Taunton Deane Ramblers

  Taunton Deane Ramblers
Home page How to join Current programme Late news Notice board Long distance walks Publications Walk reports Favourite walks Contacts Odds & sods



RA logo

If you can't find what you're looking for, see site map, and it will probably be there.





Contributions and comments to the webmaster
Walk reports
Send your photos and reports here

July18th: West Deane Way 5th stage

Fifth in this year's series of walks along the West Deane Way, led by Judi, was the section from Waterrow (pictured) to Wiveliscombe - ending with a well-deserved cup of tea.

(from Philip)

July 8th Dartmoor (from Wendy)


Undeterred by the 29 degree temperature three hardy members joined Peter for his Tor bagging walk on Dartmoor last Sunday. In all 10 tors were 'bagged' along the 12 mile route plus a loop up to Bowermans Nose. Refreshing mugs of tea from the Dartmoor Farmers tuck waggon in the Haytor car park revived us for the journey home.

June 17th: Stourhead (from Miss Moppet)Stourhead

Ten ramblers enjoyed a grey day's walk from Alfred's Tower around Stourhead Estates, to Bourton and the excellent White Lion where The Leader savoured his home-made tomato and basil soup unaccompanied by any of his fellows, except Melody.
On passing an enchanting thatched cottage at Penselwood - or as some signs said Pen Selwood - Mrs X was heard to remark, "That's not romantic. Romance should be reserved for the bedroom not the roof."

An indifferent NT tea - £3.65 for a slice of cake? - compared to the Royal Oak Farm at Cotleigh - rounded off the day.

May23rd, Blue Anchor (from Mike)

Old Cleeve

Mike was delighted that 14 joined him on his Favourite half day walk from Blue Anchor, on Wednesday 23rd May. We set off on a glorious sunny day, towards Old Cleeve, the first of the picturesque villages to be visited. From here we went down hill, under the railway line, to the second lovely village of Bilbrook, where all decided to walk around the Ford, rather than through it. We then crossed the A 39 and started the longish climb, with several awkward stiles on route. The climb was helped by the fact that we were walking through fields with lambs, horses and ponies in them. A short break was taken in the shade of a small copse at the top of the hill, but unfortunately the usual view across to Wales, was partly obscured by the heat haze. We did, however, see a steam train winding its way across to Blue Anchor. From here we walked a short distance around the grass gallops of top National Hunt trainer, Philip Hobbs, before joining the MacMillan Way West, for the descent to the third delightful village of Withycombe. On route we passed Philip Hobbs all weather gallops and as we entered the village, several walkers did walk through the Ford, rather than around it. A refreshing break was taken in St Nicolas Church in Withycombe, where several took the opportunity to make a cup of tea, or have a drink of cold water, a most welcome facility that I have never encountered in a church before. From here the route took us back across the A 39, across fields and back to Blue Anchor, sighting a closer view of a steam train on route. Unfortunately the café had just closed, but we did persuade them to serve us with ice creams.

Half day walk May 20th, W Bagborough to Tolland (pic from Philip).
W Deane Way

A lovely afternoon for the third in this year's series of walks on the West Deane Way, led by Judy and Lynda.

Sunday May 18th: from Allerford (pic from Mike)


And a startled Liz on a very sunny walk.

Sunday May 13th: Glastonbury
Glastonbury Tor

This lovely 12.5 mile figure of eight walk, led by Daphne and Margaret, set out from the outskirts of Glastonbury. Initially following the River Brue through meadows to the Tor the 12 walkers then tackled the ascent after first sampling the water in the two springs at the base. All agreed the White Spring (chalk) was far nicer than the Red Spring (iron).

PS: Three bags of discarded plastic bottles, cans and other rubbish were collected from country lanes that we walked through.

(From Wendy)

Friday May 11th from Beam Bridge (pic from Mike)

Beam Bridge

A very wet walk.

Wednesday May 2nd: stage 2 West Deane Way (pics from Daphne)

West Deane Way

West Deane Way

April 29th: Around Cotleigh (from Dave P)

Terry and Claire led us to an interesting part of Devon composed of remote and isolated farms, hidden valleys, bluebells and spring flowers. Sixteen of us suffered an unseasonably refrigerating day but enlightened by our Head Botanist-in-Residence Linda (on right looking perplexed) who amongst other things pointed out a wee plant known as the Town Hall Clock. On checking up later in my Flora Britannica it had four flowers round the sides - like a town hall clock - plus one on top "so that Spitfires could tell the time as they flew by." Delightful. The day was rounded off by an excellent cream tea at the Royal Oak Farm where we were only charged £3 a head.


Group on bridge

April 27th: around Bishops Lydeard (from Mike W)

Bishops Lydeard

Thanks to Quentin for a lovely walk from Bishops Lydeard last Friday, followed by an excellent meal at The Lethbridge Arms. For once the weather people got their forecast right, and it was a beautiful evening for walking. It was a treat seeing all the wild orchids and the swallows swooping over the fields.

