Today, eight of us enjoyed a dry, but slightly blustery, walk around the Burrington Combe area of Somerset. In actual fact, though we titled the walk “Burrington Combe” that only describes the place where we met up and started out from. The walk featured spectacular woodland and fantastic vistas from strategic landmarks in the area.
Leaving Burrington Combe, we passed through Mendip Lodge Wood, which is managed woodland comprising a wide variety of species of tree. From there we went up onto Dolebury Warren and on to the Iron Age hill fort that is there. From there we could see across to Weston-super-Mare, the Bristol channel and the mountains of Wales beyond that. The hill fort itself is simply huge, and the surrounding rampart and other archaeological features are very much visible to this day.
Descending from the hill fort, we walked along Dolebury Bottom, Back Lane and on to Rowberrow Bottom, which together formed a gradual climb up a narrow, steep-sided and wooded valley with a stream down the middle. Over the years, people have built variety of interesting houses there, one of which was very much a “Grand Designs” type of house which fitted the landscape well. This had sprung up since we did the pre-walk a year earlier.
At Holloway Rocks we took an initially steep path up through Rowberrow Warren, which is an ancient wooded area consisting of tall deciduous and coniferous trees. Part way up we received a much-needed boost in the form of a selection of chocolate bars kindly provided by one of our group.
Emerging from the woodland, we came to an area of open heath-land known as Black Down, again with wonderful views down the hill to the surrounding area. We climbed on up to Beacon Batch, which is the highest summit in the region, and which has a raised triangulation point at the top. We sat round the east side of this to have our lunch so as to provide maximum shelter from the wind, which was quite strong at that point. We also took the opportunity to watch aeroplanes landing and taking off from Bristol Airport. The view was clear enough to determine the airline of each, particularly Easyjet with its bright orange livery.
After descending back down to Burrington Combe, we walked across the nature reserve at Burrington Ham. Here we took an interesting detour to a rock formation before taking some narrow paths down to the planned route and back to our starting point. The route that we originally pre-walked also took us past this rock formation, but then went along a public footpath to the Rock of Ages. We re-planned the route after discovering the path down was actually a cliff used for abseiling, and not best suited for walking.
If you would like to do this walk yourself, then we have plotted it on a map which can be found here.