Bowlish, Spring Walk - 3.5 mls

The walk starts at Bowlish. Walk up Forum Lane beside the Horse Shoe Inn. Follow up the lane for 1/3 mile till you reach a right hand corner. Now take the green lane on the left with the large stones across. Follow this track for approximately 10 minutes or so at a fairly gentle pace by which time you should have reached a tarmac road. Turn right and walk along the road for 200yds until you reach a stile by some barbed wire on the right. Go over the stile and follow down over the field.

You are now near to the Winsor Hill Tunnels of Somerset and Dorset Railway fame. On reaching the bottom climb over the stile in front of you and look for an entrance onto the old railway track bed on the right. Turn right and follow through the left-hand tunnel. Carrying on along the track bed for about five minutes you come to a path leading off to the left into Ham Woods. (If you have gone across the bridge you have gone too far). You should have passed on your left hand side, the wall of the old stone crusher which was part of the workings of Ham Hill Quarry.

Now go down the path through the wood, if you look carefully to your right you will see the remains of the incline and winding gear used to haul the stone in small trucks from the quarry floor to the crusher. Follow on down to the bottom, but beware it can be muddy here. Look to your right and you will see the towering Ham Wood Viaduct, the Somerset and Dorset Railway ran along here. Bear left and follow the path along a stream or stream bed for 250 yards. This brings you to a clearing. Here you should press on forwards, do not take the track to your left which would take you out of the wood. Keep straight on going gently down hill and you will eventually end up in a very steep gorge. Keep going till you reach a gate onto the Wells to Shepton Mallet road just outside Croscombe.

Here you have a choice for the return journey, walking back to Bowlish via the main road does mean no more hills but for a more rural and less traffic infested route, take the main road to your left for just 150 yards and turn to your left up into Bowlish Lane East. Walk up here for about half a mile until you come to a sharp left hand bend. Look here for a stone stile marked "Ham Lane East" on the right hand side. Go over this stile and follow the arrows across the fields until you reach a road. Turn right and you will follow the road back to where you started.

Please take care when walking over farmland and wear suitable footwear this walk can be very muddy.

Take care and enjoy your walk.

Many thanks to Terry and Jeannette Marsh for this walk