Walks

The following walks are a selection from around the Parish of Beckington. All are assumed to begin from the Woolpack, a fifteenth century coaching inn, at the junction of the Warminster and Frome Roads.

Good walking shoes or boots or wellingtons are recommended, and are essential in wet weather. Please observe the country code - close gates behind you, don't leave any litter, and keep your dog under control especially near livestock.

Whilst the accompanying sketch maps will suffice to find your way, an Ordnance Survey map is worth having with you. The 1:25,000 Pathfinder maps give good detail. The parish is covered by Sheets ST 65/75 and ST 85/ 95. At the 1:50,000 scale, Sheet 183 covers the parish in less detail on one sheet.

For walks further afield in Somerset, take a look at Walking in Somerset.

Walk 1a - To Orchardleigh via Mill Lane

Walk 1b - To Orchardleigh via Stubbs Lane

Walk 2 - To Rudge via Dadley Lane

Walk 3 - Beckington to Rode

Walk 4 - To St. George’s Cross

You are recommended to get a copy of the 2005 booklet Beckington on Foot by David Wright. Copies are available in the village and from the Welcome Area in St. George's Church. The booklet includes a brief introduction to the history of the village along with an appreciation of the geology and scenery of the area. The booklet describes the following walks and includes detailed maps of each:
Frome Valley Walk (5.2km/3.25miles)

Rode Circular Walk (5.8km/3.5miles)

Rudge Circular Walk (6.5km/4miles)

St. George's Cross Walk (4.6km/3miles)

Three Pubs Walk (9km/5.5miles)

Scotland Farm Walk (4.4km/3miles)

The Stone Bridge Walk (5.25km/3.25miles)

Longer walks are also given:

Henham Bridge Walk (9km/5.5miles)

Orchardleigh Walk (7.5km/5miles)

The Devil's Bed and Bolster Walk (11km/7miles)

Walk 1a - To Orchardleigh via Mill Lane

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Distance 1 mile (1.6 km) to the river,
plus a 2.5 mile circuit of 0rchardleigh.

This walk begins from the Woolpack, a fifteenth century coaching inn, at the junction of the Warminster and Frome Roads in the centre of Beckington.

There are 7 styles on this walk and Nos. 2,3,5,6 & 7 are unlikely to be able to be crossed by large dogs. There is also some electric fencing with no warning signs

Head north up the hill towards the garage and Bath. Just past The Cedars (opposite Goose Street) turn left into Mill Lane and follow it over the brow of Tower Hill to look down onto the Frome valley. Just before Mill Lane turns sharp right, take the gravel track half left through the gate. Continue over a style(1) and past the sewage works on your right. Do not follow the track to the Works, but follow the fence to the left to a kissing gate. Cross over a stile(2) into a field with poplar trees. Go over a style(3) and follow the netting on the right until you reach a junction where you need to follow the netting to the left to another style(4). Beware! there is electric fencing along the base of the netting but htere are no warning signs; be careful not to trip. Cross the field to another style(5) and onto a track. It should be possible to go past the farmhouse and garden to a gate, but you risk getting tpold that there is no public right of way and to cross a style(6) into a field - keep left to another style(7). Cross the fields to a footbridge over the river with a weir and a pillbox on your right. Cross over the bridge into the parish of Lullington to extend your walk to Orchardleigh Park or to the village of Lullington, both worthy of a visit. Orchardleigh Church, beside the lake, is particularly interesting. Keen and fit walkers may wish to continue to Buckland Dinham!

A recommended circuit of about 2.5 miles from' the footbridge over the river, is to bear right to the corner of the field, and cross the road to enter Orchardleigh Park over a stile opposite. Follow the edge of the wood on your right to the Orchardleigh drive which runs from Gloucester Lodge to the main house. Cross the drive about 50 metres south of the bridge (to your right), and pick up a new gravelled track heading north west. Follow this for about 250 metres to a gate and cross a small stream to a lane between a cottage and the village of Lullington, which is about 200 metres to the left. The lane joins a minor road by a telephone booth and wends its way through the village. Lullington is charming and is secluded from the hustle and bustle of the 20th century, which so intrudes on Beckington via the busy main roads. Visit All Saints Church in the centre of the village. Follow the road out of Lullington to the west, passing Gloucester Farm on your left until the road turns sharp right. Leave the road here, and continue straight on through a field alongside a hedgerow to a field gate after about 300 metres. The path keeps to the left through this next field, until, just beyond a lone tree, a stile over the fence on the left takes the path back into Orchardleigh. At this point there is a fine view of the front of Orchardleigh House.

