Walking in and around Winsham


The countryside around Winsham is beautiful; it is not rugged but for the most part comprises gentle

 gradients and a mixture of grassland and wooded valleys, with gently flowing rivers and streams. It is

also blessed with a wonderful network of public footpaths and roads ,giving testimony to Winsham’s

long history, traceable back to Roman times.

Many Winsham residents delight in regular walks around the parish, some on a more or less daily basis to

maintain personal well-being (not forgetting the dog!). Some also enjoy once a month organised walks, with a

leader, and it is to these groups that this web page is, in the main, devoted.


Started in 2000 by Peter and Mary Pye, it has more or less met regularly on the first Thursday of the month,

throughout the years. There are no membership rules, and no subscriptions-just a request that walkers follow

the safety guidance at the foot of this web page.

In 2022 leadership of Winsham Walkers has passed to Dave Lester, aided by his wife, Diane. They moved to

the  village in early 2021 from Gloucestershire and have always been keen walkers. As soon as Covid

restrictions would allow they joined the group.

At the end of 2021, Peter and Mary Pye decided that they could no longer give the leadership that the group

needed, and the group was in danger of not being able to continue. Nobody wanted that to happen, so Dave

and  Di agreed to take over the leadership; their initial hesitation came more from lack of knowledge of the

area than any other reason.

There is a possibility that a small group, 'The Winsham Strollers', led by Peter and Mary, will organise

some short easy walks, better suited to the elderly and less fit and will be publicised here

when  arranged.

Winsham Walker's  regular monthly walks have continued with the first Thursday of the month arrangement

which  seems convenient to many. It is hoped to introduce some longer walks, perhaps on occasions, of seven

miles or so, with picnic lunches, and this is proving to be of interest to many. All this will be evolving over the

months and  years ahead, and details of all walks will continue to be publicised in the Winsham E-Letter, the

Joint Parish  Magazine (copy dates allowing) and by direct e-mail to regular members of the group . To read

short summaries  of the monthly walks, and details of the next walk-subject to publication date-usually the

 week prior to the event,  follow the link below.

Newcomers are welcome!

Dave  Lester

New comers

wishing to join

are welcome to

contact me.

01460 30887

(M)07960 916334

Next Walk: Thursday, 2nd November 2023

Details will be sent to regular walkers via email.






Thursday, 5th October - A circular walk starting and finishing at Chard Reservoir,

taking in Chaffcombe and  Knowle St. Giles



Nine walkers turned up for this months walk of 6.1 miles, which started and finished in Chard Reservoir

Car  Park.

The weather was fair as we set off  along Touches Lane, quickly turning off across wet and muddy fields

 and paths to Woodside Cottage. From here we went along Paintmoor Lane and Avishayes Road to the

 farm  complex at Avishayes where we skirted around the estate and past the Monmouth Tower to

 Whitemoor Hill  where we turned left and walked to the centre of Chaffcombe.

From Chaffcombe we walked along Knapps Lane, turning off onto the footpath opposite the restored

Water  Wheel. We then passed Blanda House and walked through New Park and on to Sprays Hill, with

magnificent  far reaching views. Onward then along Cricket Lane and Knowle Lane through Knowle St

Giles to join the stop-line path which we followed back to Chard Reservoir before walking around the

 reservoir to return to  the cars.

The next walk will be on Thursday 2nd November, details will be issued to regular walkers via email.

Any new comers wishing to join are welcome to contact me on the number below.


Dave Lester


















A circular walk around Winsham- 7th September:


A group of 12 gathered at the war memorial for this months 4 mile walk, this included a few new

 faces joining the group for the first time.

Due to my continued recovery from injury to my ankle the walk was led by my wife Di.

The weather was fine as the group set off up Back Street and along Colham Lane for a distance

 before taking the footpath on the left over the stile and into the fields. After crossing a few fields we

 emerged onto the B3162 near to Hazelwood Farm. We crossed the road and continued on field paths

 and tracks to reach the far end of Western Way alongside Oakleigh Cottage.  

From here we turned along Leigh Lane, going right along to the T junction with Whatley Lane. We

 turned right on Whatley Lane, crossing the main road again at Whatley Cross and continuing before

cutting right across the field near East Whatley Farm to re-emerge onto Colham Lane near to

 Hollowells. We walked along the Chalkway and then turned right up Lime Kiln Lane returning to the

village via Back Street.

The next walk will be on Thursday 5th October, details will be issued to regular walkers via eMail.

 Any new comers wishing to join are welcome to contact me on the number below.

Dave Lester


A circular walk around Chardstock - 6th July:

A small group of seven turned up for this months walk of 5.1 miles, which by kind permission

 started and finished in the Car Park of the Chardstock Community Centre.  

The weather was fine but overcast as we set off  along the Tytherley Road for a short distance

before forking right onto the footpath across country, passing Honey Hill Farm and then

 dropping  down to cross the little river Kit and then climbing the other side of the Kit valley

 passing a  private tennis court to eventually emerge onto the road at Burchill. From Burchill we

 cut across  fairly flat countryside footpaths to pass Alston & Holy Farms and drop out onto the

 Churchill  road. We walked another short distance on the road, before skirting around Churchill

 village on  filed paths and tracks and then climbing the footpaths to reach the summit of Beacon

 hill. Here we stopped for a while to take refreshments and admire the beautiful panoramic views. 

We walked on dropping past Yard Farm, before following green lanes and undulating meadow

 footpaths to cross the road and then drop through the area known as "The Parks". We re-crossed

 the pretty river Kit and then climbed the short distance to Chardstock Court manor house

 eventually emerging into the village alongside St Andrews Church. We then proceeded through

 the village to return to the cars.


