Ready to ramble? There are collections of walks around Chard, Hemyock, Stockland and Upottery, walks in the north eastern and south western Blackdown Hills. For guided walks take a look in our events calendar.

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6 Walking routes found in the Blackdown HIlls AONB

Chard to Chaffcombe

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Distance: 4 miles (6.5 km)
An easy-to-follow walk through some attractive and interesting countryside. There is one hill to climb, but the subsequent view is outstanding.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – Walk 1

An easy-to-follow walk through some attractive and interesting countryside. There is one hill to climb, but the subsequent view is outstanding.

The route starts from the nature reserve car park at the end of Oaklands Road. Map ref: ST 337 094. 4 miles. 6.5 kilometres.

Cross the area of grass adjoining the car park to reach a lane. Turn right and walk along for about 150 metres. Take the footpath on the left, signed for Chaffcombe.

Cross the field to a footbridge and stile. Continue across the next field and over a stile and stay ahead to another stile. Turn left on a wide track. Ignore a footpath option to the right, at the top of a rise, and follow the track with the reservoir increasingly nearby on your left.

When the track meets a road, you turn right. After about 600 metres it turns sharp left and climbs steadily upwards to Sprays Hill. At the top, take the footpath on your right to follow around the edge of the wood which crowns the hill. If you have brought any refreshment with you, this would be a good place to enjoy it as the panoramic view is splendid. It takes in the Quantocks, the Brendon Hills, llminster and of course the Blackdown Hills and Chard.

Continue between the gorse bushes to a stile. In the next field, with Chaffcombe House on your right, the footpath descends to a stile just to the left of the bottom right hand corner. Head downhill through the copse to a footbridge. Continue to another stile ahead and then follow the right hand edge of the field to a lane. Turn right. You are soon in Chaffcombe village. Look for a handsome little medieval church and a totem pole carved and painted by a local artist from a broken cedar branch from the churchyard.

At the war memorial turn left and follow the road ahead, ignoring the ‘No Through Road’ sign. You will see Avishayes over on your left. When you meet the end of the drive, take the turning on your right. This takes you through a small area of woodland. Turn right, along the lane signed ‘Restricted Byway to Chaffcombe Road.’ Very soon you will see the car park on your left. You could, if you wish, divert across the field to the reservoir before you leave.

Grid reference: ST337094

Nearest postcode: TA20 1HU

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Chard to Wambrook

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 5 miles (8 km)
A constantly undulating walk through typical Blackdown Hills scenery. Most of the route is on footpaths and bridalways, with small sections of quiet lanes.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – Walk 2

Walk up the Honiton Road (pavement all the way) passing the museum and John Stringfellow’s house. Just beyond this turn left on the footpath, through a quaint little turnstile. Cross a lane and continue on a tarmac path through Snowdon Park. Ignore a branch to the left and then one to the right to head towards farm buildings. Through a gate turn left and then almost immediately right up a track behind houses. At a field boundary, with a stile on the left, turn right up a wide path along the field edge, with a hedge on your left. At the top, by some trees, you come to Bounds Lane. Turn left.

After 50 metres a footpath on the right gives a choice of directions. Take the left option, heading diagonally across the field and then along its edge. At the top of the field go left then right, still with a hedge on your left. In the dip, look for a stile on the left. Cross it and walk to the bottom of the field and meet a wide stony track. Turn right. After a while the track rises to a junction on the bend of a road. Keep ahead, and ignore a right turn. This road bends right then left and takes you downhill. At the bottom of the hill there is a footpath on the right, sign-posted for Wambrook, 1 mile away.

Go through the gate and across the field, enjoying the view on your left. Pick up a more pronounced track which bears right, uphill, to another gate beside a small area of woodland. Just beyond the gate, the path splits. Take the left-hand option, downhill. At a concrete farm path turn right and then immediately left up a stony track. At a T-junction of paths at the top, turn left and follow this bridleway to a road. Turn left for just a short distance into Wambrook, where you will find a little medieval church and an inn.

There are several possible return routes. This is the shortest, but if you would like a longer walk, the map shows a number of lanes and paths from which to choose.

Retrace your steps up the lane. At the top, beyond the bends, look for footpaths on your right (the sign is not obvious). Take the left option, which maintains the same line as the lane. The route crosses the field to a signpost, just to the right of a small windblown tree. However, there is also a wide hedge-side alternative. Cross a lane to another footpath. The hedge is on your left, then after a gate, on your right. With a large tree in front of you, bear left along the field edge. The path dips, then rises to meet another path. Here you turn right to walk back down to the town, emerging between houses back on to the Honiton Road.

