Sun & air
Somerset Life|October 2020
Sun & air
SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE brings us a walk deep in the woods and high in the hills of the fabulous Mendips
SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE

Ambling through ancient King’s Wood, once part of a medieval royal hunting forest, this walk climbs to the airy heights of Wavering Down and passes through a deliciously rich range of wildlife habitats. When we were there brimstone butterflies, those delicate scraps of winged sunlight, were out in force. Listen for the laughing yaffle of green woodpeckers amongst the venerable trees.

The spaces are vast, so keeping away from other walkers should be no problem. Pack a picnic, pick a blue-sky day and prepare to be restored. This is one of those walks that is undoubtedly good for the soul, and, as I discovered this route the day before lockdown, it created a lovely memory to carry with me throughout the time of restrictions.

THE ROUTE

1 Start off along the road through Cross, passing the White Hart Inn on the left. In about 300m, before you reach the next inn, take a rough, uphill path going left off the road, by a dog-poo bin. This arrives at a wooden gate in 100m, beyond which a blue-arrowed post directs you obliquely right along a bridleway. The path still rises, with big views to the right across to the very man-made Cheddar Reservoir. The hum of the A38 travels with you. Ignore a right fork and keep on to the next arrowed post, from which our way lies ahead, ignoring the bridleway going left.

Almost immediately the path forks again, keep left, still climbing through lovely woodland, with glimpses across the valley to the right; trees slope up to the left. Eventually the path ceases to climb and is joined by a softly most upholstered stone wall. Although this woodland is all access land, the walk follows the clear bridleway ahead, traffic audible to the right.

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October 2020