Guide to walks

Some sites of environmental interest

The area map gives some indication of where you may walk on local footpaths. Those with a number are on North Somerset's Definitive List of rights-of-way. The choice is yours! This photograph shows just one of our many peaceful lanes in winter.

Walk 1. A stroll around the village cannot be better guided than by Christine Crossland's "A Walk Around Winscombe".

Walk 2. Along the 'Strawberry Line' to King's Wood. About 2.5 miles. Starting from the Millennium Green (see centre-page map) walk south along the platform - important dates are stamped in brass on the edge. Pass along the track, over Woodborough Bridge, and see, on the left, what was once the Station Master's House. Further along you will pass under Lynch Bridge. Another half mile will bring you to a tunnel: with a torch you will be able to see the limestone formations (with trapped insects). After the tunnel, take the steep path up on the right, over a stile and through King's Wood, following the wall closely, to a car park. Come out of the car park, cross back over the road, watching out for traffic, and walk down the steep sunken road, once the coach road. Enter the field on the right onto a permissive path. This is Sladers Leigh, an ancient meadow, sometimes full of wild flowers. Clamber down through the steps to the railway walk and 'wend your way back whence you came'.

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Walk 3. Wincombe Church to Maxmills (circular walk) about 2 miles. From St. James Church (see photograph) walk down Church Road to Nut Tree Farm (see area map), turn left down the track just before the farmhouse. Pass over a style near Mill Pond Cottage (formerly the site of Woodborough Mill). Across the fields the water-works site to the right gives the position of Cox's Well. The artificial leet, created by cutting across the contours of the field, possibly dates from the Medieval period. Max House (c.1800) is on the left. In 1865 a perforated adze hammer (Neolithic) was discovered close by. The footpath joins Maxmill Lane at a stile: opposite is the pond of Max Mills Farm. The earliest documentary evidence for Max Mill dates from 1319. Turn left along the lane. At the end of the lane cross Barton Road and walk up the track (Shepherd's Lane), at the top turn left and follow the path through the woods back to the Parish Church of St. James (1236).

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St James Church Winscombe viewed across the valley from the A38

Walk 4. To Winscombe Church. About 1.5 miles. A walk to the Parish Church of St. James the Great is a must. Leave the Woodborough Inn and walk along Woodborough Road, see street map, past the bakery, where the Bird family baked for over 100 years. Just before going under the disused railway bridge you could take a diversion up to the right to see the Millennium Green, but if not carry on under the bridge until you reach a grassy triangle. Turn left here along Church Road past Nut Tree Farm (look out for the mounting block), and on up to the church (a descriptive guide is available within). Many authors have described the church's elegant 100 foot high 'Somerset' tower and the ancient yew tree at the entrance.

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 Walk 5. Along the 'Strawberry Line' to Sandford Stone - about 2.5 miles. Start at the Millennium Green. Walk north (away from the bridge). Preserved just off the platform are many of the original railway features picked out in original bricks. In spring and summer there are many wild flowers here that are typical of disused railway tracks. Keep going along the track, over the Accommodation Bridge, and along what was once the railway's embankment to pass 'The Grove' on your right, before returning to the track. Further along you will come to two bridges built of Triassic conglomerate, as are several of Winscombe's older buildings. The track eventually leads you to an industrial site called 'Sandford Stone' where, pleasingly, the station has been preserved in Great Western colours. Leaving the entrance turn right and walk along the main road towards Sandford village. Before reaching The Railway Inn (you should see, with some refreshment, the collection of photographs inside the inn) turn right, opposite Thatcher Cider, and walk along footpath 78 (see area map). The footpath eventually turns sharp left onto Hill Road. Two diversions are possible. One, opposite and to the left, would take you to the Methodist Church and The Church of All Saints: the other, just about opposite, would take you a short distance along Quarry Road to see the disused lime kilns, on the left. If neither appeals to you, turn right along Hill Road and then Sandford Road back to Winscombe's Woodborough Inn, for some more refreshment.

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