Not too far from us here in Glastonbury you will find the Quantock Hills, an Area of Outstanding Beauty. We took advantage of a beautiful winters day to head out to walk one of the walks found in the Pocket Mountains Somerset Walking book – 40 Town and Country Walks by John & Annie Fergusson. The book is for sale in our Middlewick Farm Shop.
The Quantock Hills was the very first Area of Outstanding Beauty(AONB) in England.
This area with its distinctive character, natural beauty and cultural heritage received protected status in 1956. The hills are mostly privately owned land and boast up to half a million visits a year, mostly from people who live within sight of them. The Quantock Hills boast panoramic views on rocky Jurassic coastline, exposed heathland summits, deep wooded combes, undulating farmland and attractive villages.
The start of the walk is at the Hawkridge Reservoir car park(TA5 1BD) which is 24 miles from us here in Glastonbury – around a 1 hour drive. There are plenty of parking spaces at the Reservoir.
From here the walk takes you through a beautiful woodland that is maintained as a Nature Reserve and managed by the Somerset Wildlife Trust. The area is a valuable habitat for toads.
The Village of Aisholt is a Thankful Village
The walk takes you into the village of Aisholt. It is a Thankful village, which means that every man who went to fight in World War I returned home. The village is just a cluster of houses with a 14th Century church. Inside the church you will find a plaque with the names of all the men who went from the village to fight and return in World War I.
Incredible Views, Exmoor Ponies and Wild Garlic
The total walk length is 9km and takes around 3 hours to cover the distance. There are not many hills to climb but the ones you do have to climb are steep. The views from the top are incredible. Along the way there were amazing trees and ancient stone walls. We strolled with a herd of Exmoor ponies enjoying the sunshine on a winters day.
On the way down in one of the woodlands we found a huge patch of wild Garlic. We picked a big bag of it to take home for our supper (wild garlic and walnut pesto with pasta)