Walk 3499 - printer friendly version
West Compton & North Wootton from Pilton Walk
Author - Anthony Maries
Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km
Ascent - 750 feet / 227 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference ST588408
Lat 51.164953 + Long -2.5906056
Postcode BA4 4BE (approx. location only)
This walk explores the southern fringe of the Mendip Hills near Pilton. Pilton village is very well worth exploring, with many fine old buildings and a magnificent 13th century tithe barn, now restored with money contributed by Glastonbury Festival. Note that for two weeks before and at least a week after the festival, which is normally on the last weekend in June, all the footpaths in the village are closed, because of problems caused in previous years by troublemakers unable to get into the festival.
The village of Pilton is on an elevated position which overlooks the festival site, and during June, it is fascinating to walk past and watch a tented city, with a population the size of Derby, gradually take shape. The festival now covers the whole area between Pilton and Pennard Hill on the south side of the valley, and the perimeter fence is over 5 ½ miles long.
There is one pub in the village, the Crown, on the A361 near the sharp bend at the top of Park Hill. There is also the Workie (working mens' club) if you have a CIU card. There is also the Crossways at North Wootton. Parking in Pilton village is very limited and this walk is not suitable for large organised groups.
The walk starts from St John the Baptist church (grid ref. ST588408). Walk quite steeply down the hill for 150m, then up the other side to the tithe barn and follow the lane round in an easterly direction. Pass the Pylle Road junction, walk slightly up hill and follow the track which diverges to the right at the top of the hill. Walk along the boundary of three fields to reach Copse Lane (grid ref. ST601407). This part of the walk provides a fine vantage point over the village and hills on the north side of the village.
At Copse Lane, cross the road and follow the path which leads through woodland and comes out onto East Town Lane through the garden of a private house. Turn right into the lane and continue in an easterly direction for 100m to find a footpath on the north side of the line, starting from the east side of a barn opposite a farmhouse. Walk up the right hand side of the field and at the far side, bear right through the gate and cross a succession of fields for 600m until you come to a path leading north from Bourne Farm (grid ref. ST608410). Walk up hill across two fields to come out on the A361.
Cross the road and onto the path on the north side of the road. Walk along the eastern perimeter of a field shaped like an inverted 'L' to come out at the top of the field by a stile. Follow the path which leads in a WNW direction for 700m to come out by the B3136 (grid ref. ST602418). This path is little used, but the line of the path is never in doubt. Cross the road and onto the path on the other side which leads in a north west direction, crosses a stream and comes out after 600m at a right angle bend by a country lane (grid ref. ST596421). Walk through the village of West Compton. In late June this village seems a million miles away from the buzz of the festival. Get your camera out here, from here on to North Wootton your camera will not stay in its' case.
At the far side of the village at a right-angled bend in the lane (grid ref. ST591424), walk down the track in a WNW direction towards Knowle Farm. At the end of the first field boundary cross the stile on the left and aim for the far south west corner of quite a large field, to come out by woods and a stream. Continue along the edge of the woods for three more fields. At the south east corner of the fourth field, cross the stream. Cross the field on the other side of the stream, walking in a westerly direction, past Red House Farm, across another oddly-shaped field by a stream to come out by the track leading to the farm. Follow the track to the road at Stoodly Bridge (grid ref. ST576424), then cross the road and follow the track by the stream on the opposite side of the road.
The track soon peters out to a path. Follow the path across three more fields and onto Mill Lane (grid ref. ST570422). Continue down the lane to a junction of narrow lanes by Nut Tree Farm. Cross the road and follow the path between cottages and the Redlake. Walk along the path for 400m to come out at a right angle bend in a lane at the top end of North Wootton (grid ref. ST566418). Sometimes you might be followed by a lamb across one field, a collar round its' neck showing that it is only a pet, eager for you to share the contents of your lunch box. Last time I walked this way a Gloucestershire Old Spot was busily rooting around in its' corner of the field. Note that there have been some changes to the rights of way in North Wootton and signs have been erected so you can follow the revised route. Please remember to respect the privacy of landowners.
Turn left down the lane and continue for 150m, then at the road junction turn left then almost immediately right onto a path which crosses rough ground on the side of a hill. At a minor lane (grid ref. ST568416) bear right and continue down hill for 100m. At the road junction, cross over and follow the path starting from some cottages on the far side of the road. Follow the path in a south easterly direction for 450m to come out at the farm track leading to Westholme Farm (grid ref. ST570411). Turn right then almost immediately left onto another track which curves round to the east to meet a lane at the bottom of Perridge hill (grid ref. ST573411). Follow the lane for 50m then follow a path across 3 small fields to come out at a collection of cottages at a right angle bend in the lane (grid ref. ST572407). Turn onto the other path which joins the lane, walking east for 1300m to come out at the edge of Pilton near the top of Park Hill. Cross the A361 at this point and walk down Parsons' Batch to return to the starting point of the walk.