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East Mendip Way

A 19 mile extension of the West Mendip Way from Wells to Frome (Somerset) across the varied and different landscape from the West Mendip Way. The route passes to the north of Shepton Mallet and close to some of the limestone quarries typical in this area of the Mendips.

Wells to Dean (Near Shepton Mallet)

2 June 2010 - 10 Miles


Suffering severe West Country Deprivation, as have not been going down to Hayle, Cornwall for a couple of years, so managed to hang out with a mate in Frome for a week during the School Break.  The idea was to walk all the way to Frome in one lump, but the weather was so hot and the tiring undulations exhausted me quickly.  The walking I had planned for the week was massively curtailed - and I only managed to complete this path in two sections, there is so much for me to try and walk I would have to move out west!

The Walk starts from the charming mini City of Wells, passing Bishops Palace, then climb badly waymarked Tor Hill, onwards meandering Eastwards, Kings Castle Wood, crossing several B Roads, through the top of Ham Woods, zig zagging round the North East of Shepton Mallet, passing by Charlton Viaduct (sadly no longer used).  A small climb, then crossing the Fosse Way (Roman Road).  At this point the battery on my GPS died, and I almost gave up, but carried on for a couple of miles, climbing Ingsdons Hill, with stunning views over Shepton with Glastonbury Tor in the distance.  A messy section (awkward) follows to Waterlip, with a couple of fellow ramblers looking a bit perplexed.  On to Dallimore Lane, where I called it quits and followed the Bridle Path shortly southwards to Dean (A361).  No buses meant I had to cross and walk a mile further into Cranmore.  After checking out the East Somerset Railway and the Strode Arms for a nice drinky I went back to Frome a bit buzzed from the exertion, heat and alcohol...the waymarking generally good, but some dire sections made it a frustrating experience even with GPS

You skirt the Bishops Palace in Wells - I though this was a castle

Between Lyatt and Furzy Sleight

Somewhere near Crapnell Farm

Disused Quarry near Ham Woods, a hard climb out and crappy waymarking

Approaching Shepton Mallet

Attractive Charlton viaduct, rotting away with no purpose anymore

Lunch on the Fosse Way - a break from the heat and exertion

Frome and Glastonbury Tor - zoomed to the max from Ingsdons Hill

Explanation?  Seems to be a pair of medieval Armour legs for a giant in a field with Goats.  Temple House Farm

Somerset Cows have more attitude than in the South East, several times I was ganged up on!  Near Waterlip.  Shortly after I left the EMW at Dallimore Lane

Dean to Frome

4 June 2010 - 9 Miles


Back to finish the walk into Frome.  Got off the bus at Dean, then climbed back up to join the EMW.  A stout climb up to Cranmore Tower, then through Great Gains Wood, then through a couple of large fields, descending to Downhead - got a bit spooked by being stalked by the cows!  More woodland (nice and cool on a hot day - Shearmoor Wood), passing North of Chantry, then skirting the massive active Whatley Quarry - where through the trees I could make out a freight train rumbling towards Frome.  Shortly joining the Macmillan Way (another day...) Across a road at Murder Combe and along Fordbury Bottom (ah - west country names!)  I took a small diversion into Great Elm, where I had a relaxed long lunch sitting in the shade by the Church.  You then follow by the bank of the Mells River for some distance, along presumably former tramways for the quarries, this is a particularly attractive and cool part of the route with lots of shade.  Then follow Egford Brook to South of Vallis Farm, then strike uphill to reach the outskirts of Frome.  I tried to follow the silly convoluted route into the centre but when the waymarking stopped I just made my own way to the Information Centre, where I downed a pint of Coke on the Rocks and still wanted more, before walking uphill to my friends gaff - job done.  A great walk, taken at snails pace for a change, drinking in the beautiful countryside.

Blimey, a bit of a job getting up to Cranmore Tower.  Saw a deer on the ascent

Cranmore Tower, while I regained my composure

Great Gains Wood

Being Stalked Again

North of Ashley Farm

When other sections are stressful for lack of directions, this kissing gate has three Waymarks - I think the perpetrator needs therapy (ECT?)  Even worse, you could not get this section wrong, so It doesn't even need any waymarks here...!

Some woodland sections are quite spooky and dark

Farm Underpass

Blasting Notice - Whatley Quarry

Water Tank - still being used (well I could hear a lot of gurgling noises)

Whatley Church - Cows not bovvered

Briefly Joining the Macmillan Way

Mells River - Very Pleasant Indeed

Discarded Concrete Sleepers and a level walk make me believe this is a former tramway for the quarries

Passing under the quarry 'mainline' railway

The last climb up to Frome

Approaching Frome

Centre of Frome - job dun


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