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Mendip Ring +
Rodney Stoke, Batcombe Hollow, Cheddar Head. 10 Miles
Start the walk from the Church at Rodney Stoke. Park carefully along the road. Grid Ref. ST 482498
This walk starts at the "Thankful Village" of Rodney Stoke and climbs up to the top of Cheddar Gorge then crosses the Mendip Hills before dropping back down to Rodney Stoke. It is quite a hilly walk but has some fantastic views across the Somerset Levels to the Quantocks, Bridgewater Bay and Glastonbury Tor. The term "Thankful Village" comes from the first world war and equates to the fact that all the men that went to fight in the war returned alive.
With your back to the church head straight through the farmyard ahead and into the field beyond, then take the first path on your right and follow this up to Butts Lane continue straight on to reach the A371, cross the road into the lane opposite (Hill Lane) continue up the hill and just after the bend look for a stile on your left , cross this and follow the path round to the right following the hedge line to emerge onto a lane. Turn left down the lane then first right and follow this to reach Sun Batch. Turn left slightly downhill then right up a track to cross a stone stile into a footpath, follow this to reach New Road, turn left downhill to the A371. Turn right following the road to reach Top Road on your right.
Follow Top Road until you come to a junction on your left, turn right here into the footpath follow this path up the hill passing Batcombe Farm Just after the farm at a junction of paths take the left hand one and head for Carscliff Farm, continue uphill crossing a stile come wall and on through a kissing gate, then head up this field to pass through the gate at the top, now go slightly left to the top corner of this field to enter an enclosed path (this is a rough path so take care) exit this path and follow the field edge on your left round to a kissing gate onto a track . Turn left and follow the West Mendip Way down hill to Bradley Cross, On reaching the road at Bradley Cross do not enter it, but take the footpath off to the right back uphill, at a junction of paths turn right and follow the drive up towards Bradley Cross Farm. Just before you reach the farm cross the stile on your left follow the footpath to the top of the field through the gate continue straight up the field and at the junction of paths take the left hand one across the field, follow this path through the fields to join the West Mendip Way again . Turn right, through the gate ahead into Bubwith Acres Nature Reserve.
Once through the gateway take the left fork continuing up the hill at the top cross the stile in the top right hand corner of this field then drop down to the track below look to the right for a gate leading into access land. Go through this gate and follow the track as it winds downhill, where it bears to the left down to the road, keep straight ahead soon to pass through a kissing gate, keep on this path which eventually brings you out to a stile onto the B3135. Turn right and follow the road to reach a junction on your left, take the footpath on your right opposite the junction climbing the hill to join the track at the top this is Middle Down Drove.
Follow this until you join up with The Mendip Way again. Turn left through a gate and head across the field to another gate (you now leave the West Mendip Way) follow the path which is fenced, down to the right, then left to pass a stand of beech trees to reach New Road, cross this into the field opposite head straight across the field to reach a stile into Rodney Stoke Nature Reserve, follow the path down through the woods to emerge into a field now head for the bottom right hand corner to cross a stile, follow the track out to reach Scadden's Lane. Turn right follow the lane down to a sharp left hand bend go straight ahead following the stream on your right round to cross a small bridge and out to reach the A 371. Turn left then cross the road and take the lane opposite (Stoke Street) follow this back to Rodney Stoke Church.