14th July – Bicknoller to Bridgwater

Saturday 14th July

031 Masons Arms Williton

The Mason’s Arms, a 16th century inn, at Williton was very comfortable and I had an early breakfast and was back at Bicknoller by 8.20.

032 SW from Quantock Ridge
South-west from the Quantock ridge

 

 

Today started with a 250m climb up onto the Quantock ridge.  The views were magnificent and justified the hard work. Once on the ridge it was easy walking over Thorncombe Hill and Black Hill before dropping down to Triscombe Stone.

035 Somerset Levels from Lydeard Hill
Somerset Levels from Lydeard Hill

 

The route then goes over Wills Neck 384m, the highest summit in the Quantocks, before unusually not going to the summit of Lydeard Hill but contouring its north slope. Leaving the Quantocks behind I dropped towards Bridgwater across farmland. Here there was the normal problem of paths being nonexistent on the ground or deliberately not maintained. Only in Devon have they been basically passable.

040 Enmore School 1810
Enmore School, 1810

Eventually I reached the road to Enmore and stopped in the village to look at the school. This was established as the first free elementary school in England in 1810 and is still in use. The Tynte Arms provided much needed liquid refreshment.

From Enmore I choose to follow the lanes to Bridgwater via Andersfield and Goathurst. This was uninspiring, but quick, and I reached Bridgwater at 4.00pm and my guesthouse for the night, just in time to see England lose to Belgium. The Admiral Blake Guest House is homely and welcoming but not in the most salubrious part of Bridgwater.  Walking up to the High Street it was noticeable that all the shops had steel shutters.

I am planning another early start tomorrow as it is 20 miles to Cheddar with little opportunity to cut corners and lots of extra miles possible if some of the route is impassable.

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