Chew Stoke in April

Thursday 11th April – Chew Stoke

Walk Leaders: Roger & Barbara

A walk starting from the Chew Kitchen, BS40 8EA, grid ref. 562 621 OS map154. Tel. 01275 332933. Please park in the lower car park and as parking is very limited please car share if you can. Please meet at 9.15 ready to leave at 9.30. Facilities will be available as usual.

We start off along the road to Scott Lane up the hill to a gate which leads up across the field to the north west. We join the lane to Blackmoor and continue across the fields down to the stream and up to Spring Farm. We pass the aqueduct and there are far reaching views to the north. Here we start the climb to Crown Hill up a stony gully which could be muddy. At the top we turn south down the lane and on to Leighdown Farm. Our route takes us to Hounsley Batch and we join the Monarch’s Way. Then it is back across the fields up to North Farm where we should have some good views towards the Mendips. We head south crossing the stream where a culvert takes water to the reservoirs at Barrow Gurney. We continue across the fields to the church and then back through the village to the Chew Kitchen.

The walk is about 5.5 miles and it is HILLY. There are 2 stiles [sorry, one is not dog- friendly but it is possible to lift a dog over] and lots of gates. There could be plenty of mud at the gateways if we have much rain.

A better day for a walk in the beautiful Somerset countryside would be hard to imagine. Clear blue skies with a cooling breeze and nature starting to wake up to summer. We even saw our first swallows!

16 walkers set off from our starting point at the Chew Kitchen in Chew Stoke ( where we have been before) including 2 new members, Joyce and Michelle, who were welcomed by the group.

Leaving the village past some lovely cottages we entered a field and went up to Blackmoor, in the distance a ventilation tower for the pipeline taking water from Chew lakes to the reservoirs at Barrow Gurney. Over some more fields, over a stream then up to Spring farm, past the aqueduct (more like a large pipe on stilts, carrying water as previously mentioned). Lovely views northwards at this point to Dundry and Bristol beyond, then up a fairly steep gulley to our coffee break, and get your breath back, with lovely views south this time towards Mendip. Then crossing some more fields with some lively young heifers, Roger setting off as a diversion, and was totally ignored by them!

After a visit to the church and the old packhorse bridge, with some interesting facts from our walk leader, back to the Chew Kitchen for a very nice lunch. Many thanks to Barbara and Roger for this lovely walk and for arranging such lovely weather! Report by John L

Note: John also gave a zero report for our “mudometer” but the predictive text changed that to the “judo meter”!! Interesting.