Walk and Christmas lunch

Thursday 5th December – Horrington

Walk Leaders: Patsy & Don

A short walk to whet your appetite before the Walking Group Christmas party. Please arrive at St Thomas Hall in time to leave your contributions to the buffet table and get yourselves ready so that we can set off on the walk by 10.00

We head off up the Bath road from St Thomas Church Hall, and turn South down the lane to the path leading East towards the Wells Golf Course, which we cross – keeping to the public foot path and donging the bell before going across the driving range. From there we skirt round the newly created nature reserve and head up round South Horrington, then cross the A39 to take the path up hill towards West Horrington. Up high there will be time for a coffee stop with a view. The next stretch of the walk is tricky and sticks are definitely recommended as we head down some leaf covered steps to the foot bridge in Berryl Wood. Over the bridge we take the uneven path up the natural steps through the woods. To exit the woods we need to dodge a fallen tree (over & under branches). Round the field at the top we go over the only stile, which is dog friendly, and into the beech woods on Knapp Hill. From there it is downhill all the way back via Hawkers Lane.

We will take great care where necessary, but most of the walk is on firm ground, somewhat squidgy grass, and pavement – but there will be some mud where dog walkers frequent the paths. There were sheep in a field near Berryl but no other livestock. Only 1 stile, and just under four miles. We turned the walk round from the original proposed walk, to make the section down to the bridge and up, less hazardous.

We left St Thomas’s church hall turning right for a short distance to take the lane south to meet the path going east to the Wells golf course which we crossed, there were no golfers on the course, no doubt Patsy had warned them of our excursion and they had kept indoors. We crossed the driving range after banging on a “gong” and frightening all the birds away.

The range was covered in little white balls which one of our party wanted to pinch at least one, shan’t mention any names but was stopped from committing a breach of golfing rules namely a stranger shall not touch a golfers balls. Leaving the course we passed along the edge of a private newish nature reserve on land owned by a nearby resident. We crossed the Old Frome Road and headed up hill along the edge of South Horrington turning left along Upper Breach until meeting the B3139, crossing over and taking the path across fields covered in glorious organic “stuff” which the farmer had kindly laid down for us to inhale to clear our sinus’s. We stopped for a coffee break and a chance to enjoy the view, which was restricted by fog.

Setting off again uphill for a short distance until turning left into Beryl Wood. We crossed a foot bridge and in due course left wood by a stile which had as an added obstacle a fallen tree in front which gave a choice of going under or over branches, either way was a bit tricky. Now all downhill via Knapp Hill. The fog had cleared enough for better views. On way down we could see three churches in one view ie St. Thomas’s, St Cuthbert's and Wells Cathedral, wonderful.

The walk of under four miles only had one stile and was quite easy but did work up an appetite for a delicious lunch. Thank you, Patsy and Don, for walk and thanks to all those helpers who did lunch duty.
Report by Harry

The group Christmas lunch was attended by nearly 40 members. Everyone enjoyed hot mulled wine or mulled apple juice and canapés to start with before sitting down to the delicious food that members had brought along, especially the desserts (even Christmas pudding).

Then the entertainment – an extremely funny Aladdin panto performed by some brave members of the group.

Then the prize giving: - a silver cup for Shelagh for being caught on camera sat on the ground having slipped, a medal for Patsy who was the only person to have walked more than 100 miles during the year (Patsy then presented the medal to Peter who was a very reluctant walker but who had walked 87 miles), Patsy also won the “boot” for leading the muddiest walk of the year in Farrington Gurney and finally the coveted “stile” prize was presented to Allan for the most difficult sile of the year.

This was followed by the annual slide show of photos taken during the year, reminding everyone what a super year of walking the group had enjoyed.