Section 2

Day 10 – Barnstaple to Warren Farm

  • Map 1:  You now leave the A361 on a short new road “Mills Way” rather than an alley to join the riverbank as before.
  • Map 1:  There is a good simple campsite just outside Barnstaple at Brightlycott Barton.  This is 2km offroute up the road NE from the paragraph marker “3” on the map.  You can rejoin the route at the point where it meets the first road on Map 2.
  • Map 2:  Stay on the first bit of road a bit longer to turn left just before Collard Bridge.  The upper path (an unofficial one) was blocked due to felling work when I was last there.
  • Map 2:  Paragraph 4.  As soon as you enter the plantation take the right turn downhill, not the track ahead.  The path bends left, then a gate leads into the old wood.
  • Map 3:  The pub in Bratton Fleming is no more.
  • Map 3:  Paragraph 3.  Where it says “ridge” on the map, keep left near the fence to go through a small gate ahead.  A clear path descends right to meet a track.  Turn left down this (back on the original route).  When you get to the stream there is now a new track along the opposite bank (which you don’t follow).
  • Map 5:  After Pinkery Pond it is better to cross to the south side of the wall where it says “gates” on the map.  The gate by Chains Barrow was in a swamp when I was last there.
  • Map 6:  I haven’t revisited the original route from Exe Head to Prayway Head, as I’ve rerouted this section to reduce road walking.  It should still be possible to follow the old route though.  I won’t try to give full details of the revised route here, but it contours the hillside above the original route, following a horse gallop.  It doesn’t follow the line of the Two Moors Way marked on OS maps: that is pathless and more difficult.
  • Map 6:  Paragraph 2.  The prominent tree that used to be a guide to where to hit the fence has gone.  There is still a smaller bush there though, so aim for that.
Looking east down the Exe valley towards Warren Farm

Day 11 – Warren Farm to Roadwater

  • Map 1:  There is a campsite at Westermill Farm, 2km south along the road from Larkbarrow Corner.
  • Map 2:  Paragraph 2.  The first gate in the hedge on your right has now gone, so you turn up to the ridge at the first gate you come to.  There’ll probably be a small cairn.
  • Map 4:  End of paragraph 2.  You now only go straight on for 1 1/2 fields, then go through the gate and cut across diagonally to the gate by paragraph marker “3”.
  • Map 6:  A new gate has now made it possible to follow the official line of the right of way from the point where you cross the first lane.  In the next field aim left of the field corner and farm gate to a small gate.  Go straight on in the next field with the hedge on your right.  Go through a gate in the corner and turn right to join the original route.
Lime heap, Lype Hill

Day 12 – Roadwater to Bridgwater

  • Map 1:  Paragraph 1.  After crossing the B3190 keep left in the wood to a kissing gate at an angle in the fence (not at the bottom of the wood).  Cross the field, rejoining the original route.
  • Map 2:  Paragraph 3.  You can now get through the hedge down steps to get to the road by Curdon Mill.  Take care to avoid traffic.
  • Map 2:  Paragraph 4.  Approaching Curdon Farm go ahead to the end of the drive, through a gate, then go through the small gate on the right into the field.
  • Map 5:  Paragraph 3.  There is now a stile where there should be where the guide says “there is no exit”.  From here the next path is just to your right.
  • Map 7:  Paragraph 1.  When I was last there the alternative route via Oakenford Farm was impractical as the initial stile had vanished into the untended hedge.
Bicknoller Post, Quantock Hills

Day 13 – Bridgwater to Cheddar

  • Map 2:  There is now a tarmac cycle path along the old railway from Bawdrip to Cossington, which you can follow if you wish.  The “official” route is still as it was though.  The campsite marked on the map between Bawdrip and Cossington is no longer there.
  • Map 3:  There is a good simple campsite at Splott Farm off the B3139 2km west of Blackford.
  • Map 3:  Paragraph 1.  When you get to the “isolated house” follow the waymarked route round the left side of the house.
Brinscombe Hill

Day 14 – Cheddar to Easton-in-Gordano

  • Map 1:  Paragraph 1.  “The Lippiatt” had no street name sign when I was last there.  It is the first right after the Riverside Inn (steeply uphill).
  • Map 1:  Paragraph 5.  This should now read:  “Cross the stream again then turn left (gate, fp sign) & follow the field edge up to stiles. Cross the righthand stile & follow the fence ahead through gorse bushes & a gap to the next field. When the fence turns right, go ahead on a vague path heading north.”  There is no longer a fence on the left here.
  • Map 3:  After crossing the A368, the path through Thatcher’s brewery has been rerouted.  Either follow the A368 right then take the road left, or go left on the A368 then turn right along the line of the old railway.  This leads to a track through orchards to rejoin the original route at the road: turn left for the old railway bridge.
  • Map 5:  The fruit farm and its cafe have closed, but the right of way through can still be followed.
  • Map 6:  Paragraph 1.  “Bridleways” is on the left, not the right.
  • There were at one point plenty of places to get bed and breakfast in and around Easton, but that is no longer the case.  The Days Inn hotel (01275 373709) is 1km offroute along the A369 (see Day 14 Map 7) inside Gordano motorway services.  Bradford Lodge bed and breakfast (0117 982 3211) is just across the A4/B4054 roundabout at Avonmouth, only 0.5km off-route. To reach it turn left rather than right when you leave the motorway bridge (Day 15 Map 1).
Cheddar from the top of the Gorge
Beacon Batch, 325m

Day 15 – Easton-in-Gordano to Chepstow

  • Map 4:  Paragraph 2.  Approaching Brynleaze Farm keep closer to the farm.  The second half of para 2 should now read: “Keep straight on (north) to cross two more footbridges, then aim right of the farm to a gate. Go through this, turn right to go through another gate then turn left to cross a footbridge.”
  • Map 4:  Paragraphs 3 and 4.  The last time I was there the field paths west of Rookery Farm were blocked.  To avoid the problem stay on the track to Rookery Farm, then follow the access road.
  • There is no longer anywhere to camp at Chepstow, but Greenman backpackers hostel has opened in the town centre.
Kingsweston House
The M48 Severn Bridge
River Wye and Chepstow Castle

Day 17 – Monmouth to Pandy

  • The bunkhouse at Pandy has closed.

Day 18 – Pandy to Hay-on-Wye

  • There is camping and hostel accommodation at the Baskerville Hall Hotel across the river from Hay.