Basset Hound Walkers Alfred's Tower
 

An old favourite last walked in June 2015.

It's a good walk because it's easy to find – close to the A303 - has a nice variety of woods and fields - and we stop for a pint or ice-cream (in December?) at the Spread Eagle tavern half way round. The walk totals a smidgeon over five miles with a lunch/pub stop halfway: what could be better? This year we shall walk it clockwise and return by a slightly different route that should avoid some of the worst mud: aren't I kind to you?

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 really wee slopes, but there are steps up part way so it will be quite cushy. Half way round we stop at the Spread Eagle where we always cause a stir. (For a map of our walk see here.)

To reach the start (10.30)

To see a road map please click here.
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 for more than a mile till you see the Single Track road sign (pic on right) and 50yds past there on the right is the car park.To the left is Alfred's Tower – which you won't see from the road. (If you start descending a steep hill you've unaccountably gone past). There will probably be lots of cars and people milling around. It is exactly 5½ miles from leaving the A303. The SatNav is N51º07.008, W 2º21.612, though this does shift around on my TomTom.

 

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 theoretically open to ascend for a fee of £3 but I've never seen it open.

Spread Eagle

Ever welcome pub stop conveniently halfway round.

Woods

Woods

Stourhead House

Stourhead House (built by bankers, of course)

Valley walk

Alfred's Tower

Sign

Single track sign

Car park 50yds to the right here

Woods

 

Stourhead lake

The view on all the postcards

Valley

Walk down the valley

 

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