Taunton Deane Ramblers

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Aller Sunday half-day walk 12 May

Gallox Hill

Twenty walkers enjoyed glorious weather for Michael Benison's led walk up to Aller Hill and the fine iron age site of Gallox Hill.

(John O)

Killerton Sunday May 12th

20 ramblers enjoyed a fine warm day wandering around the Killerton Estates in amongst an unexpected Classic Car Show, led by Jan. She even managed to permit the webmaster to indulge in his weakness for shandy at a welcoming village pub: can't do better than that.

Right: Marcus caught in a rare quiet contemplative moment, no doubt dreaming of which Classic Car he'd like to own.

Dartmoor: Sunday 7 April 2019 (photo from Sue)


Photo taken at the stone circle near Hound Tor on Dartmoor. An easy 11 ½ miles on a fine but cloudy day, including a new born Dartmoor foal on the road up from Widecombe in the Moor.

Sunday March 10th: Kilve


Lilstock church

Battling our way along the coast in gale force winds
(from Wendy, top photo)






And this from Bridget (bottom photo): 20 undaunted all day walkers plus 3 lively dogs braved fallen trees and flying debris on a glorious sunny but windy day. Lunch on the beach at Kilve was abandoned in favour of a more sheltered spot. Gusts of wind bowled us along the coast path to Lilstock, blowing some over into the field. At least one person was seen carrying a boulder to try add weight. This 2nd photo shows the peace found at the tiny St Andrews Church, Lilstock.

Sunday March 3rd: Tiverton (from Mike W)


Thanks to Richard for a lovely walk on Sunday afternoon at Tiverton, on a glorious Winter's day. Sadly only six people and a dog, turned up for this walk. Because of the morning rain, Richard decided to do a different walk, to that advertised, going out along the Canal and back along the disused railway track. This encouraged me to attempt my first full Ramblers walk, since my accident in September and I'm pleased to say, that I made it. Thanks again Richard.
We set off along the Canal in slightly overcast, but warm weather, but by half way, the sun had come out, with plenty of blue sky. Coming back along the old railway track, it was lovely seeing the sun shining through the trees and making patterns on the path in front of us. Because of the glorious weather, we encountered numerous walkers, runners and dog walkers on route.

Mike Whitmore

Sunday Feb 17th: From Swell Woods (pics from Dave P)

Drayton church

Stained glass




Leaders' discussion at Drayton Churchyard lunch stop, and below, inside the church.

Caption required?

Feb 10th: Langley Marsh down to the Tone (from John O)

Langley Marsh

A fine but blowy afternoon saw a large turn-out for the chairman's four miler over the hill from Langley Marsh down to the Tone. A fallen tree and waterlogged ground caused many delays, but all managed it back largely unscathed !

Around Bishops Hull: 20 Jan (from John O)

Bishops Hull

Straying into dog-walking territory, chairman John Ollerenshaw led an “easy stroll” of just three miles around Bishop’s Hull on a calm ,grey January afternoon.
Assembling by Norton Fitzwarren’s railway footbridge, the twenty-four walkers were first encouraged to ponder walks for the Summer Programme, soon to be finalised, and many looked at the range of Taunton Deane Parish Walks which he had assembled. and some soon disappeared into pockets and rucksacks.
Leading from the rear, the group set off over the bridge and along the path skirting Norton Brook.At the Nether Clay Nature Reserve(formerly the Millenium Woodland)the party paused at the group founder’s bench for a photo shoot before crossing the river and climbing the short hill into Bishop’s Hull.
Taking the gravel path through the new estate ,walkings were soon into open fields,where at the only stile on the route, they paused for refreshment and to take in the rather hazy view.Onwards down to the lane at Upcottt and soon to pass Broadleigh gardens where a few early camellias were in flower. Further flowers were admired at Longaller where a magnificent lonicera fragrantissima scented the air. The footbridge over the railway was just a few fields away where the walk ended.

Fyne Court 20 Jan (from Wendy)

Fyne Court

Fyne Court

19 walkers squelched through an extremely muddy walk out from Fyne Court and on through Goathurst and Kings Cliff Woods. A stone circle at the top of the hill above Great Thorn provided this novel lunch stop with seats for all. The circle was built by the owners of nearby Huntstile Farm from 600 year old staddle stones and a large lump of Mendip granite. It has been sanctified by the Druids. Unfortunately the overcast weather meant the views were not as good as they might have been.

Sunday 2 December (from Sue)


A warm damp December day for a 12 mile walk from Porlock up to Hawkcombe Head with a lunch stop at Culbone Church and back along the beach.



(Don't quite know what's going on behind Sally - best not to ask I suppose: Ed)

Sunday Nov 25th (PM): Somerton Combe (from Terry)
Refreshment stop and happy gathering at a rock cairn.

Somerton Combe

Sunday Nov 25th: Exford (from Wendy)


Some of the 19 Ramblers enjoying Kathy's walk out from Exford on Sunday. The cold wind and 100 scrambling bikes roaring past in the mud persuaded Kathy to shorten the walk slightly.


Sunday Nov 11th half day walk around Ashill, Devon (from Philip)

Ashill Devon


The rain of previous days fortunately held off, so participants enjoyed a sunny afternoon amid lovely autumn colours.

