Inspired by Coleridge
Updated: May 17, 2019
I wanted to walk the Coleridge way when it only went from Porlock to Nether Stowey. Then I discovered it had been lengthened to include Lynmouth, making it 51 miles, too long to be done in the three days available. With the real Coleridge Way no longer an option I set about devising a route covering the same area of Somerset but including some other bits. So the walk Three Days Across Somerset came about. I was about to be surprised.
Walking with my dog Polly, freind Tricia and her rescue dog Lucy, we spoilt ourselves by travelling to Luxborough the day before the walk started. The Royal Oak Inn proved to be a good choice, nice food and the dogs were allowed into our rooms.
So Day One we drove close to the summit of Dunkery Beacon and started our walk by heading to the summit cairn. Immediately the views over the Bristol Channel to Wales and up the Somerset Coast to Brean Down amazed us. We continued to Dunkery gate and left the moor to walk down the valley, joining the Coleridge Way as it crossed the stream in the bottom.
A stiff climb through shady woodland brought us out in a hidden valley, we gradually dropped down until a short climb took us to the village of Cutcombe. A stone based lane led us up again, we paused breifly to eat our picnic in a hail storm and gathered our spirits, expecting to spend the rest of the afternoon in the forcast rain. We were spared, the sky cleared and the sun came out and we enjoyed panoramic views as we walked through grassy meadows spotted with buttercup, lady's smock and lots of other wild flowers. Before we knew it we were heading downhill again to Luxborough. A cup of tea and bath, then supper with the rain pouring down outside.
Day Two started sunny and remained so. Immediately out of the pub and we were climbing again, regaining the views, not as far today, but just as beautiful. A path through Crown Estate woodland took us into Roadwater and the unusual pub sign outside The Valiant Soldier, unfortunately we were too early for lunch. A long gradual climb on a good path took us to Sticklepath where we lunched in the sunshine. Continuing our climb through beech woods, bright green with new leaves we encountered a short section of road before more woodland. This time almost a mile of bluebells, still in full bloom and very fragrant. Soon we hit civilisation again and a short section of road and Farmland took us to Stogumber and the comfort of Hall Farm Bed and Breakfast.
Day Three, a bit sad really to find ourselves already on our final day. A bit of road, some farmland and crossing the busy A358 took us to the edge of the Quantock Hills.
We procrastinated, unwilling to tackle the steep climb ahead of us, but gradually with lots of stopping to look at the ever growing views we got onto the top. Here navigation is always tricky with so many paths in so many directions, but we were able to find our way in the end. A short diversion to the Hill fort and more Bluebells before we joined the road and joined the Coleridge way again. We thought it was now downhill all the way, but I hadn't noticed the little climb up castle hill on entering Nether Stowey. We made it, walked down the lovely high street and turned left to find Coleridge's cottage and opposite The Ancient Mariner for tea.