Walking DPS:Layout 1
A ramble around Nunney HERE’S a circular ramble in East Mendip from picturesque Nunney village with its ruined castle – an ideal reasonable length walk before winter sets in and the days get even shorter. Follow the Macmillan Way and East Mendip Way going through dramatically named places such as Murder Combe and Bedlam. From Nunney, drop down to Nunney Combe and brook and later follow Fordbury Bottom to a pretty spot by the bridge at Great Elm. Continue along the brook and then Egford Brook before coming into open country. Walk through fields and the former golf course before coming back to Nunney village with a great pub and a cafe with muchpraised cream teas. There are no major hills and it is a good dog walk. Some paths are uneven and could be slippery. I’ve designed the walk in order to enjoy the castle and village at the end so start early giving yourself plenty of time. PARK: In Nunney village, a couple of miles SW of Frome. Find the spacious free Quarry Gardens car park in the village centre just above the castle. It has a restful garden and picnic area there in the old quarry. Note the closing time of the car park – 4.30pm in winter.
START: Enter the quarry garden through the gate at the back of the car park and go right along the fence, under the arch and
along by the adventure cycle track. Not far along, turn back sharply left. This path leads into fields. Bear ahead and then diagonally right down to Nunney Brook passing horse jumps. Cross on a bridge by the ford.
1. NUNNEY BROOK Turn left with the brook left, through a mix of open areas and woodland. It can be uneven and slippery under foot. Look out for otters, kingfishers, dippers and birds of prey. 2. FOOTBRIDGE Reach a track junction and go left over a footbridge, then up the track to the road. Cross to the footpath opposite. Follow the field edge and by a corner, turn right through a metal kissing gate and go up the left field edge climbing gently. Reach a footpath and stile left. But, don’t take it. Instead, stay in the field and bear 90 degrees right across to a house on the other side. Exit the field through a Bristol Gate (with pedestrian access built in) and out past a house – formerly the old Sun Inn – to the road in Whatley.
With Sue Gearing PAGE 62 • MENDIP TIMES • NOVEMBER 2017
3. WHATLEY Turn left and shortly, at the bend, go down right past the village notice board, then left between walls on the marked footpath. Just past Whatley Cottage, go through one of several wooden kissing gates installed by the Mendip Ramblers. Turn right on the drive and follow a
narrow footpath ahead at the side of a house. Cross into a very pleasant field. Turn right and go through another gate. In the field follow the right edge and go right through a gate and then left in the same direction as before following the hedge on your left. Continue all the way until you reach the road in Murder Combe. 4. MURDER COMBE Cross to follow the Macmillan Way in woodland above Fordbury Water on a good firm wide track. Stay up, ignoring side turns. Eventually at a junction go down left on a stony track and left down the road to Great Elm and the Mells Stream, a picturesque duck haunt.
5. GREAT ELM Just before the bridge, turn right through a gate on the East Mendip Way into Vallis Vale following the fast flowing water, once the source of so much industry along here with many mills harnessing the power of the brook. Go on under a rail bridge in an area known as Bedlam. 6. BEDLAM Keep on, going under a footbridge and then over a footbridge across the Mells Stream and continue with the water on your right. Pass a couple of lime kilns on the way. Stay close to the water and reach two footbridges. Take the second across the Mells Stream and now follow Egford Brook. Further on, leave the East Mendip Way which goes up left. Just stay along
Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas