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WALKING IN SOMERSET

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LONG DISTANCE PATHS RUNNING THROUGH THE REGION ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN WHITE
 

Exmoor and The Quantocks, Sue Viccars - Exmoor National Park comprises 265 square miles, of which about two-thirds lie in west Somerset and the remaining third in north Devon. Its northern boundary is the Bristol Channel coast, stretching in a dramatic series of cliffs interrupted only by the Vale of Porlock, from North Hill above Minehead in the east to Little Hangman above Combe Martin in the west. This collection of walks ranges from the bare expanses of the Chains, the last real wilderness on Exmoor, to a picturesque riverside route along the Exe, from Badgworthy Water to a coastal walk taking in the spectacular Valley of the Rocks. Pathfinder� Guides are Britain's best loved walking guides. They are the perfect companion for country walks throughout Britain. Each title features 28 circular walks with easy-to-follow route descriptions, all tried and tested by seasoned walkers. The routes range from extended strolls to exhilarating hikes, so there is something for everyone.  Published May 11 Somerset, The Mendips and Wiltshire Walks, Sue Viccars and Nick Channer - The Pathfinder Guide to Somerset, the Mendips and Wiltshire has been fully revised and updated and contains 28 great country walks with clear, large-scale Ordnance Survey route maps and GPS waypoints. The book guides you to the best country walking in both counties, Somerset and Wiltshire rank as two of the most attractive counties in Britain. Landscapes range from the breezy heights of the Mendips to the flat meadows of the Somerset Levels, perfect for walkers of mixed ability, families and young children. Walkers can experience a variety of walking routes in a range of difficulty of walks with this Pathfinder guide, including the famous Stonehenge, and sites that have inspired a host of romantic myths and legends, including King Arthur. The walks take in these sites, with walks ranging in length from 3 to 10 miles, they have something for everyone and continue to be Britain best-loved walking guides. Published April 10. 

ISBN: 9781854585295 - Somerset, the Mendips and Wiltshire

Somerset: From Bath to The Quantocks, Sue Viccars - This selection of walks seeks out the different features that reflect the natural beauty of the area from Bath to the Quantocks. Included are the Mendip Hills, one of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which are fractured by deep, dramatic gorges and dry valleys honeycombed with spectacular caves such as those at Cheddar and Wookey. Somerset's coast is explored in walks starting from Kilve and Brean Bird Garden. The cliffs support several important habitats and, on a clear day, offer fine views towards the Welsh coast. The routes also incorporate manmade wonders, such as the magnificent Avoncliff aqueduct and historic Montacute House. Going for a longer holiday or want more Somerset walks? Pathfinder Guides are Britain's best loved walking guides. They are the perfect companion for country walks throughout Britain. Each title features 28 circular walks with easy-to-follow route descriptions, all tried and tested by seasoned walkers. The routes range from extended strolls to exhilarating hikes, so there is something for everyone.  Published December 10
On Foot in Bath, Andrew Swift - Like his eighteenth-century namesake, acerbic and satirical, Dr Swift is the perfect companion to guide you round the World Heritage Site. Lavishly illustrated in full colour, with photographs, engravings and archive maps to guide you on, these 15 walks range from gentle strolls around the city's streets to challenging climbs through woods and along country lanes to visit spectacular buildings high in the hills above. Nine of the walks are step-free or have step-free alternatives indicated, and all start and end in the heart of the city. Published August 12.

ISBN: 9780956098948 - On Foot in Bath

Literary Walks in Bath: Eleven Excursions in the Company of Eminent Authors, Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott - Few cities have been so celebrated in print as Bath - from Smollett to Jane Austen, from Dickens to Fanny Burney, and from Sheridan to Georgette Heyer. Many other famous writers have passed through as well - Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in a house in the Abbey Church Yard, Coleridge met his wife in the city, and in the twentieth century John Betjeman championed its architectural heritage. Even Shakespeare - or so it is believed - turned up to take a dip in the hot springs. These eleven walks look at Bath through their eyes, creating a vivid social history of the city over the last 300 years and bringing the past alive with unparalleled immediacy. Fully illustrated, and including in-depth accounts of the writers and works featured, they can either be followed on foot or - with the aid of historic maps of the city - read as a series of essays. Published May 12.

