From the (54) Bus Stop Walk Series 2 – Walk 5 Curry Rivel

A pleasant hamlet, a disused canal and a former brewery
Easy walking via country lanes but a busy section of the B3168
Distance 10.9 Km/6.8 miles
Total ascent/descent 64 m

1 From the bus-stop (GR 392252) walk E (towards Langport) and just beyond the petrol station, go R through gate (SP Back Lane). Keep hedge on L and where it bears sharply L, continue straight ahead to reach a kissing gate and sleeper bridge to emerge on to a road. Turn L and after a few steps, go R through a gate (SP Permissive Path), and head straight across the field passing beneath electricity cables to reach a stile in the opposite hedge. Pass to the L of a garden then bear slightly R to locate stile in opposite hedge and bear R between two fences to reach a Bristol gate to a grassy lane. Turn L and follow 200m(220yds) to reach a tarmac road by the Old Vicarage. Go ahead into Drayton and after 130m(150yds) go R at the T-junction (School Street) and follow 500m(⅓ mile) to track on R.

2 (GR406243) Continue 150m and when road bends R continue straight ahead on no through road (SP Midelney Manor) for 1Km(¾mile) to reach Midelney bridge just beyond which take path on R (SP Westmoor Bridge) – but if you have time, go ahead for 300m (330yds) to see the pleasant hamlet of Midelney and its Manor House (1). Follow path with the River Isle on the R and after 650m(⅓ mile) where the river bears R just before a Bristol gate, the disused Westport Canal (2) is joined. Continue along canal 1.1Km(¾m) ignoring two bridges on the R to reach a Bristol gate and a road.

3 (GR402215) Turn R and walk 650m (⅓ mile) to reach a T-junction opposite the pub in Hambridge, and turn R (SP Curry Rivel). Follow with care, particularly along the sections with no pavement, for 1Km (¾ mile), crossing the River Isle and passing the former Langs brewery (3) (now a kitchen furniture maker) to reach the driveway to Bowden’s Farm. Continue round the curve with great care for 400m(¼mile).

4 (GR395229)Turn L along the quiet Crabtree Lane, with pleasant views across the Somerset countryside to the Burton Pynsent monument. After 1.4Km(almost 1mile) at a T-junction opposite a metal gate go R (no sign). After 800m (½ mile), ignore the L turn at grass triangle but go ahead for another 650m (⅓ mile) to rejoin the B3168. Go L for a few paces.

5 (GR391243) Turn R into Back Lane and after 500m (550yds) just beyond cottage called Springfield, go L through a wooden gate with fingerpost. Keep the hedge on the R and at end of field go through gate and follow obvious path through scrub to reach a stile and road. Turn R for 130m(150yds) to reach the war memorial in the centre of Curry Rivel. The bus-stops are to the L.

Distance 4.9Km/3.1miles
Go to end of paragraph 1 and go R along track (SP Holden’s Way) with Drayton Drain on R. Follow for 1Km (⅔mile) and cross stream near end of large field. Now with hedge on L, go through hedge gap beyond small copse. Bear R 45o to follow waymark across field to gate then through two more gates to reach track to road. Go R for 150m, R into Back Lane and follow from para 5

1 Midelney Manor was built in the late 16th century in two distinct halves by Richard and Thomas Trevillian. It is a Grade I listed building. The site, a former island, was owned by Muchelney Abbey, passing to the Trevillians after the dissolution of the monasteries.

2 The Westport Canal is 2¼ miles long and was built around 1840 to link Westport with Langport and the R Parrett. By 1858 it was losing money and it closed in the 1870s.

3 H M Lang & Co operated a small brewery here from the mid 19th century to the years before WWII. A water-powered corn mill once stood behind the brewery.

For car travellers, there is a free car park off School Street, to the west of the crossroads in Curry Rivel.

Refreshments: Drayton Arms
Lamb & Lion, Hambridge
Firehouse, Curry Rivel

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