April 22nd on Exmoor (from Sue)

11 mile walk on Exmoor on Sunday 22 April. We stopped for coffee near the foot bridge over Badgworthy Water before climbing Tom's Hill.
Weds April 18th (words from John O: pic from John Lowe)
Quantock group

Alan & Janice’s favourite walk
Hitherto favourite walks have had the threat of uncertain weather looming over them, but on Wednesday 18th April, dame fortune smiled mightily !
Setting off from Holford’s Bowling Green car park in bright warm sunshine, the mixed group of sixteen walkers tackled the long rising bridleway up to the prominent Hare Knap. The magnificent panaromic view was enjoyed over refreshments. The party then set off for Black Hill noting how cut up the track was from ridden horses. Completing the horse shoe circuit, Janice then strode on taking in the impressive Dowsborough hill fort. The group chairman, deciding his fitness would be challenged by a further climb, opted to descend via the picturesque Holford Combe back to his car.

Friday May 13th Ashill, Devon (from Mike)

Flowers Ashill


Friday May 6th Trull (from Mike)

Waterfall Trull


Porlock, April 8th (from Chris)



More pics here

April Fool's Walk (from Janice)
The happy coincidence of Easter Day with April Fool's Day lent itself to a walk with a difference this year! 36 ramblers set out on one of two circuits around Sherford stream (longer & shorter), guided solely by a sheet of clues written as riddles & their own common sense. I am delighted to say nobody became seriously lost, the daffodils were out in force all around the routes &, for once, even the weather relented. Thankyou everyone for your enthusiastic support - it was a fabulous turnout.

Wednesday March 28th: Broadhembury (from Mike)


Thanks to Dot for a lovely walk from Broadhembury. Despite the adverse weather forecast, it turned out to be a pleasant afternoon for walking and even the mud didn’t spoil what was a very nice walk, with splendid views.

Sunday half-day walk, March 25th, Staple Fitzpaine (pic from Philip)

Staple Fitzpaine

Lovely weather for a walk from Staple Fitzpaine, led by Lynda and Dot. Spring sunshine made the mud bearable!

Wed 21st March: Knightshayes (from Mike)

Many thanks to Joanna for a splendid walk, around Bolham and Knightshayes on a lovely Spring afternoon. Despites the efforts of the mud, snow and water to bar our route, everyone finished a most enjoyable walk.

Colin's Sidmouth Quiz Extravaganza: March 11th

19 members set off in very heavy rain, in an attempt to find the answers to the 45 questions that Colin had set. Each group was given a map showing the route to be taken, a sheet describing the route and giving clues, and an answer sheet. Fortunately the rain relented after about half an hour and the rest of the afternoon turned out to be reasonably pleasant. As it was discovered that the finishing tea room closed at 4.30 pm, walkers were asked to finish by 4.15pm, which meant that, because of the weather, not all had finished the route. However, some pairs did manage to complete all the answers and the winners with a splendid 41 correct answers, were Janice and Alan.

Everybody thought it had been very enjoyable event despite the weather, and all hoped that Colin would do another in the future, at a different location.

Of course, offers of similar events, in other towns, by other members, would be most welcome.

MIKE (who also took the photos)





Sea at Sidmouth


Sunday Mar 11th: around Hatch Beachamp (leaders Claire & Terry)Boots

13 Ramblers, but only three chaps, wallowed their way for 10 miles round the churches of Hatch, Curry Mallet, Isle Abbots and Beercrocombe. If the walk had finished 10 minutes earlier we all would have got back dry.

Sadly no prizes were awarded for the muddiest boots: it was a tie.

Friday March 11th - out from Beambridge (from Mike)Beambridge

Four brave souls set off on a very wet evening, on what turned out to be a very pleasant walk, culminating in a most enjoyable meal, at The Worlds End.

Sunday Feb 25th: Around N Curry (pic from Philip, text from John O)Nythe Farm

New walk leader attracts a big turn-out. Lynda K’s circular walk from North Curry on a beautiful cold crisp afternoon almost caused parking problems in the village as parking spaces soon became a premium for converging walkers!
Setting off by the church , the route led across undulating ridge fields with a succession of stiles. The views were extensive and impressive in the clear air, and sole dog on the walk enjoyed the freedom to explore pastures new.
Crossing the Knapp road , a rather shaded and muddy old drove was followed as it climbed gradually to reach the main village road at Lillesdon. A welcome breather was taken here, and walkers enjoyed the view across the moor to the lower Quantocks.
Descending now onto West Sedge Moor, the party now followed part of the route of The East Deane Way—a trail surveyed by members of the group more than ten years before. Part of this trail led across on of the largest arable fields in Somerset, and walkers were relieved when the scattered settlement of Newport hoved into view. The final leg of the walk led along Westfield Lane before climbing back on to the ridge with the village and fine church beyond. Alas, too late to enjoy the warmth and welcome of the village’s coffee shop, but maybe, another day ?

(Note from Webmaster re photo. This is Nythe Farm on W Sedgmoor below Rock Hill where Alfred Harp murdered his father George on Bank Holiday Monday 1937 because his father refused to let him go to Bridgwater Fair - after a visit to the Rock Inn, inevitably.The farm employs largely pre-Brexit hardworking Lithuanians: you work it out . . .)

