Categories
Somerset South West

Stoke Hill and Thurlbear Wood

Description:
This 7 mile walk from Stoke St Mary goes over Stoke Hill and then crosses farmland before joining the East Deane Way.  It returns to Stoke St Mary via Thurlbear Wood and farmland.  Sections of this walk follow minor roads which are not devoid of traffic so care needs to be taken.

Walk Grade:
Easy

Distance:
7 miles / 11.3 km

Total Ascent:
763 feet / 233m

Time:
2 hours 45 mins / 3 hours 15 mins

Parking:
This walk starts from the Village Hall car park in Stoke St Mary (Grid Ref: ST262223). Please check that there are no functions on at the hall before starting you walk.

Walk Route:
Leave the car park and turn left along Stoke Road passing the Half Moon Inn. As the road sweeps to the left continue on along a tarmac lane passing St Mary’s Church.  Approaching the gates of Stoke House take a bridleway on the left heading steadily uphill, soon leading into in woodland.  At a fork in the track go right (Grid Ref: ST267224) and continue in a southerly direction through the trees up Stoke Hill.  On reaching a minor road turn right (Grid Ref: ST270222).

Follow the road for 300 metres to Stoke Hill Farm and take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: ST273221).  After going through a copse, the path reaches the edge of an arable field turn right and follow the fence line to reach a gate (Grid Ref: ST277224). The path is well way-marked, follow it through gates to head down towards Ash passing the entrance to Ashe Farm Camping Site (Grid Ref: ST281225).

On reaching a minor road turn right and walk along the road after 150 metres, past farm buildings, take a footpath on the left leading to a field (Grid Ref ST281224). Follow the path around the field towards the edge of woodland where the path then follows the hedge line heading south.  At a junction of paths turn left (Grid Ref: ST281216).

Walk to the edge of Huish Wood where the path turns right and goes south again.  After crossing a footbridge enter a paddock and follow the way markers to a stile in the south east corner of the field. The path now continues with a stream to the left, after passing gardens it reaches a minor road in West Hatch (Grid Ref: ST287210).  

Turn right and follow the road for 100 metres to a junction. Turn left and follow Griffin Lane for 500 metres to reach a footpath on the right just before Park Farm (Grid Ref: ST291208). Go through a gate and cross a field towards another gate on the route of the East Deane Way and follow the way-markers to join a hedge lined track. The track descends to a stream running along the edge of Bickenhall Wood and then crosses fields to reach the driveway to Swallow Barn farm (Grid Ref: ST285201).

Stay with the East Deane Way, go through a fence and then over a stile to go along the edge of Boon’s Copse.  After leaving the trees head across fields to reach a minor road besides Boon’s Farm (Grid Ref: ST279202).  Turn left and follow the road for 700 metres to a T-junction.  Turn right towards Staple Fitzpaine.  At a junction past the entrance to the Farmer’s Arms (Grid Ref: ST272198) turn right and then after 70 metres take a turning on the left towards Badger Street.  

After 80 metres as the road bends to the left continue straight on into Thurlbear Wood (Grid Ref: ST270199).  After 450 metres at a junction of footpaths turn right and continue through the trees descending steadily to reach Thurlbear close to the attractive 12th century St Thomas’ Church (Grid Ref: ST265210).

On the road turn right and continue through the village passing the Primary School before taking a footpath on the left just before Greenway Farm (Grid Ref: ST266216).  This leads by farm buildings and then picks up a track besides a hedge. At a junction of paths turn right (Grid Ref: ST258218).  Follow this route across fields towards Stoke St Mary and arrive in the village opposite the village hall to return to the starting point. 

Toilets:
There are no public toilets.
Toilets are available in the pubs on this route during opening hours.

Refreshments:
Stoke St Mary: Half Moon Inn
Slough Hill: The Farmers Arms

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 this walk, you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL128 – Taunton & Blackdown Hills

© 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.