Sunday Nov 4th (Crook Peak, from Wendy)

Crook Peak

Cross bus shelter


Cutting short the planned walk to Crook Peak  because of the mist and driving rain, these Sunday walkers found the bus shelter in Cross provided a dry spot at lunchtime before heading back  in the rain to the cars at Cheddar reservoir. 

Weds October 24th, Castle Neroche and Blackwater (from Philip)


A glorious afternoon for the alpacas, who decided to investigate some passing bipedal lifeforms...

Sunday October 20th: Powerstock (from MissMoppet)


Below: Sarah disconnecting the electric fence but pity she
wasn't able to do this half an hour before when Our Leader
and Melody received an awakening bolt.

Electric fence

As the leader's previous walk from Zig Zag Hill near Shaftesbury attracted a round zero number of walkers it was with some relief, and gratitude, that nine walkers accompanied Melody and myself around the blissful hills and valleys of West Dorset on a gorgeous day. Last walked seven years ago it was disturbing how many fields and hedges had changed since then, and how overgrown some of the paths were. But hey the sun was out and all seemed to be good sports and trustingly followed-my-leader where ere he wandered.

Bulls, excitable horses, electric fences too numerous to recall were all surmounted, if not with ease, at least persistance - finishing off in a near vertical cliff to round off a most enjoyable walk.

And finally the Three Horseshoes remained open to bless us with ginger beer, cold shandy and/or coffee and crown a universally delightful day in Deepest Dorset.

October 10th: Langford Budville (from JO)

Making the most of the Indian Summer !

Langford Budville


A baker’s dozen or walkers, both old and new, crammed into the small lay-by at Langford Heathfield on one of the hottest October days for years.
The chairman brandished a copy of the group’s fine publication Rambling in Somerset informing newcomers of the forthcoming walk that lay with twenty two others within the pages, and which was still available to buy from himself.
The party set off down from the heath towards the river, crystal clear in the hitherto dry conditions. Several gathered field mushrooms on the way. Soon the path followed the line of the old Grand Western Canal including a stately low bridge under the Holywell Lake road.
Re crossing the river over an ancient wrought iron bridge ,the group had a welcome breather at Runnington Church before traversing a number of large arable fields to enter Langford Budville near its church.

September 9th: Chipstable (from Philip)

Thanks to Dot and Lynda for a very scenic walk from Chipstable, via Washbattle Bridge and Heydon Hill.


Cadbury Castle revisited (JO)

Parrock Hill

More than a dozen members made the long journey into South Somerset to complete Colin and Heather's circuit of part of the Monarch's Way, last visited over ten years ago. The famous hill fort has a fine viewing platform that held interest for walkers trying to spot distant features. The way off the hill was first pioneered by members of the RIS team when adding the Castle Cary to Marston Magna walk to the booklet.
Parrock Hill to the south ,is an ideal spot to idle away a summer's afternoon as it affords exceptional panoramic views. The route continued southwards along the famous Corton Ridge before returning via the scenic village of Corton Denham. Many walkers ended the day at the nearby Camelot Inn, a few celebrating an England win over India at cricket.

September 2nd: Simonsbath (from Sue CB) Simonsbath

Taunton Deane were joined by ramblers from Wiltshire, Exeter and West Somerset for a circular walk from Simonsbath returning via the River Barle. The picture (taken by Sue) shows the group near Exe Head and Tangs Bottom. We had stopped to look at a large herd of red deer two fields away.

August 12th: Beer and Seaton (from John O)




Despite heavy overnight rain and high winds, and an uncertain weather forecast, 48 eventually turned up at Hankridge with very mixed hopes for the day !
Twelve alighted at Sidmouth’s seafront with a tough 10.7 mile walk in prospect ; one that ,with conditions in mind, not all were prepared to face.
A smaller group descended in heavy mist at the Donkey Sanctuary, and even more found the toilets nearby very handy ! Ten or so minutes later the coach driver kindly pulled over at the sombrely named Hangman’s Stone for 22 to brave the elements. The remaining three went on to Beer for a short walk over the hill to Seaton.
In order to keep the “short” walk an appropriate length and difficulty, the route lay down the larger of Branscombe’s valleys to then climb up and traverse the Headland down to Beer. This stiff climb up through woodland was made memorable by wandering bellowing cows. The chairman, now leading, soon slightly lost his way in the thick mist covering the large fields here, but soon recovered to find Mare Lane, the route down into Beer.
Finally , at Beer’s seafront ,a wander and a leisurely lunch was taken. Could the mist finally be lifting ? Without the expected three extra walkers , the party set off up over Beer Head to descend to the beach at Seaton Hole.
There was time to explore some of Seaton before a “do-it-yourself” tea at the restaurant that is now part of the complex of Seaton Jurassic.
Walkers, bus riders and taxi riders arrived at intervals over the next fifty minutes to enjoy tea cake or scones. Some had time to explore parts of the complex before being “rounded up” to board the waiting coach. Ironically, after two months of usually sunny days the sun at last made an appearance !
Thanks must go to the organisers and walk leaders, particularly Michael and Janice who led the tougher walk in unfavourable conditions.


Aug 3rd Curry Mallet (from Philip) Curry Mallet

A very pleasant walk around fields and lanes, finishing with a meal at The Bell.

July 29th East Quantoxhead (from Philip)


Despite the end of the heat wave (at least for a while), less rain fell than anticipated.  There was even time for tea and cake at Kilve Chantry, in the company of one of the 'locals'!

July 22nd: Zig Zag Hill, Tollard Royal
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)