ISBN: 9780956098931 - Literary Walks in Bath
 

Cotswold Way: Chipping Campden to Bath, Tricia and Bob Hayne - Practical walking guide with 49 large scale maps (1:20,000). Includes detailed accommodation guide, pubs and restaurants and full public transport information. With 5 town plans and 44 walking maps - at just under 1:20,000 - showing route times, gradients, where to stay, interesting features: includes GPS waypoints. Itineraries for all walkers - whether walking the route in its entirety over 7 - 8 days or sampling the highlights on day walks and short breaks. Practical information for all budgets - Chipping Campden through to Bath: where to stay (campsites, hostels, B&Bs, pubs and hotels), where to eat, what to see. Published June 12.

ISBN: 9781905864485 - Cotswold Way




 

Somerset Coast Path, Damian Hall - One day soon the Somerset Coast Path – from the heart of Bristol to Lynton/Lynmouth – will form part of the planned England Coast Path. Much of it is already in place, and it's an eventful, dramatic walk. Damian Hill’s guide celebrates the landscape, towns and villages along the way, and introduces you to the history and wildlife that enrich this beautiful part of the country.
Published May 14.

ISBN: 9781781311851 - Somerset Coast Path

Drive and Stroll in Somerset, Roger Evans - A collection of twenty circular routes for those who enjoy a country drive to an attractive spot for a refreshing walk. Includes walks near Minehead, Taunton, Bridgwater, Yeovil, Wincanton, Wells, Frome and Bath. With maps and photographs. Published March 06

Drive and Stroll in Somerset

AA 100 Walks in South West England - Enjoy the best of the English countryside with this compact, and easy-to-carry walking guide offering highlights of Southwest England, its regional and topographical features, plus information on footpath signing, countryside access, walking tips and safety guidelines. The 100 walks cover the area in detail, with the distance of each ranging from two to ten miles depending on the terrain and interest along the way. Town and city strolls may be shorter depending on the hinterland. Published January 10.

 

AA 30 Walks Somerset (Cards)  - This original concept takes the most popular walks from the AA's best-selling and newly updated walks database and packages them on individual laminated cards in a durable box. The small and handy size means that the box can be stowed away in a pocket or handbag and single cards extracted at each walk start point. Clear and concise instructions plus a full-colour route map make the cards a joy to use. Published June 10. 

ISBN: 9780749564483 - Somerset

AA 50 Walks: Somerset - Walking is one of Britain's favourite leisure activities, and this guide features a variety of mapped walks to suit all abilities. The book features all of the practical detail you need, accompanied by fascinating background reading on the history and wildlife of Somerset, and clear mapping for ease of use. Every route has been colour coded according to difficulty. All walks are annotated with local points of interest and places to stop for refreshments. Every walk is given a summary of distance, time, gradient, level of difficulty, type of surface and access, landscape, dog friendliness, parking and public toilets. Published September 13.

ISBN: 9780749574857 - Somerset

The South-West Coast Path, Paddy Dillon - This second edition of the South West Coast Path guide contains a clear and accurate route description (in 45 day stages), with inland alternatives where appropriate, accommodation and facility guide, colour photographs and full colour OS maps. Published April 04.

The South West Coast Path (British Long-distance Trails S.)

