Combe Down, Horsecombe Vale and Tucking Mill
Walk 2 - by Monkton Combe W.I.
print version of instructions
print version of map
Time: about 1½ hours, steep in parts
Start: By the Wheelwrights Arms in Monkton Combe
Parking: In village car park opposite the church (GR
Maps: OS Explorer 155 Landranger 172
From the Wheelwrights Arms, turn west, follow the road
bearing right past the Church. Where the road beds left, take
the drung (footpath) straight ahead. A steep climb, with good
views behind encouraging pauses, brings you to Shaft Road,
where you turn immediately left through a kissing-gate to a
drung between walls - follow this. Cross the next lane and
continue with a Quarry (inactive) on your left and playing
fields on your right, to a road between Monkton Combe Junior
School on your left and busy allotment gardens on your right.
Turn left into Church Road, follow into Belmont Road on the
left, and down to cross Summer Lane into Beechwood Road
straight ahead. Walk along this road to Public Footpath sign
on the left, down between the houses and diagonally left
across the field to a stile into a wood. Follow the main path
down through the wood to another stile, then along the edge of
the wood with fenced field to the left. (The romantic
looking tower rising from the woods is a folly belonging to
Midford Castle). Steep steps lead down to the right with
memorial plaques to two Cotswold Wardens - Cyril Love and Des
Cory. At the stile at the bottom, turn left - but you may like
to make a few yards diversion to the right to the boundary
stone of Lyncombe and Widcombe Parishes (L and W) from where
you can look up Horsecombe Vale.
Follow along the valley, with the stream on your right,
cross a stile by another stream and turn right through an iron
gate to pass the Wessex Water Authority Research Station on
your right. Go under the handsome viaduct of the late Somerset
and Dorset Railway (which here plunged under Combe Down
through a long tunnel to reach Green Park Station in Bath, now
Sainsbury's Supermarket), and walk past the lake, which has
facilities for disabled anglers provided by Wessex Water.
Take the footpath on the right to the lane at Tucking Mill.
On your left is a gothic revival cottage with a memorial
William Smith, the father of English Geology - although it
is probable that he actually lived in the next house on the
left, when he was surveying the route for the Somerset Coal
Turn left and follow the lane back to Monkton Combe with
the Midford Brook below on the right. You can take a short cut
through a kissing-gate and the churchyard, just after a bend
to the left, and so to the Wheelwrights Arms.