The Polden Way
The Polden Way is a footpath project which links together areas of land with public access on the Polden Hills between Walton, near Street, and Hurcot, near Somerton. It has opened up a path through King’s Wood: an area between Combe Hill and Great Breach Wood which previously had no public access.
Starting from the west end of The Polden Way, Walton Hill, Ivythorn Hill, and Collard Hill have been popular with, and accessible to generations of walkers. The project has improved some of the existing paths and views here, with trees and scrub being cut back. Around the Hood Monument, gates and fencing have been put up, stone has been laid on paths to make walking easier, and some trees have been cut back to open up viewing points. From here, the footpath winds its way on through Hatch Hill, another favourite spot with local walkers. This is one of a number of places along The Polden Way where, thanks to careful management and conservation, the Large Blue Butterfly can be found - hence the The Polden Way’s butterfly logo!
Next is Combe Hill Wood: a well managed woodland, with good parking, spectacular viewing points and well maintained stoned paths, some of which are accessible to pushchairs and wheelchairs. The top part of Combe Hill is suitable for young children and the elderly or infirm. Combe Hill also features information boards explaining woodland management techniques and identifying flora and fauna to be found in the wood.
Moving south east, the new path goes on through King’s Wood. This has been made possible by building steps and a bridge across the steep stream gulley of Combe Hollow. Previously walkers had to make their way along a busy road to rejoin paths into Great Breach Wood at Wickham’s Cross (where Christmas trees are sold). As the path heads through King’s Wood views have been opened up towards the Hood Monument and across the levels, or ‘moors’ as they are known locally.
Finally The Polden Way leads on to the top of Gilling Down. From there the path wends in and out of Great Breach Wood, down towards Hurcot, where spectacular views can be enjoyed towards Somerton and across the moors.
In addition to the landscape and wildlife, there are other interesting features and buildings along The Polden Way. Find out more about these by downloading the Polden Way leaflet and map.