For More on South-West Coast Path see Long Distance Books

Pub Strolls in Somerset, Anne Marie-Edwards - A collection of 30 short walks based on good local pubs, this guide includes routes at Dulverton, Nether Stowey, South Cadbury, Corfe and Muchelney. Published March 04

Pub Strolls in Somerset

Pub Walks in the Mendips, Pete Forrester - Twenty circular walks based on good local pubs, this guide includes routes at Cheddar, East Harptree, Wells, Stratton-on-the-Fosse and Oldford. Published April 04

Pub Walks in the Mendips

Pub Walks for Motorists, Bristol and Bath, Somerset and Gloucestershire, Nigel Vile - Forty circular routes around this popular walking area, each based on a good local pub. Includes routes around the Quantocks, the Mendips, the Severn estuary and the Cotswolds. Published June 05


Pub Walks for Motorists: Bristol & Bath, Somerset & Gloucestershire

Pocket Pub Walks in Somerset, Roger Evans - A pocket sized collection of fifteen circular walks each based on a local pub serving good food, with maps and photographs. Published May 08

ISBN: 9781846740688 - Pocket Pub Walks in Somerset

Adventurous Pub Walks in Somerset, Roger Evans - This work presents twenty circular walks varying in length between seven and twelve miles based around good local pubs. It includes routes on Exmoor and near Glastonbury, Bridgwater and Taunton, along with maps and photographs. Published April 07 Where Wiltshire Meets Somerset, Roger Jones - 20 best walks in the country around Bath, Bradford on Avon, Westbury, Warminster and Frome. Published March 13.

ISBN: 9781906641559 - Where Wiltshire Meets Somerset
 

Somerset A Dog Walker's Guide, Roger Evans - Once you get off your home patch, it is hard to know where you are allowed to walk safely with your dog, and which pubs and cafes will welcome you both. The circular routes vary in length from 1 and three quarters and 5 and a half miles and each walk has information on the distance and terrain, livestock likely to be encountered, number and type of stiles en route and, in an emergency, the nearest veterinary surgery. The routes give dogs and their owners the chance to explore the county's beautiful countryside. Published April 09

Somerset A Dog Walker's Guide

Bristol and Bath: A Dog Walker's Guide, Nigel Vile - 20 circular routes varying in length from 2 to 7 miles around Bristol & Bath. Woodland walks at Bourton Combe and Lower Woods; stretches of coastal path at Clevedon and Littleton-upon-Severn; riverside paths at Chew Magna and Snuff Mills and wide open spaces at Hawkesbury Upton and Blackdown on the Mendip Hills.  Published March 12.

ISBN: 9781846742934 - Bristol & Bath - a Dog Walker's Guide

 

Somerset Teashop Walks, Roger Evans - Twenty circular walks, based on good local teashops, including routes at Burnham-on-Sea, Porlock, Bruton and Chewton Mendip. Published May 05

Somerset Teashop Walks

A Boot Up the Mendips, Rodney Legg - One thousand-feet high, the Mendip Hills rise between the Somerset Levels and Bristol's countryside. Uplifted limestone from the Coal Age offers an outdoor lesson in landform geology. The great ridge is riddled with caverns and cut by streams that disappear into underground rivers. These have created the most famous cave systems in the British Isles. At Burrington Combe, Cheddar Caves, Ebbor Gorge and Wookey Gorge we explore rocky chasms. On Brean Down and Crook Peak you rise above the holiday coast. The type of walking varies with the terrain from uphill scrambles to long lengths of easy-going green lanes. The ten selected walks, ranging from 3 to 8 miles, suit the needs of families, groups of friends or individuals looking for a gentle stroll or a longer walk. Published April 09.

ISBN: 9781906887100 - The Mendips

 

A Boot Up the Quantocks, Brian Pearce - Quantocks means `the headland of the waters.' The headland in this case is a ridge of hills running for twelve miles between Taunton and the Severn Estuary. Although never more than four miles wide and sandwiched between the Somerset Levels and the Vale of Taunton Deane, they rise to over twelve hundred feet (the highest point being Wills Neck) and afford sweeping views over much of Somerset. The hills offer great variety for the walker: with ancient trackways over a gently-rolling summit of heath running down to deep shady combes and picture postcard villages of rich red stone. Coleridge and Wordsworth both made the area briefly their home. The writer and photographer Brian Pearce describes ten circular walks. All are `leisure walks' - ideal for families and groups of friends, moderate in both length and difficulty and with opportunities to stop for refreshments, take in the views and, like the poets, be inspired by the scenery. On each page photographs entice the visitor to explore and then hold on to the book as a souvenir of a gem of the English countryside. Published April 09.