Februay 23rd Bridgwater (from Mike)Sunset

It was a glorious afternoon for walking, and in over 20 years of walking with the Group, it was the first time that I have ever known a walk to be DELIBERATELY extended. The walk was supposed to be 4 miles, but because everybody was enjoying the weather and scenery, it was extended, on route, to 6.1 miles. The walk was followed by the usual excellent meal at the Admirals Landing. Many thanks to Hazel for leading the walk, so soon after her sad loss.

Sunday Feb 11th, Combe St Nicholas (Dave P)

Six of the All-Ladies sub-branch of Taunton Deane Ramblers graciously allowed the writer (and hound) to accompany them on Jan's walk, providing I remained 50 yds behind. No doubt I was asked along to lift heavy gates and untie knotted gates. Through stinging hail and unexplored valleys we trudged to arrive lunch-time at the previously unvisited but stunning vista of Whitestaunton Manor and church. The Grade 1 listed manor had undergone a 10 year refit costing £5million carried out by a New York, but English, jewellery designer and had been sold for £8 million. Worth every penny we agreed. (for details see here). It possesses probably the only private residence with a hammer beam roof and Roman walls and bath, the subject of a Time Team programme.

From here we walked south, east, west - and possibly north of Combe St Nicholas to arrive back at our motors sans cream tea.

(Pic right: Hail under Hedge)

(Competition pic right: Using your skill and judgment place an X by the bitch)


Whitestaunton ManorHailCombe St Nich
Sunday Feb 4th: Stogumber (from Wendy)Stogumber Pavilion
Kathy's excellent 10 mile walk on a sunny, but very cold Sunday was made even more enjoyable by the luxury of a comfortable lunch break on the verandah of Stogumber cricket pavilion.
Sunday Jan 28th: Culmstock (from Miss Moppet)River Culm
If there are muddier walks than this, (a) I don't believe you (b) I certainly don't want to go on it.
Photo here is leader Michael lunching by the Culm, in pensive mood no doubt thinking, "Now have I missed any muddy stretches I should have led through?"
NB to diary. Never walk on the Blackdowns between January and December.

Sunday 21st January: Crowcombe (from Wendy)Crowcombe in the rain
The inclement weather today didn't deter 5 hardy souls who joined Peter for his walk out from Crowcombe. We managed 5 miles trudging through thick mud and surface water in continuous rain before deciding enough!
Another 3 soggy miles before we reached the cars. A nice walk but the views were not at their best!

Note from Webmaster: I normally wouldn't accept rubbish pics like this, but in the circumstances . . .
And it does raise another question: shouldn't wisdom come with age? Or should TDR just give them a medal for bravery?

Wednesday 17th January: Dunster (from Mike Whitmore)Group

It was the first walk Maureen had led for the Group for several years and I believe it was Pete’s first. What a shame that only four others turned up to join them, on what was a glorious afternoon for walking. The one of Dunster’s main street, empty except for us, mid afternoon, is a first for me.Dunster High St

Sunday 7th January: post-Christmas lunch walk (from Philip)Netherclay

21 people joined the morning walk from the County Ground which preceded the Post-Christmas Lunch. Here are the participants during a short break at the Netherclay Local Nature Reserve, Bishops Hull.

Thanks are due to Daphne Hayden both for leading the walk and for arranging the Lunch at the Cricket Club - a very good time was had by all.

Sunday December 17th: around Stoke St Gregory

John Lowe

Twenty or so enjoyed some lovely grub at Stoke - Stollen - big and baby - mince pies, cake and lashings of tea kindly provided and possibly cooked by John & Carol. Anything else? Oh yes that was after a nine mile splatter around the delights of Stoke and N Curry. Thanks to you both.


Sunday December 3rd: Nether StoweySheep rescue

Leader Richard's first walk in charge put the rest of us to shame with his copious notes at each halt near the site of a murder or hanging be it historic or relatively recent. Twenty happy ramblers enjoyed a pleasant amble from Nether Stowey up to the castle mound with the usual extensive views. Then down and around Dead Woman's Ditch. Allied to packets of sweets to keep our gastric juices flowing at the top of hills had us wondering how often he'd like to lead future walks? Every time possibly.
(Right: Peter performing his "How to extract a sheep from fence" trick: showing at all good cinemas soon.)
Miss Moppet.


Wednesday 3rd December…..a walk with the “hug” factor!
(Who needs MacGonagall when we've got JO?)

Alas, ol’ Les’s back is doing him down,
And on his wrinkled brow you’d see a frown.
So, over Enmore’s fields he won’t be there !
By Barford’s fine house you might pause and stare.
O’er the rolling fields near Spaxton you will trudge.
Wishing that that cloying mud would budge !
By Durleigh Brook and sheep filled fields galore,
And mangel wurzel crops that stretch before.
‘Til Enmore’s fine church hoves into view,
And you thoughts turn to that warming home brew !

Sunday November 19th: around North Curry (pics from Mike Whitmore)



R Tone