Basset Hound Walkers Thurlbear

Farmers Arms

Lunch stop, the dog or hound friendly Farmers Arms

This is an excellent mix of woods and fields with a nice pub stop at lunch time. It's one of our shorter walks at four and a bit miles.

The start is four miles off Junction 25 of the M5.

Most of the walk will be on well managed fields with a generous grass headland left where a crop is planted. We will stop for refreshment (bowl of soup + a pint?) at the Farmers Arms, about halfway round. By luck or just good planning the last hundred yards lead through the stream, so our hounds should be quite clean at the end, should it be muddy (most unlikley, this is Somerset after all).

We start from the hamlet of Thurlbear, near Stoke St Mary, 10.30am start as usual. (Click on map to enlarge).

Map Thurlbear

To reach the start. (SatNav of Thurlbear school is TA3 5BW).

If coming from Devon way or Bristol, the easiest way is to leave the M5 at junction 25, head south on the A358 to Chard/Ilminster - favourite road for speed cameras. After ¾ mile you will go onto a dual carriageway and after ½ mile turn right (pic below) signed to West Hatch RSPCA Animal Centre* by the Nags Head thatched pub. If you reach some traffic lights up a hill you have gone past it. (This traffic light junction is called Thornfalcon or Knights Texaco garage).


Now on a minor road, after one mile turn right (see photo below) signed to Stoke St Mary. Turning

This is a narrow road but with passing places. Ignore first turn to right but take next one signed to THURLBEAR. Drop down the hill and take first LEFT (hidden signpost) see photo below. (If you ignore this you will arrive in Stoke St Mary: retrace).Turn left

After less than half a mile you will enter the hamlet of Thurlbear with the village school on the left, and a long wall on your right and the church another hundred yards along (see 2nd photo above on right). Park anywhere you can along here, meet at the church.

If coming from Chard/Axminster direction then you will come up the A358 to the Thornfalcon traffic lights when the turn left by the Nags Head will be very soon afterwards.


Below, photo on Wednesday. Very pretty.


* This RSPCA centre is where they de-oil sea birds whenever a tanker runs aground. Seems an odd place to do it, but there you go. It's the only time this quiet corner of Somerset gets on TV.


Above Thurlbear church (no services now) soon after the start of our walk. Below is where you can park along the verge - here just by the school - or further along by the church (tower just visible).



View of Taunton

Vale of Taunton Deane with the Quantocks in far distance.



Taunton Vale




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