ISBN: 9781906887148 - The Quantocks

A Boot Up the Somerset Levels, Rodney Legg. Gripes, gutters, ditches, rhynes, drains and rivers. These are the six stages of water management in the withy wetlands of Somerset. Marshland continued to be drained for thousands of years. Monastic sea walls and causeways were followed by Parliamentary enclosure acts. Now the process is partially in reverse with much of the worked-out peatlands being encouraged to revert to nature in an extensive series of wildlife sanctuaries. Herons abound, the otter and the water vole are back, and great flocks of wintering duck and geese return each winter to Bridgwater Bay. History ranges from monastic fish-ponds to the site of the Duke of Monmouth's Sedgemoor battlefield and the airfield from which the bombers took off for Australia to test Britain's nuclear weapons. Many of the walks feature a pub along the route. Published May 10. 

ISBN: 9781906887865 - A Boot Up the Somerset Levels

A Boot Up Bath, Rodney Legg - Roman Bath, like Rome itself, is surrounded by its  Seven Hills. These are the obvious target for walks up and out of the city. Inevitably, however, they are somewhat demanding, so walks that are short but strenuous have been mixed with those that are easy but longer. The latter, with circuits up to nine miles, stretch out along the River Avon and its partner in the landscape, the Kennet and Avon Canal. The towpath heads towards creations of industrial archaeology of national renown, such as the Dundas Aqueduct, where canal long-boats cross three other transport systems - rail, river and road. Scenic and exhilarating country walking is literally within sight and step as you reach out from the city. On one side the landscape becomes the Cotswold Hills, encapsulated at its most civilised in Dyrham Park, whereas on the other side the deep-cut valleys hide some of the most desirable homes in the land, around villages like Combe Hay. The ten selected walks, ranging from 3 to 8 miles, suit the needs of families, groups of friends or individuals looking for a gentle stroll or a longer walk, and reflect the many varied facets of the area. Published September 10
 

ISBN: 9781906887841 - A Boot Up Bath

A Boot Up Bristol, Rodney Legg - Dramatically poised on the edge of the Avon Gorge, the city of Bristol incorporates its own walking country. Wild walks and country walks begin from Clifton Down. The Clifton Suspension Bridge links both with genteel Ashton Park and the virtual jungle of Leigh Woods. There is also a rich and romantic strand of maritime history from the Romans at Sea Mills to Brunel's steamship SS Great Britain back in the dock where she was built. Ten selected walks, each in a circuit of five to nine miles, tackle varying terrain and suit the needs of families, groups of friends or individuals looking for a gentle stroll or a longer walk. They also explore the city's setting, just beyond the urban sprawl, where you can escape into a very different world. Rocky chasms fringe the Mendip Hills. On the other side of the great conurbation are the Bristol Channel marshes below the two Severn Bridges. Bristol abounds in engineering works on the grand scale. The practical route-master approach, with easy to follow descriptions and maps, is laced with quirky potted facts about connections and treasures en route. Photographs likewise are chosen both to capture the feeling and theme of very different walks that bring an element of excitement to the easiest, cheapest and healthiest leisure pursuit. Published September 10.

