A guide to the best country walks near Babington House

A manor house in the countryside

The best countryside walks end with a pint in a pub — check out our guide to the best around Babington House

By Orlagh Collins   Sunday 24 February, 2019

Explore all the natural beauty that Somerset has to offer by pulling on your wellies and heading out from Babington on one of these walks, each with a well-timed pit stop at a local pub.

THE WALK: Babington to Mells, via the Colliers Way
Distance: 3 miles
An achievable stroll for even the laziest of days, follow the cycle path to the historic village of Mells where you’ll find the Grade I listed St Andrew’s church – the final resting place of famed war poet Siegfried Sassoon. 

THE PUB: The Talbot Inn
Selwood Street, Mells BA11 3PN; talbotinn.com 
Refuel with a pint by the fire or a Sunday roast at this coaching inn with its cobbled courtyard, which has welcomed travellers since the 15th century. On warmer days, the Walled Garden opposite is a slice of heaven.
 
An old stone bridge over a lake
THE WALK: Bath skyline walk
Distance: 6-mile loop
A glorious circular walk with the city of Bath – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – at your feet, this National Trust signposted route travels through meadows, ancient woodlands and secluded valleys with stunning views. On the way, you’ll pass the 18th-century Prior Park Landscape Garden, a Palladian bridge, the ruins of Sham Castle and a plethora of wildlife. For directions, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/ bath-skyline.

THE PUB: The Bear
The Bear, 6-10 Wellsway, Bath BA2 3AQ; bearbath.co.uk
You can’t miss this neighbourhood gastro pub – it has a giant polar bear above the door. Food is served all day and, on the weekends, you’ll find a decent Sunday lunch.
a narrow old stone tower
a dog by a fireplace
THE WALK: Hardway to King Alfred's Tower
Distance: 3-mile loop
If it’s views you’re after, take the 160-plus step climb up King Alfred’s Tower, the enchanting folly set on the edge of the Stourhead Estate, believed to be the site where King Alfred the Great rallied his troops against Viking invaders in 878 AD. From here, a brisk 30-minute walk will land you at the perfect country pub, which also happens to be delightfully off-grid.

THE PUB: The Bull Inn
Hardway, 25 Kingsettle Hill, Bruton BA10 0LN; thebullinn-bruton.com
Now under the deft ownership of Iwan and Manuela Wirth (of pioneering gallery Hauser & Wirth), this authentic inn is packed with seasoned charm – think taxidermy squirrels, pewter tankards and a gloriously gaudy carpet. Serving impeccably sourced food and wine, alongside craft ales, this is a deservedly popular spot. Sunday lunch is a particular highlight with notably good puds. It also has a huge garden and dogs are welcome.
a stone home built into a hill
THE WALK: Faukland to Stoney Littleton Long Barro
Distance: 2.5 miles
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow, a Neolithic chambered tomb dating from circa 3,500BC, is just a three-mile walk from Faulkland (which is seven miles from Babington by car).

THE PUB: Tucker's Grave Inn
Faulkland BA3 5XF; tuckersgraveinn.co.uk
This legendary cider house, located on the edge of the sleepy village of Faulkland, is one of only six left in the country and remains unchanged since WWI. Despite the legend of Tucker’s Grave being immortalised in a song by The Stranglers, the authentic inn remains one of Somerset’s best-kept secrets. Far from pretentious, Tucker’s is all about the cider and the chat; there’s no wifi or music to distract you.
the front of an old provisions shop
THE WALK: Catherine Hill/ Rodden Meadow Loop, Frome
Distance: 1.5-mile loop
At the end of the 17th century, Frome was considered more important than Bath due to its thriving market town status. Today it offers heritage trails, river walks and vintage shopping galore, with an award-winning street market on the first Sunday of each month. After a classic French breakfast at Bistro Lotte (bistrolottefrome.co.uk), wander through the cobbled streets to head towards Willow Vale and, then, the ancient grassland of Rodden Meadow. Situated next to the river, this wildflower haven is a great spot for quiet contemplation.

THE PUB: The Griffin
Milk Street, Frome BA11 3DB; griffinfrome.com
Head to this recently renovated heritage pub to discover cask ales and craft beer, plus roasts courtesy of local farmer butcher, Penleigh Farm Traditional Butchers. 


Images from top: The Talbot Inn (Alamy); the Palladian Bridge (Getty); King Alfred's Tower (Getty); The Bull Inn; Stoney Littleton Long Barrow (Getty); The Griffin

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