In 2018, with a client, I walked a shortened version of The Coleridge Way from Dunkery Beacon to Nether Stowey. The whole route was stunningly beautiful, we were lucky with the weather and the views were amazing. One section stuck in my mind as needing a revisit. It was a bluebell wood, but well past it’s best. I’ve been thinking about returning for some time and had planned a short (4 mile) circular route to take another look.
One thing and another got in the way, a pandemic then a job as the major problems. However I now had a day off and drove to the edge of the Brendon Hills and the tiny village of Monksilver. Parking was very limited but I squeezed into a spot without blocking anyone’s way.
Once out of the village I walked above the brook, deep in the valley, crossing two tiny fords, along to the next settlement of Woodford.
Crossing the road, then turning left I started the gentle climb up the valley.
Shortly after walking past the lovely Nettlecombe Court the path gradually steepened until in Pookes wood it was really hard work. Pausing to catch breath and look at the view, I could see all the way across the Bristol Channel to South Wales.
A short section of road to Colton Corner and I was at the top. This time I was too early and the bluebells were up but not in flower.
It was downhill all the way now, and easy walking at first, later it became steeper and boggy but never impassable. Then it was over.
The walk was lovely, I had another lucky day weatherwise and walked in sunshine and shirtsleeves. There were sheep with lambs filling the grass fields so the experienced expedition dog Polly and new recruit Tiffin spent most of the walk on short leads. My route worked, which was most satisfying, and I didn’t get lost, even better. Sadly, the Notley Arms was closed, note to self to check the opening hours next time. I drove home smiling, relaxed with a not quite sunburn glow.