Continue on the footpath for another 300 metres until it intersects the metalled drive through the park, close to some outbuildings. A signpost to Orchardleigh Church points down an unmetalled track off to the left. Follow this, dropping downhill around the head of Orchardleigh Lake and, by Church Lodge, swing left to St Mary's Church on an islet. Though it has no electricity the church is still in regular use, and with its graveyard is well worth a visit. From the church continue on a footpath around the lake from which there are further fine views of Orchardleigh House. At the bottom of the lake a stream exits over a small weir under a bridge and a path follows alongside the stream through the woods, finally crossing the stream just before the path leaves the wood over a stile. From this stile bear downhill through a field beside the wood to a gate onto Lullington Lane. Turn left along the lane to return to the footbridge over the River Frome and back into the Parish of Beckington. Retrace your steps to The Woolpack, or alternatively retrace Walk lb.

Walk 1b - To Orchardleigh via Stubbs Lane

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Distance 1.1 mile (1.8 kin) to the river.
This walk begins from the Woolpack, a fifteenth century coaching inn, at the junction of the Warminster and Frome Roads in the centre of Beckington.

Turn sharp left from The Woolpack, noting the telephone box (a listed building!), and ascend Church Hill to the church and village school. Continue along Church Street to the Wool Hall and Beckington Castle. Cross the main Frome Road diagonally to Stubbs Lane and follow it through Dairy House Farm gateway after 250 metres. Continue on the farm track to a barn on your left, just beyond which is a stile. Cross the stile and walk west along a bank to another stile and gate. From there bear half right towards the river to another gate and stile and join the footpath from Walk la.

Walk 2 - To Rudge via Dadley Lane

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Distance 3.75 miles (6 km) circuit.



This walk begins from the Woolpack, a fifteenth century coaching inn, at the junction of the Warminster and Frome Roads in the centre of Beckington.

Follow the Warminster Road (the A36) out of the village for a kilometre to the lay-by next to White Row Farm, crossing the new bypass en route. At the far end of the lay-by, turn left into the tree lined footpath (Dadley Lane) whose entrance is marked by a fire hydrant post. Follow the path under the pylon and after 250 metres join a farmer's track by two field gates. Do not follow the track, but having turned right onto it, bear immediately left to follow the way marked path between the field and the wood. Further occasional way marking indicates the path between the fields for a further 350 metres, until it emerges through a gate to an open field on high ground. Here you can enjoy the view to the right to Westbury and the White Horse. Follow the left edge of this field to a copse surrounding a covered reservoir. The way marked path leads through a gate at the left of the copse to another gate into a field, at the far end of which is a house. A gate beside the house gives access to Scotland Lane. Turning left follow the lane for just over a kilometre to Rudge, joining Rudge Lane, the minor road to Beckington, near Rudge Hall. Return to Beckington along this quiet country road, passing Stone House (formerly Upper Castley Farm), then Waterslade Stables, Duck Pool Farm and Seymour's Court. Bear left at the junction with Green Park Lane and after passing Prior's Court Farm enter Beckington via Goose Street. Continue past The Forester's Arms (if you must) to the junction with the Bath Road and turn left down the hill to the Warminster Road junction and return to The Woolpack.



Walk 3 - Beckington to Rode

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Distance 3.5 miles (6 kilometres) circuit.

This walk begins from the Woolpack, a fifteenth century coaching inn, at the junction of the Warminster and Frome Roads in the centre of Beckington.

From The Woolpack proceed north along the main A36 towards Bath, passing the garage on your left and many fine old houses on both sides of the road. Walk past Goose Street on your right and Mill Lane on the left band side (see Walk la) and continue to the Trowbridge/Bath Road junction. The Beckington Memorial Hall, and its adjoining sports ground, is at the north east corner. Enter the sports ground and cross it diagonally to a stile and carry on across the following field to another stile in the fight corner. Follow the hedgerow on your fight through the next two fields, crossing the new bypass en route.

Panoramic views can be seen from these fields with the church and village of Woolverton clearly visible down in the Frome valley to the north and the hills around Norton St Philip spreading west towards the Mendips.

In the right hand comer of the second field is the remains of a kissing gate which leads you onto a track with hedgerows and banks either side. Follow the track until, it emerges on Parkgate Lane and cross it into Crookcd Lane directly opposite. After about one hundred metres a path to the right leads to the A361 and St Laurence Church, the old parish church of Rode, which can be seen in the distance.

