Categories
Somerset South West

Dowsborough Hillfort and Hodder’s Combe

Description:
This 8 miles / 12.9km walk goes through woodland before visiting Dowsborough Hillfort.  It then descends to Holford and goes through the attractive Hodder’s Combe before ascending steeply to Higher Hare Knapp.  There are outstanding views across the Bristol Channel from this walk.  A short section of this walk around Holford follows minor roads which are not devoid of traffic so care should be taken.

Walk Grade:
Moderate

Distance:
8 miles / 12.9km

Time:
3 hours 30 minutes / 4 hours 30 minutes

Ascent:
1567 feet / 478 metres

Parking:
This walk starts from Dead Woman’s Ditch car park on the Quantock Hills (Grid Ref: ST161381).  There are no parking charges.

Walk Route:
From the parking area head south for 120 metres to reach a path by a row of beech trees (Grid Ref: ST162381), turn left to walk in an easterly direction besides the tree for 450 metres (Grid Ref: ST166382).  Now head south east through stunted oak trees to reach a gate to a forestry track leading into Seven Wells Wood (Grid Ref: ST168380).

Follow the forestry track heading south east for 500 metres, then as the forestry track sweeps to the left take a narrower path directly in front(Grid Ref: ST172377).  This track soon descends through the trees to re-join a forestry track (Grid Ref: ST178377).  Turn right on the track to head steadily downhill for 200 metres to a junction of tracks (Grid Ref: ST179378).

Head in a north easterly direction on the footpath, ignore a forestry track on the left and then take a footpath through a gate into pasture.  The route is now uphill looking over to the hamlet of Adscombe to the right. The footpath joins a minor road, here turn left to walk towards Friarn (Grid Ref: ST180381).  After 300 metres take a track on the left (Grid Ref: ST178383).

This track leads into Rectory Wood.  On entering the woods turn right on a path heading uphill alongside trees with pasture on the right (Grid Ref: ST177383).  At a junction of paths continue straight on soon reaching a minor road (Grid Ref: ST177386).  Cross the road to follow a clear footpath heading west through the trees.  After 1.4km the path reaches a minor road (Grid Ref: ST164389).

Cross the road and continue on the path heading west.  This goes steadily uphill to reach Dowsborough Hill Fort (Grid Ref ST159392). From the Hill Fort follow the clear path in front heading north west to reach a cairn on Woodlands Hill Grid Ref:ST156399).  From the cairn go north heading downhill into trees and pass a pond to reach a gate by a minor road (Grid Ref: ST157408).

Through the gate turn left and walk along the lane into Holford then turn right at the triangle (Grid Ref: ST155409). Almost immediately turn left which leads to the Bowling Green (Grid Ref: ST154411).  Here turn left up a track heading towards Hodder’s Combe.

Follow the path for 1.4 km to ford a stream (Grid Ref: ST144403). Continue south for 200 metres to another ford (Grid Ref: ST143401). Now fork left into Somerton Combe.  After 140 metres take a path on the left which fords the stream and then heads steeply uphill (Grid Ref: ST143400).

Keep with the path as it ascends steeply through the trees and then continue across open land to a crossing of paths on Lower Hare Knapp (Grid Ref: ST147400).  Now turn right to head uphill to the cairn on Higher Hare Knapp (Grid Ref: ST148395).

From the cairn take a path heading south on the ridge between Street Combe and Frog Combe for 1.3km to a junction of paths (Grid Ref: ST149384). Turn left and join the track and head east for 1.3km to reach the car park at Dead Woman’s Ditch.

Toilets:
There are no public toilets.

Refreshments:
There are no pubs or cafes on this route.  However, a short diversion from the route in Holford will lead to either the Plough Inn or The Coombe House Hotel Tea Room

To download GPX and print map click “Learn More” below:

Additional Information:
A narrative of this walk with pictures, historical information and points of interest can be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL140 – Quantock Hills & Bridgewater.

© Walking Moonraker (2020)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access. 
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.