I have been staying with Susan for abourt a month, to help her in the house and look after Ben during the latter stages of her 2nd pregancy. On my days off from Molly Maiding and Ben sitting I have had a couple of walks in the Quantock hills, an area I had not explored.
My first walk started at Dead Woman's Ditch (51°08.228'N, 3°11.938'W)near Nether Stowey, There is a rather unpleasant tale attached to the area. A charcoal burner called Walford had relations with a teenage girl, she became pregnant, then he murdered her in mid pregnacy and left her body in the ditch here. He was quickly caught, and sentanced to death, he was hung and his body put in a gibbet for a year at Walford Gibbet. (51°08.810'N, 3°10.859'W).
From here I went to Hurley Beacon one of a multitude of tumulii in the area, and also used as a beacon on more recent times to warn of danger and celebrate royal birthdays etc.. Then north along the wide ridge to West Quantoxhead. This is open moorland with heather, gorse and in the more sheltered spots small twisted trees being battered by the wind. The ridge is a popular place with walkers, and horse and bike riders, there are ponies grazing and signs saying don't allow dogs to chase the deer though I saw no deer.
From Quantoxhead I decended towards the A39 and joined the Coleridge Way. (It seems to me that in the number of named long walks in the UK has increased exponentially.) This follows the boundary of open land and farm land and has views across the fields to the Bristol Channel. After several kilometers I left the Coleridge Way and wended my way over a couple of ridges into the wooded valley of Hodders Comb which is steep sided and very pretty mature woodland with a football field sized open pasture in the middle. A steep short climb took me on the crest of Black hill and the track back to the car.
A week later I parked at Lydeard Hill car park (51°05.896'N, 3°10.298'W) and set off on in a generally north wards direction. To avoid completely retracing my steps on the way back I dropped down into the very quiet secluded valley of Aisholt. It was when walking along here that I came across two thatched cottages that look like they could adorn a box of chocolates.
On my way up to the ridge of Aisholt Common I passed under a pear tree overhanging the road, and thinking how lucky I was picked up a windfall. Thirty minutes later I was dissappointed to find it was very hard and nowhere neat ripe.
From the top of Aisolt Common I followed an old cart track to the Triscombe Stone at the southern end of a drove road. The Triscombe stone is thought to date from the Bonze Age. (http://www.quantockhills.com/blog/view/romancing_the_stone/) The drove road (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drovers%27_road) is completley straight and about 100 ft wide and walled with magnificent beech trees growing in the walls. I followed it N for a couple of kilometres then retraced my steps,went over Wills Neck which at 386metres above sea level is the highest point of the Quantocks, made a diversion to look for a geocache then a cuppa at the car.
The pictures are here : https://photos.app.goo.gl/tgdB6HUIuhINnSyi2