Four awesome autumn walks!
Love the outdoors? Us too, so we’re thrilled to be launching our first ever Muddy Walk Week! Grab your friends or family and try our pick of the prettiest walks in Somerset and beyond - all with dog-friendly pubs nearby.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Feel like stretching your legs over the next two weeks? Us too! Making the most of your precious free time and getting out and about with family and besties is what we love to do on Muddy, so we’ve come up with four brilliant Autumn walks (with pubs en route or nearby obvs) so you can really enjoy your down-time.
We’re proud to say that our Autumn Walks are part of Joules’ Charity Month – 31 days of fantastic fundraising for their five charity partners. If you want to make a small justgiving donation to take part (a quid is great, and doable even for little people) click here. And please do instagram your beautiful walk or gorgeous pub (yes, you can be in it!) and hashtag with #joulesautumnwalks #mymuddywalks, because we’ll use the best images in our round-up feature.
Details of our favourite walks across all 22 Muddy counties are here so even if you’re going away you can stride out. Plus you can enter our Reader Treat and three lucky subscribers and their families can step out in £500 of Joules coats and wellies.
What else do you want, crisp dry days and blue skies? Don’t worry, I’m working on it.
WALK 1/ LANDSDOWN TRAIL, JUST NORTH OF BATH CITY CENTRE
Distance and difficulty: 5.5 miles, moderate terrain, around 2.5 hours. Get a map here or pick up a copy in The Hare & Hounds when you park the car.
Good for: Feeling that you’re lord (or lady) of all you survey – the views across Bath, Bristol and beyond are awesome.
Why we love it: You pass the historic Beckford’s Tower (an early 19th century neo-classical tower, once home to William Beckford’s massive collections of books, furniture and art), with a loop around the Bath Racecourse and there are those views. Note: the Racecourse section is only open when it’s not a race day.
The walk starts and finishes at gastro pub The Hare and Hounds, sitting up on Landsdown Hill looking out across miles of countryside through the enormous Edwardian lead-light windows in the high-ceilinged dining room – or, if you wrap up warm, from the terrace and large gardens. You’d never think the city centre was just down the road. The food is fabulous (our review to follow); come for breakfast, a la carte lunch and dinner, and Sunday roasts.
The Hare & Hounds, Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 5TJ. Tel 01225 482682. hareandhoundsbath.com
WALK 2/ THE LITTON WALK, LITTON, NR WELLS
Distance and difficulty: 2 miles, easy to moderate, about an hour. Download the map.
Good for: An easy stroll with friends, kids, dogs (though there’s livestock around). You could make more of day of it by fishing in Litton Lakes.
Why we love it: Just enough of a perambulation to feel you’ve earned lunch. The walk follows the route of the River Chew and into Litton Lakes, with a mini waterfall on the way. Pretty.
Another circular walk (we are good to you) with The Litton at the heart. A prior winner of Best Destination Pub in the Somerset Muddy Stilettos Awards, this 15th century village pub’s laid back, with plaid banquettes, reindeer hides, Moroccan poufs, mismatched chairs and vintage mirrors and Modern British food, including a vegan menu. Main bar, whisky bar and all-year-round outdoor spaces with blankets and firepits.
WALK 3/ ALFRED’S TOWER, KINGSETTLE HILL, NR BRUTON
Distance and difficulty: just over a mile (half an hourish) up the steep Kingsettle Hill from Hardway then turn right into woods crossed with footpaths to wander as long as you like. There’s a car park at the Tower if you want to avoid the hill. A short walk from the Tower and longer walk, 5.5 miles, 2 hours, from National Trust Stourhead, are available here.
Good for: Dogs, kids and adults who like frolicking in Autumn leaves. The sense of achievement on climbing to the top of a 49m high, 18th century folly.
Why we love it: The colours in the woods will be wonderful and you can climb around 200 steps to the top of the triangular Alfred’s Tower, believed to be the place where King Alfred the Great rallied his troops against Danish invaders in 870, with views.
Despite being part of the super cool Roth Bar & Grill/Hauser & Wirth empire, The Bull Inn in Hardway is a good ol’ traditional Somerset pub. Expect beams, brasses, open fires and very much cut-above pub grub classics, like smoked haddock and dill fishcakes, Bull burgers, steak, fish & chips, Sunday roasts plus craft ales and more. Have a game of table footie, giant Jenga, boules or just sup a pint by the fire.
The Bull Inn, Hardway, Kingsettle Hill, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0LN. Tel 01749 812200. thebullinn-bruton.com
WALK 4/ EXFORD CIRCULAR, EXMOOR
Distance and difficulty: 3.8 miles, easy to moderate, with some inclines, taking about 2.25 hours. View the route.
Good for: Anyone wanting to fill their lungs with crisp Exmoor air. Twitchers keep an eye out for the buzzards.
Why we love it: Starting in the village of Exford and following the River Exe, the route passes through Exmoor’s varied vistas, from farmland, moorland, ruins, streams to hidden valleys. Be prepared to pucker up – there are lots of kissing gates.
Very handily, the walk begins and ends at the iconic, Virginia creeper covered Exmoor White Horse, in the village of Exford (read our review) in the heart of Exmoor. The 16th century inn’s got a bit of a huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ vibe going on, with antlers and hunting pictures on the wall and crackling fires. Friendly bar (over 200 malt whiskies), lounge, formal dining room and riverside seating. Afternoon teas, trad Carvery Sunday roast, bar menu noon to 9.30pm (and Carvery Weds & Sun eves), children’s high tea 6-6.30pm and evening-only extensive a la carte.
Exmoor White Horse Inn, Exford, Somerset TA24 7PY. Tel 01643 831229. exmoor-whitehorse.co.uk