Ignore this path and continue to the end of Crooked Lane, then turn right along Straight Lane into the village of Rode. After passing the village school and a little further on the Cross Keys Inn on the right, take a fight fork up Church Lane. Continue along Church Lane out of the village past Clay Lane on the left, until you meet the A361 with The Bell Inn on the right of the junction.

Directly opposite The Bell Inn is a wooden stile between two bungalows. Cross the stile into a narrow field and carry straight on and cross the next stile. Immediately after that stile bear fight and follow the hedgerow. The fourteenth century St Laurence Church, with its Somerset tower and magnificent windows, can be seen clearly on the fight. Proceed through a gate in the left hand corner of the field. Follow the path south to a field gate, with Seymour's Court now visible in the distance. It is popularly rumoured that Jane Seymour, wife of Henry the Eighth, sojourned here. To enjoy the fine architecture of Seymour's Court bear left after the gate, pass Moberley Pond and through a field gate. Cross the next field diagonally to a gate leading onto Rudge Lane and turn fight.

Carry on past the junction with Green Park Lane through a narrow banked section of lane with a spinney on the left. High ground further along gives a vantage point with a view to the south of the hills surrounding the Longleat Estate. Continue down the slight incline past Prior's Court Farm and into Beckington. Walk along Goose Street past The Forester's Arms and the junction of Sandy Lane on the left until you meet the main A36 Bath Road. Turn left to return to The Woolpack Inn.

Walk 4 - To St. George’s Cross

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Distance 2 mile circuit.

This walk begins from the Woolpack, a fifteenth century coaching inn, at the junction of the Warminster and Frome Roads in the centre of Beckington.

From The Woolpack Inn head towards Warminster on the A36. Opposite Sandy Lane turn sharp right into the adjacent field through the kissing gate. Once through the gate the choice initially, is twofold. Either go straight ahead on the surfaced footpath under the spreading (horse) chestnut trees to the next kissing gate, then left to follow the field perimeter; or take an inclined left turn to cross the field diagonally to the gateway visible in the opposite hedge.

Entering the next field through the gateway (the stile is overgrown), follow the hedgerow on the left, keeping a keen eye to the ground, particularly if freshly ploughed, for this particular area is designated of "great archaeological importance".

Cross over the stile provided at the end of the field, and approach the next field entrance gate. The small clump of trees to the left is sometimes worth a second glance for they hide a small water hole which has borne the odd tadpole and supporting life. Cross the next field, now divided by the Frome bypass under construction (which must be crossed), and head towards the gateway apparent in the opposite hedgerow, then descend to the bottom of the valley, an area known as Winkley Bottom. Dependent on season the hedgerows bear a fine collection of wild flowers. A quiet approach to this area may be rewarded by sighting wildlife such as deer, hares, rabbits, pheasants, partridges etc. At the bottom negotiate the stile, and landing over the stream (actually a ditch with running water if it has rained recently), start puffing up the slopes to Limerick Lane

After a rest at the gate to get acclimatised to altitude and to stop panting, make a right turn and stroll down Limerick Lane, the parish boundary, to St George's Cross. The high ground level affords many views on which to ponder. To the left, the Electricity Board's grid provides a regiment of pylons cluttering the skyline. To the right the endless stream of traffic can be seen, but not heard, negotiating Bonnyleigh Hill. Also visible is the permanent haze of smoke from the gypsy encampment, the hill s, spires and many other fascinating markers on the Frome horizon. The fine old English oaks point their bent and twisted branches in all directions of the compass. If the season is right, the saplings halfway down Limerick Lane have been known to provide a profusion of acorns, ideal for decorating, and fascinat-ing for children to play with.

A sharp right turn at St George's Cross leads the return journey through Berkley Lane. Down through the valley once more, where bird life is in abundance, and ears and eyes can feast upon a wide range of birds in the hedgerows and adjacent fields and trees, changing as regularly as the seasons. The new Frome bypass must again be crossed before climbing up the lane to pass the farm. After a quick hello to the farm animals, continue down to the impressive cover of the beech trees siding the small Baptist cemetery where a quick visit is rewarding.

Turning right at the bottom of Berkley Lane (once known as Gypsy Lane), a short walk along the old A361 thoroughfare returns you to the village boundary and the ailing fortress like building of Beckington Castle, cornering Church Street. Follow Church Street and down Church Hill to conclude the walk. A glance at the watch may establish how an hour has passed since leaving, and it may now be opening time, so sample the good ale in The Woolpack.