This circular walk uses well know ways including Monarch's Way, Mendip Trail or Limestone Link and provides a good way to discover wild Harptree Combe and paths in farmland with great views to Chew Valley Lake
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park your car in West Harptree at the crossroads with the church of St Mary.
(D/A) Head to the SPAR and turn right in Ridge Lane. Walk this road for 250 metres ignoring two driveways on your left, go past the last house before you bear left going through a metallic gate. Go across the open field diagonally right going past an isolated trunk until you reach the woods at the corner
(1) Go through a stone stile and a kissing gate. Then, head to the gate you can see on the right which enters Harptree Combe (signpost). Walk this steep-sided combe, pass under the aqueduct (from 1851 and still in use for Bristol water supply!).
(2) Pay attention, when you reach the wooden barrier up to the left, bear right to the path a bit hidden going up the four steps! Go straight along the small stream (the path can be a bit marshy!) ignoring both left and right paths at the next junction. Continue the muddy path in the woods along Molly Brook for almost one mile before you reach the gate leading to a meadow. Go across the meadow, then, turn left for 100 metres in Western Lane before you turn right to the public footpath (joins Monarch's Way).
(3) Ascend three open fields, then bear left to a track which joins a road next to Sycamore Farm. Go past Minery House on your right and follow Smitham Hill for 600 metres with great views to Burledge Hill and Chew Valley Lake far away.
(4) Bear left at the fork past Springfield Farm, after 350 metres go through the gate on your left before you enter Nettwood campsite. Continue this way still following yellow arrows and Monarch's Way signs across open meadows close to Niver North Top (264 metres). Enjoy the views from this hill until you reach a gate and a track.
(5) Go down left the track leading to a road. At the fork next to the stone wall, bear left in Back Lane for 400 metres.
(6) Next to Buckley Cottage, go through the metallic gate and head to the passage in the hedge diagonally right. Go straight across the field walking along the woods on your left. Cross a stream and follow "The Mendip Trail" signs across farmland for one kilometre. Past the gate, walk along the road on your right for 100 metres.
(7) Take the small passage hidden in the hedge, go straight in the meadow along the hedge for 500 metres and turn right when you see the yellow arrow. At the road, head to the crossroads with B3114 on the left. Turn right for 100 metres, then bear sharply left the road leading to Coley. At the fork in the village, go straight going past Stable House and leave The Mendip Trail which goes right.
(8) Cross the gate over River Chew and bear left at the junction with Coley House. Walk the road for 400 metres before you take the path with the yellow arrow on the left.
(9) Go across fields along River Chew before you cross the footbridge. Past the footbridge, continue until you reach a track. Turn left crossing the large bridge and go slightly right through the kissing gate.
(10) Go across the field and cross a second footbridge which leads to another field. Go slightly right heading to the beautiful tree you can see far away. When you reach Sutton Hill Road in the hamlet, turn left following this road for 250 metres.
(11) Ignore the first path on your right at the end of the hamlet but take the second one on the right after the "SLOW" sign painted on the ground. From now on, you follow "Limestone Link" signs!
(12) Go across the field next to the hedge, then cross a small stone bridge, ignore a kissing gate on your left and cross the last footbridge. The narrow path finally leads to a track. Continue Whistley Lane until you reach the crossroads with Bath Roads in West Harptree. Walk the main road in front of you, go past the SPAR and you are back to your car. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 279ft - West Harptree
1 : mi 0.53 - alt. 325ft - Gate
2 : mi 0.86 - alt. 443ft - Wooden barrier
3 : mi 1.45 - alt. 554ft - Monarch's Way
4 : mi 2.1 - alt. 817ft - Springfield Farm
5 : mi 2.84 - alt. 833ft - The Mendip Trail
6 : mi 3.27 - alt. 607ft - Buckley Cottage
7 : mi 3.99 - alt. 390ft - Hidden path
8 : mi 4.89 - alt. 259ft - River Chew
9 : mi 5.29 - alt. 236ft - Footbridge
10 : mi 5.58 - alt. 217ft - Second footbridge
11 : mi 5.8 - alt. 210ft - "SLOW" sign
12 : mi 6.15 - alt. 230ft - Small stone bridge
D/A : mi 6.87 - alt. 279ft - West Harptree
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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