Somerton Strolls Walk 5 – Copley Wood and Littleton

Distance 11.9km/7.4m

An undulating walk through beautiful woodlands with some far-reaching views

There is a sharp climb to Copley Wood. This walk will take about 3hrs but it’s worth the extra!

Leave car park and turn L along West Street. At the Market Square turn left through the churchyard passing to the right of the church with its octagonal tower. The path ends in Cow Square, where there is a trough, which was restored in 1902. Continue ahead along New Street with its attractive old buildings, and after 200m, just beyond the Old School House, descend the track to the left of Cockspurs. Where the track joins a tarmac road continue ahead to T-junction and turn L (SP Street). Proceed along the pavement going over the bridge across the river Cary, with a fine view of the railway viaduct, and when the road swings L, then fork R (towards Castle Cary). After 300m along this busy road, bear L (SP Hurcot) and follow the lane as it goes alongside and then under the railway as it snakes around the side of the Cary valley. 30m beyond the bridge, go straight up the track to left of cottage (no sign) walk through the garden and past a pointy-roofed shed. This is the start of the Polden Way, which currently runs for 6 miles to Walton. Go through the Bristol gate and continue along left-hand boundary. Cross a tarmac lane and go ahead with gully and small stream on left hand side, before crossing the stream and following a faint path steeply uphill. At the top of the climb, look behind to admire the view (and regain your breath!) then locate a stile (not the padlocked gate) close to a silver birch tree. Over the stile, turn R immediately and follow the well-marked track to cross another stile and then continue alongside a barbed wire fence to reach a wider track. Turn L and descend gently for 750m, looking carefully for a way-mark at a left fork to emerge into a clearing. Go straight ahead to cross the clearing and fork right on the narrower track to ascend for 200m to emerge into a field. Turn L near to a large solar panel array and after 100m turn R near a lookout to follow a track along the field boundary beside the solar farm to a white gate at a road. Turn L and follow this busy road with great care for 300m to another white gate on the left (SP Public footpath). Go through the pedestrian gate to follow a concrete track. At the end of the concrete, take the track keeping the hedge on the L to the edge of the woods. Turn R and walk along the field edge and enter the track in the corner of the field into Great Breech Wood. After 300m, go straight on at a crossing track then after 70m, turn L at way-mark. Take a small track on the left by a small display board to view a monument to Hungerford Colston who died as a result of a shooting accident. Continue along the main track, keeping a close watch for way-marks and at the broader track, go right. Ignore the broad track on the L, but take the smaller track on the L a few metres beyond (SP Public footpath) to descend steeply with wooden steps. When a broad track is reached, turn R and after 30m cross a stile on L to continue descent to reach waymarked gate and track to Redland Farm. At the busy B3151, turn R and after 350m L into Peak Lane. After 100m where lane bears right, go through gate on L along enclosed track to emerge into an orchard, keeping close to the left hand boundary. Cross stile and sleeper bridge, then head slightly L of large oak tree at far side of field, to cross a bridge and stile. Go straight up the hill in front and continue ahead along the ridge with excellent views to right and left. At the end of the ridge, descend bearing R to a stile by large evergreen trees to L of a modern house. Go straight ahead along enclosed path to reach a metal gate into the road and turn R, then after 100m just beyond pond go L. Continue along track to L of buildings and through small gate into field. Through another gate and continue ahead close to the left hand boundary to cross another gate. At the next gate, with a view of the railway viaduct, cross and turn immediately R to descend to a line of shrubs to reach a footbridge over the river Cary. Once across the bridge continue straight ahead between fishing lakes and ascend a steep muddy footpath. At the top, ascend steps and cross the tarmac road by the beech tree and follow the footpath beside the cemetery to emerge at a main road. Turn L and immediately cross over to the gate and follow the path above the railway line cutting to emerge on West Street adjacent to the car park.
Checked August 2020

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