About 4.6 miles.
Easy walking. No Hills. No dangerous roads.
Time: about 2 ½ hours.
This walk starts at Crossways Chaffcombe.
Take the Chaffcombe Lane to Chaffcombe Gate Farm.
Continue past the Barn Farm buildings now converted to living accommodation on your left, continue along Cricket Lane passing over a stream go on for about 400 yards until you arrive at a stile on your left. It is dog friendly. The stile leads you through the land adjoining Ashton house with the tennis court. Very soon you will see some tree chain saw wood carvings and a Log House done by John an artist in the Parish of Chaffcombe.
Pass these and continue until you reach a stile/gate into a field.
Continue along the left hand side along the hedgerow. You will see the Tennis courts and some of the house on your left.
At the top of the field you will arrive at wide opening/gateway on your left go through it and turn right, follow the track along keeping the hedge on your right until you arrive at an iron barred field gate tied with string. Go through this gate taking care to close it.
Go straight ahead and cross the lane. You will see a church ahead of you.
The lane is footpath signposted To Wooley Lane ½ mile. And Mary Hunts grave 1m. Ignore the sign which states PRIVATE PROPERTY NO THROUGH ROAD as this lane is a recognised public right of way.
On about 250 yards the footpath takes two routes one around the front of the church the other around the back. Both lead to the same point eventually. The rear way gives access to the old small grave yard which is accessible and goes through some of the owners garden which they are using as a vegetable and compost area. You can pass through this way if you wish. The footpath should be 4ft wide .( but it isn’t)
Take the left hand path opposite and continue around the front of the old church which has been converted into living accommodation.
At the house next door go left and cross the small railway sleeper footbridge over the ditch, bear right and walk about 90 yards to the field wide access, opening on the right.
Bear left and walk along the hedgerow on your left. Good views of Sprays Hill straight ahead and follow the hedgerow along into the next field.
Dead ahead there is a dead Oak on the left.
Super views of Ilminster to the north
Follow the hedge keeping it on your left to next field. These are usually cropped with wheat of maize and the footpath is not obvious.
Keep walking keeping the hedge on your left. Try not to trample the crops. (the farmer should make provision for the path but never has in the past)
Arrive at a stile into a field leading towards Widgery Farm house. There is a track to your left.
The foot path follows a diagonal line across the field. Take care as this field is sometimes used by cattle.
Avoid the path and take the lane if cattle are in the field.
If you cross the field the stile is in the corner next to the farm house.
If in doubt take the track leading to Lane above the farmhouse.
At Wooley Lane turn left and walk along Wooley lane towards Knowle St Giles.
Good views of Ilminster in the distance to your right.
Pass Malherbie Court on left and continue until you reach Knowles St Giles Green. There is a Foot path sign to Bere Mills on your right. Ignore this.
Continue along Wooley lane on your right.
Pass some houses on your right and you will reach a bridge over the once GWR railway line. Proceed down the steep steps to the Sustrans cycle track passing a WW2 gun emplacement on your right. you can’t miss it.
Follow the Sustrans route for just 100 yard to admire the stream and view.
Retrace steps to bridge and pass the caterpillar tracks on the plinth. Under the bridge past the Stop Line Sign post and through the gate which is usually open.
Continue, Manor Farm is on your right.
Pass tank obstacles on right.
At an erect railway sleeper with Cycle route sign turn left through modern iron gate. There is a yellow painted arrow on the post near if you wish to return to the start via Woodhouse farm early.
If not continue to on towards the nature reserve. Following the Sustrans track.
At Chard North Sign and tank traps, under a bridge,
Continue to Touches lane.
Turn left at the cycle barriers and proceed down Touches Lane. At a large oak on left an obvious path becomes visible walk towards this and enter the Nature Reserve. Keep Dogs on leads.
Walk across the meadow until you arrive at a gate opening a sign forbidding dogs is evident. Turn right here and continue along the tarmac path until you reach the next meadow, walk across diagonally until you reach the main entrance on Touches lane near Oakland’s car park.
Leave the reserve and turn left along Touches lane until you reach a stile sign posted Paintmoor lane, climb this and walk across field to footbridge. Care needed as Ducks may be in the stream and cattle in the field.
Over the footbridge and walk to the stile straight ahead.
This path leads to Paintmoor lane. it is marrow and fenced to one side with woodland on the other.
On reaching the lane turn left and walk the length until you reach Chaffcombe lane. At this point turn right along Walscombe farm lane to the footpath stile on the left, cross field to Chaffcombe lane turn left and return to Crossways.
This is only 4.6 miles and should take only 2 ½ hours, unless you have too many sticks, lost balls and river stops.
All images Copyright © Lewis Bates