Grid reference: ST326087

Nearest postcode: TA20 1EP

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Chard to Nimmer

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 5.5 miles (8.5 km)
This route is fairly flat throughout and features a pleasant combination of town and country.  

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – Walk 3

The route is described from Chard town centre. However, if you prefer a shorter walk, start from the Thorndun Park Drive area and pick up the route by the Bowls Club. Walk up Fore Street and turn into Combe Street, the first turning on the right. Cross Cambridge Street and Zembard Lane and at the top, bear right to pass the Bell & Crown. Walk along Crimchard and turn right, into Glynswood. Take the footpath between numbers 264 and 262. Cross two residential roads, but turn right, on the next track. Cross Elizabeth Way at the lights and continue along the footpath with the school on your left. Immediately beyond the school field, turn left alongside the play area and continue on the footpath, which soon turns left beyond some houses. Cross an open area, with the Bowls Club on your right.

Keep the hedge on your left and head towards a bungalow, where you go through a kissing gate on its left hand side. The lane leads to a road at Cuttiford’s Door. Cross to a footpath opposite, which bears left to join a road. Turn right and walk down to Nimmer.

Ignore the first footpath on your left, but take the second, by a post box in the wall. Walk between houses, up steps and across a bridge to continue with a little stream on your left. At the road, turn right and pass the sewage works, to bear right at the road junction. Take the next When the footpath eventually reaches a lane, turn right and then right again at a wider road. After just 100 metres take the footpath on the left. It soon bends right then left and you will have the industrial estate on your left. Continue straight along until you reach the houses ahead. Follow the footpath around the rear of the estate until you reach the Scout Hut and the Bowls Club. The access road soon leads to a dog walking area on your right. Cross this and at the far end turn left on to a footpath, from which you can retrace your route to where you began.

Grid reference: ST 326 087

Nearest postcode: TA20 1EP

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Combe St Nicholas to Whitestaunton

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Hard Difficulty. Distance 6.75 miles (11 kilometres)
This triangular route, is reasonably demanding, but rewards the walker from start to finish with a range of delightful scenery and some superb wide views. Starts and ends at Combe St Nicholas.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – Walk 4

The route commences and finishes in the centre of Combe St Nicholas.

Start the walk on New Road, which turns off the main street through the village, beside the school and opposite the play area. Almost immediately there is a fine view to the left. Follow the lane round and take the second footpath on the right, signed for Chard Road. This wide track climbs to two stiles, crosses a wide drove and continues to two more stiles. Cross the road and continue on the next footpath to Combe Lane, where you turn left.

As the lane bends to the left, a wide footpath on the right takes you down to the attractive hamlet of Whitestaunton, with its fine manor house and church, both of which are medieval. You reach the road at a bend. Bear left, but soon take the wide stony lane on the right, opposite a gateway with a cattle grid. Beyond a walled garden the track crosses a ditch and becomes an uphill footpath, signposted for Howley.

In the large top field bear left towards a gate beside a concrete trough. Continue down the edge of the next field. Cross a track to another stile and turn left along this narrow field to drop to a right turn at a gap in the hedge. Walk down this field with the hedge on your left and go through a gate into the next field. Pause here and look down to a gate on to the lane which you can see descending from the right.

When you reach the lane, you can divert a short distance uphill to the left if you want refreshment at the Howley Tavern. Otherwise, turn right on the lane to cross Laps Water and almost immediately take the bridleway on your right, signed for Woodhayes Farm. Go up to a gate and then bear left, with a tiny stream on your right. It can be muddy along here. At the third gateway, bear slightly left to emerge on to a lane opposite two stone barns.

Turn left, then straight away another footpath leads off to the right. It soon enters the field on the right, via a gate, and heads up to a gate just below Cinder Hill Copse. Turn right, and if it is the spring, enjoy the bluebells. At a road junction, bear left along Giants Grave Road. At the second part of a double bend, take the footpath on the right, down three fields to Higher Beetham. Here, you turn right and walk about a mile and a half on this quiet lane, back to the start of the walk. At both crossroads, you simply continue ahead. Just before the steep hill, there is a wonderful view to keep in the memory.

