This has always been a well supported stroll for us as it is close to the A303, combines woods, open views and a lunch time halt at a good pub. Plus glimpses of the ravishing grounds of Stourhead. It was last walked in 2015. This will be our 95th walk.
We start from the car park near Alfred's Tower (see right) that is not far off the A303 past Wincanton - or before if you drive from Wiltshire. We meander through gorgeous woods - keeping a wary eye out for the alleged pack of wild boar hereabouts - to open meadows and views of three counties. We tackle a couple of wee slopes, but there are steps up part way so it will be quite cushy. Half way round we go via or past The Eagle so thirsty souls can perhaps partake in alcoholic refreshment or sup an ice. The entire walk is a smidgeon over five miles.
To reach the start (10.30)
Leave the A303 near Mere on the B3092 clearly signposted in big brown signs to Stourhead Gardens. Drive along till you see the Alfred's Tower sign also in Big Brown. Follow the signs not missing the small one shown on the right here that will lead you off to the left. Now drive into the woods till you see a "single track ahead" road sign and 100 yds past here the car park will be on your right. (If you start descending a hill you've gone too far). To the left is Alfred's Tower – which you won't see from the road – right is the unmarked entrance to the car park. There will probably be lots of cars and people milling around. It is exactly 5½ miles from leaving the A303.
To see a map please click here. And for a map of our walk see here.
For SatNav users, the best I can do is N51º 6' 59'', W2º 21' 39''.
For those who want to become the Trivia Bore about Alfred's Tower, go to this excellent website where you can learn all one would decently want to know about this folly.
You will read about the unfortunate US bomber that managed to hit the tower killing five occupants, and that 1.5 million bricks were used. It is three sided as it used to bestride three counties, though Dorset has now moved. And that the tower is open to ascend for a fee of £3 odd.
Stourhead House (built by bankers, of course)