bears R, go L along a track, noting the modern (private) suspension bridge over the River Tone (2) on the L. Follow the track 220m(250yds) and cross waymarked stile on the R keeping fence/hedge on R. At the end of the field go through hedge gap and continue ahead. Cross stile, still keeping the hedge on R and ascend gently to a waymarked stile into a wooded area. Turn around for a good view! Continue through the wooded area crossing a stile ahead into an orchard. At the end of the orchard by collapsed stile bear L to a wooden gate into a lane.

3 (GR297255) Go ahead along the lane descending slightly and after 170m(190yds), bear R by Lower Knapp Farm. After 200m(220yds) at junction by Apple Tree Cottage go L and follow through Knapp ignoring several turnings to the L. After 660m (750yds) at Peppercorn Cottage go R over waymarked stile and up an enclosed track. At the end, cross stile and go L with hedge on L and excellent views to the R. At crossing hedge enter a short enclosed track to emerge in field and then go L to join hedge on L. Follow 400m(¼mile) to reach a gate to the L of houses ahead to a short track to reach a road.

4 (GR311245) Go R along the road and after 300m (330yds) just before a L bend, fork R into Rodwell Lane. Where the hard surface ends, go ahead along grassy track (Restricted Byway). After 1Km(⅔mile) cross a tarmac track and after a further 650m (700yds) cross the line of the disused Chard Canal (3). Go ahead for 700m (750yds) and follow track bending L then R to reach Thornfalcon church.

5 (GR283239) Follow track past church to reach a road by the War Memorial. Turn L and follow road for 800m (½ mile) to reach the busy A358 and the bus-stop. For Somerton and Yeovil the stop is to the L, for Taunton across the road.

Distance 5.9 Km/ 3.7 miles
Follow as far as the end of point 1. Immediately after Ham House, take the track on the R (SP Public Bridleway). After 200m (220yds) at metal gate, follow track to L as it goes between hedges. After 400m (¼ mile), go R through metal pedestrian gate and aim for metal gate in hedge gap slightly to L. Keep hedge on R to a gate and continue ahead into enclosed path to reach a track. Turn R and follow to Thornfalcon church (point 5).

1 The name Thornfalcon comes from Thorn, and the personal name Fagun (now Falcon) which was the Norman surname of Sir Gilbert of Thorn, whose family were lords of the manor until the 14th century. The manor was bought from the Burridges of Lyme Regis by Nathaniel Batten of Yeovil, founder of a solicitor’s firm of that name.

2 The River Tone is about 21 miles (34 km) long. It rises in the Brendon Hills to the west of Taunton and flows through Curry and Hay Moors before joining the River Parrett at Burrowbridge.

3 Chard Canal, once part of a plan to link the Bristol Channel with the English Channel in Devon, opened in 1842, went into receivership in 1853 and closed in 1866.

For car travellers, there is a lay-by in the lane opposite the Nags Head, 50m along on the L.

Refreshments: Unfortunately none

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