Grid reference: ST303114

Nearest postcode: TA20 3NF

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Chard to Combe St Nicholas

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 7.5 miles (12 km)
Please do not be put off by the length of this walk. It is an absolute pleasure, combining many footpaths and quiet lanes. The scenery and surroundings are attractive throughout and the hilly sections are not too demanding. The route is described from the starting point of Chard Museum.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – Walk 5

From Chard Museum, walk uphill and turn into Helliers Road. Cross Touchstone Lane and turn into Laurel Gardens. Continue straight uphill on the bridleway. At the top, where you meet Catchgate Lane you turn right, but first cross and look over the gate at the view over to Combe St Nicholas.

Follow this lane down to a crossroad and turn left on to a minor lane, where a lovely wide view soon opens out. At a bend in the lane, take the footpath on your right (keep to the left hand side of the field) down to the Chard Road by some houses at Chardleigh Green. Turn left and walk along the road for about 200 metres and turn right down Pudleigh Lane. As you drop down towards houses, ignore footpaths to right and left, but turn up a narrow lane on the left, after about 400 metres, just before a red brick terrace.

Go through two gates and follow the lane to a T-junction where you turn left. After about 50 yards take a footpath on the right to cross two fields up to another lane. This is Clayhanger Lane, which you cross. Slightly to your left is another path, signposted for Greenway. Take this and head uphill following the hedge on the right, pass through a gateway and in the top field enjoy the view and then bear left to a gate. In the next field pass through a gateway and head down towards Combe St Nicholas. In the next and larger field walk along the top to a gate hidden in the corner. Bear left down a grassy track to the road. Turn right and walk to the village centre, where you will find an inn, a couple of shops, and a seat on the green.

Resume by turning off the main road into New Road just below the church and school. Around the bend take a sharp left turn and look for a footpath before the first house on the right. At the lowest point, the path turns left, through a gate, to a stile, and then to a gap in the hedge. Follow the yellow arrows to another hedge gap leading to a stile which gives access to Brocole Lane.

Turn right and up the slope look for a stile on the left. This footpath drops straight down to a lane. Turn left and left again at a T-junction on the edge of Wadeford. Soon, as the road bends left, you need a footpath at a gateway on the right, signed for Rackstile. Keep right in this field to emerge on the right of some houses over a stile and onto another lane. Turn right and head uphill for some impressive views.

At the top a clear stony track on the right points you back to Catchgate Lane. (to return quickly to Chard follow the lane round to the left, over the cross roads and down to Crimchard, then turn right to return to the start) This track takes you over Foxdon Hill. At the end of the first field climb a stile on the left and turn left. The path then bears right and returns you to the lane, on which you turn right. At the top, turn left on to the footpath back to Chard.

Grid reference: ST319085

Nearest postcode: TA20 1QW

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Chard to Chardstock

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometres)
The walk to Chardstock is delightful and contains a wide variety of scenery. The return, on quiet lanes, provides good views in all directions. The route is described from the starting point of St Mary's Church, Chard.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – Walk 6

From St Mary’s Church in Chard, head gently uphill along Church Street. Turn right into Summerfields Road and then left into Mintons Orchard. Turn into Aun Rees Way and after about 10 metres take a footpath on your right, between houses. At the end, climb a stile. Ahead and slightly to your right, follow a clear wide footpath up the left hand edge of a field. At the top, you will join Bounds Lane.

Turn left and very soon you will see a gateway, from which two footpaths begin. Take the left hand option, diagonally across the field and then beside the hedge. At the end of the field turn left and then almost immediately right. At the bottom of a dip, climb a stile in the hedge on your left and follow this field edge down to join a wide track. Turn right. After about 300 yards and precisely on the county boundary, a track doubles back on your left. Follow this for half a mile to a lane.

Keep ahead, following a sign for Farway at Hook Cross. With the sound of running water never far away, the lane bends right and then left. Just before a road junction take the footpath on the left. It descends to a bridge over a little stream and then climbs, slightly left, to a gate. The views behind and to your right are excellent. Now it’s straight on through gates and across fields towards the church at Chardstock.

In the village, turn left and then left again at the George Inn. At Harestone Cross stay ahead and later ignore a lane on your right. You are up on one of the plateaux of the Blackdown Hills, and there are fine views to enjoy. At the next road junction turn left (for Cotley) and soon after bear right at a fork. This lane returns you to a familiar spot from earlier in the walk. Turn right to retrace your steps back to Chard, which will soon spread out in front of you.

Grid reference: ST 324 083

Nearest postcode: TA20 2AS

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