From the (77) Bus Stop Walks – Walk 7 Marshall’s Elm

The Levels, the Poldens and Somerset’s first youth hostel.
Pleasant walking on tracks and lanes with some terrific views.
Distance 10.2 Km/ 6.3 miles
Total ascent/descent 114m

  1. From the bus-stop (GR484345) at Marshall’s Elm (1) go to the crossroads and take the narrow unsigned tarmac lane and follow as it gently descends and bears L then R then L again by Ivythorn Manor (2) .. At the metal gate continue ahead along tarmac track for 200m (220yds). At the end bear R on to a broader track, and after 100m (110yds) where the track bears L, go ahead over stile by metal gate.
  2. (GR479340) Cross field, keeping hedge on R for 800m (½ mile), past one gate to reach a road by Lower Ivythorn Farm. Go ahead along level road for 1.6 Km (1 mile) to reach a road junction, where a road goes L.
  3. (GR459351) Continue ahead, climbing gently. 600m (660yds) beyond do not turn L (Sutton Lane), but bear R to reach the road along the Poldens (3). Cross this busy road with care (SP Walton) and continue for 800m (½ mile) to reach the A39.
  4. (GR455363) Cross and turn R past the Walton Gateway and after 100m (110yds) go L down Whitley Lane. After 400m (¼ mile) just beneath power lines cross a waymarked stile on R by small bridge and take footpath keeping stream on L. Follow stream passing wooden footbridge on L and reach a crossing track. Go L across stream and immediately R, now with stream on R. At end of field, cross bridge and bear slightly R diagonally across field to metal gate and road.
  5. (GR460367) Go R and follow the road for 550m (⅓ mile) as it ascends and passes houses to reach A39. Go L for 30m (35yds) and cross to path opposite, to L of number 91. After 100m (110yds) go R then L into Chancellor Close. Go along the road and at the T junction, go ahead into a path for 200m (220yds) to reach a road. Go straight across into a track (SP Restricted Byway) and where track ends in field keep ahead with hedge on L following as it bears L, R and L again. At stile, do not cross, but go R keeping hedge on L across three more stiles, then bear slightly R across field 90m(100yds) to R of house to stile and road.
  6. (GR461353) Cross this busy road with care bearing slightly R and locate a stile on the L. Cross and follow the obvious path (roughly parallel to the road) to cross a broad track to the white former windmill (now private house). Continue along the ridge 550m (⅓ mile) with views across the levels to an orientation table. Go ahead 200m (220yds) to a kissing gate then continue through woods to reach road. Cross with care and follow path (SP Polden Way (5). The path goes roughly parallel to the road and affords pleasnt views down to Street and Glastonbury Tor. Continue along the path passing the Swiss Chalet style Youth Hostel (4) then veering slightly R to reach the Marshall’s Elm cross-roads and the bus-stop.

Distance 5.8 Km/ 3.6 miles
Follow to the end of point 2. At the road junction, go R along an enclosed track (SP Bridleway). Climb for 150m and where track starts to bear L go across stile to R. Continue across field bearing R to join the broad grassy track leading to the ridge in point 6.

1 Marshall’s Elm was the site of an early skirmish of the Civil War in 1642 when the Royalist John Stawell led a troop of horses to prevent Pyne from reaching Shepton Mallet. The Parliamentarians fled, with seven dead and twenty wounded.

2 Ivythorn Manor was a medieval monastic house. It became a manor house after the dissolution. By 1834 it was in ruins but restored in1904.

3 The Polden Hills are a long, low ridge, extending 20 miles (32 km), from Puriton (Bridgwater) to Street.

4 Clark’s had its own small sanatorium and convalescent home on Ivythorne Hill. In 1931 it was leased to the YHA and became the first youth hostel in Somerset.

5 Polden Way is a 10Km (6 mile) path along the eastern end of the Poldens from Walton Hill to Hurcott

For car travellers, there is a small lay-by in the narrow lane at the start.

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