ISBN: 9781906887858 - A Boot Up Bristol

A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Somerset, James Clancy and Simone Stanbrook-Bryne - This second book in the series entices the walker to explore the wonderful landscapes for which Somerset is renowned. Incorporating the drama of high moorland and stunning coastline, the book is aimed at those who like to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of their day's walking. Options on shorter or easier routes are given where practical for those who prefer less of a challenge. Encompassing the best of the Somerset countryside, this book also introduces the walker to deep river gorges, picturesque valleys and idyllic villages. More than just a walking guide, each route includes details of local refreshment stops, places to stay and nearby places of interest. Historic notes, authors' tips and pointers on natural history are also included.
A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Somerset will also appeal to photographers who are sure to find plenty of subject matter along these fabulous routes. The exceptional photography which accompanies each walk tempts the reader to venture out and share the authors' love of Somerset's great outdoors. Published April 11

 

ISBN: 9781907942020 - A Dozen Dramatic Walks in Somerset

The Somerset Coast: Beaches and Walks, Robert Hesketh.  Limited availability. Published January 11.

Walks on the Mendip Hills, James Alsop, Limited availability. Published June 10

Walking Close to Cheddar Gorge, Clive Brown.  Limited availability. Published June 10.

ISBN: 9781907669323 - Walking Close to Cheddar Gorge (No. 32)

Also:
Glastonbury
The Quantock Hills

100 Walks in Somerset and Avon. An omnibus of local walks covering the whole of Somerset and Avon. It includes the Mendip Hills, the Quantock Hills and part of Exmoor. The walks vary in length from 3 to 12 miles, the majority being in the 4/6 mile range. Limited availability.  Published April 93

cover

For More on Bristol, Bath and Avon - see Avon Books

Collier's Way: History and Walks in the Somerset Coalfield, Peter Collier. Limited availability. Published April 99
 

Where Somerset meets Wiltshire, Roger Jones - 20 best walks around Bath, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and Frome. Limited availability.  Published April 06

Short Walks for All Ages in Somerset, Sue Robinson - 20 short walks for all the family. Limited availability. Published May 13. 

Pub Walks in Somerset, Mike Power. Limited availability. Published July 02

 

BESTWALKS HOME PAGE AND FULL INDEX

OR USE QUICK LINKS BELOW TO GO DIRECT TO ANOTHER AREA

LONG DISTANCE PATHS

BRITAIN GENERAL

AVON

BEDFORDSHIRE

BERKSHIRE

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

CAMBRIDGESHIRE CHESHIRE
CHILTERNS COTSWOLDS
CORNWALL DERBYSHIRE
DARTMOOR DEVON
DORSET DURHAM
ESSEX GLOUCESTERSHIRE
HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE
HEREFORDSHIRE LEICESTERSHIRE
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

OXFORDSHIRE

PENNINES

ISLE OF WIGHT KENT
LAKE DISTRICT AND CUMBRIA LANCASHIRE
LINCOLNSHIRE LONDON

NORFOLK

NORTHUMBERLAND

PEAK DISTRICT

SHROPSHIRE

SOMERSET & EXMOOR

STAFFORDSHIRE

SUFFOLK

SURREY

SUSSEX

WARWICKSHIRE

WORCESTERSHIRE

WEST MIDS/HEART OF ENGLAND

WILTSHIRE

YORKSHIRE DALES

NORTH YORK MOORS

YORKSHIRE [OTHER]

WALES [general]

BRECON BEACONS/ BLACK MTNS

CLWYD

DYFED

GLAMORGAN & GOWER

GWYNEDD

POWYS

SNOWDONIA

ANGLESEY

SCOTLAND [general]

SOUTH-EAST SCOTLAND

SOUTH-WEST SCOTLAND

ARGYLL & BUTE

STIRLING

PERTH & KINROSS, ANGUS AND FIFE

NORTH-EAST SCOTLAND
[Aberdeenshire, Moray, Cairngorms]

HIGHLANDS

ISLANDS

IRELAND [general]

NORTHERN IRELAND

WEST OF IRELAND

EAST OF IRELAND

SOUTH OF IRELAND

 

 

 

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LOCAL RESOURCES

Coleridge Way
, the 36-mile footpath from the Quantocks to Exmoor. Full directions from

www.coleridgeway.co.uk

For accommodation on the Coleridge Way - Exmoor House, Wheddon Cross - see advertisement

iknow-somerset accommodation

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