A 5 mile circular walk starting at Ham Hill- 4th May

A small group assembled at Ham Hill car park for the start of this months walk, a 5 mile circuit

 from Ham Hill to Montacute village, St Michaels Hill and back. It was a fine day with a mix of

 sunshine and overcast skies.

We set off from the front of the Prince of Wales public house down the steps to pass the

 adventure play area and then shortly climb to the top ridge of Hedgecock Hill Wood. We followed

 the footpath through the top edge of the woods for almost 1 mile, passing through swathes of

 wild garlic and other spring flowers before emerging into open pasture land near to St Michaels

 hill. From here we took a right turn and followed a meadow side path across the top end of

Forrester's Gully before eventually emerging onto Hollow Lane on the outskirts of Montacute.

We crossed the lane and entered a small meadow with sheep and new-born lambs and after a

 short walk entered the area of woodland at Park Covert, with large areas of flowering bluebells.

 We then took the horseshoe shaped path known locally as Ladies Walk,

 entering Montacute village alongside All Saints school. We walked

 through the outskirts of the village along lanes  and paths passing

 thatched cottages and the attractive looking Abbey Farmhouse before

 leaving  the village via a gateway onto the slopes of St Michaels Hill. 

We circled St Michaels hill to join the path to its summit and tower,

 where we stopped for a short  refreshment break before dropping off

 the hill and heading to Hedgecock lane. From here we

 followed the rough lane and track through the lower edge of Hedgecock

 Hill  woods and then  retraced the steps at Ham Hill back to where we had started, with several

 members  of the group  stopping for refreshment in the Prince of Wales public house. 


There will be no walk in June, as the leader will not be available, normal service will resume in

 July, details will be issued to regular walkers via email. Any new comers wishing to join are

 welcome to contact me on the number below.


Winsham to Wayford Woods and back-6th April

A group of 16 hardy souls, and 3 of our 4 legged friends gathered by the telephone box/book

 exchange at the bottom of Back Street for this months walk, which started and finished in the

 village. Having had a few days of heavy rain it was pleasing that we were able to complete this

 walk in the dry.  

We set off down Church Street, passing the Bell Inn and St Stephens Church before turning left

 into Court Street, we walked the length of Court Street and on along Broadenham Lane to cross

 the field path and emerge onto Ebben Lane at Broadenham farm. We then followed Ebben Lane &

 Holvert Lane past Hey Farm & Ashcombe Farm and on to the car park at Wayford Woods.  

We entered the woodland and followed the circular path around the woods, noting the

Rhododendrons, Azaleas & Camellias in flower as we went, returning via the lake-side path to the

 car park at the entrance to the woods. From here we retraced our route along Holvert Lane and the

 full length of Ebben Lane to return to the top of the village at High Street. Then along Fore Street

 to return to the start point.


A circular walk from Blackdown via Pilsdon Pen Fort-2nd March


Having had no walk in February due to the leader being away on holiday it was pleasing to see

 17 walkers turn up for this months walk of just under 4 miles. The walk started and finished in the

 Car Park of Blackdown Village Hall on the B3165.  

The weather was bright and fresh as we set off  for a short distance along the B3165, quickly

 turning off along a field side track before turning sharp left to climb gently along the edge of

 another field to reach the Wessex Ridgeway. From this point we were able to look back over

 Blackdown Hill and see Winsham village in the distance, just making out the church and the new

 houses on Western Way.  We followed the Wessex Ridgeway path, with its far reaching views

 over the Dorset countryside, ascending very gently through fields with young lambs, to reach the

 edge of the Pilsdon Hill Fort. We entered the hill fort and worked our way around the North

 Eastern edge to eventually reach the Trig Point at the very top. We stopped here for a short

 refreshment break allowing everyone to take in the magnificent views of the Dorset coast and

 countryside, it really is a spectacle. 

Once we were all suitably refreshed, we set off for the return leg, walking along the South Western

 Edge of the hill fort before descending past "Wordsworth Stile"  and along the farm track to the

 road at Pilsdon Hill Farm. From here we took the footpath below the Ridgeway and along the edge

 of several fields before rejoining the track that we had started out on. From here it was a short

 distance to the road and then the car park.

Seventeen walkers turned out on a lovely morning to Pilsdon.

(Someone had to take the photograph!)


Winsham and around-a 4 mile circular walk-5th January

This month a group of 11 walkers, gathered outside the Jubilee Hall for a 4 mile circular route

around the lanes of the parish. The morning was a bit chilly, but remained dry throughout the

walk, which was a welcome break from the awful weather of the previous few days.

We set off up Fore Street then across High Street to follow Lime Kiln Lane to the Chalkway. We

walked the Chalkway to the bottom of Colham lane before joining Whatley lane then crossing the

main road at Whatley Cross and continuing through to Bridge and the junction with Ammerham

Lane near to the entrance to Forde Abbey. From here we followed Ammerham Lane and then

Western Way back into the village.

For accounts and pictures of the full and varied programme of walks which took place in 2022



For those walking with the Winsham Walkers and Winsham Strollers groups, please note:   

 All walkers that participate in these walks take part entirely at their own risk.

 Walkers are  individually  responsible for ensuring  that they are properly equipped

 and physically fit enough to complete  the walk, including negotiating stiles where


 Leaders will advise beforehand the length and difficulty of the walk.

Exercising caution! Some general advice...

One of the benefits of walking in a group is its safety. The general advice is if you walk

alone, even in this relatively benign area, and especially off the beaten track, always

wear  suitable footwear and clothing, take your mobile phone and  if you can,  tell

someone (or just leave a note somewhere) where you are  going, and when you expect 

to be  back.
 Remember, a badly sprained ankle can be as disabling as a

broken leg-give people a chance to find you. It could save your life. Taking a map and a

compass  is always a good idea if you are going to more isolated places.