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Christmas Ramble

17th December 2019 (9:15am - 2:00pm)

AWRA Christmas ramble from the Black Swan at Langport. Contact details: Ashley Davies on 01458 250541 or Karl Parfitt on 01935 426339.

The walk will be approximately 5 miles long following the river and part of a disused railway line. There are no styles, the terrain is flat but may be muddy in places. The Inn will be open for payment from 0930 and we inmtend to start the walk at 0945. Estimated time for return is 1230 with lunch at 1300.

Parking at the Black Swan is limited but there is agreement for us to park at the far end of Tesco car park where there is a path through to the Inn.

Main Course:

Roast Breast of Turkey served with bacon wrapped chipolata and cranberry sauce

Roast West Country Beef served with horseradish sauce

Traditional Nut Roast pan fried vegetables with nuts served with vegetarian gravy

Baked Fillet of Sea Bass with lemon lime and parsley butter

All served with a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables.


Christmas Pudding and brandy sauce


Dessert of the day.

Cost: £15.95 per person

Walk from The Black Swan, Langport, 17th December 2019

For last few years the weather for the Christmas walk has tended to be wet, sometimes windy and occasionally wintery. This year it was wet, cold, misty and affected by flooding.  Not the most inviting conditions for a walk.

A circular route had been planned but the heavy rain of the last few days had resulted in parts of the route being flooded. The only option open to us was a straight forward walk towards Muchelney and back.

The last time we walked from The Black Swan was in April 2007. That walk took us towards Aller, the opposite direction to to-days walk.

We left the car park of The Black Swan by way of a footpath that lead us into the Tesco Car park and then onto Northstreet Moor. The path round the southern edge of the moor brought us to Moor Lane and into Bow Street, the main road through the lower part of the town. From here it was a short walk to Bow bridge, where we crossed The River Parrett, using the footbridge. The route from here took us through the Business Park to join the Parrett Cycle Way, which runs along the track bed of the dismantled Taunton to Yeovil branch line. This was followed southwards to Westover Crossing Cottage on Law Lane, the Muchelney to Drayton road.

On joining the road we turned towards Muchelney and walked as far as Westover Bridge, across the River Parrett. After viewing the flooded fields and take a picture of the group we turned to retrace our steps as far as Bow Bridge, at Langport. Here we turned to follow the river along Cockle Moor as far as the car park. After a pause, we walked through the car park, crossed Cheapside to pass through The Town Hall and the Walter Bagehot Town Garden, and reached the path on Northstreet Moor. This returned us to Tesco car park and The Black Swan.

Due to the planned walk route being flooded, Ashley had used his local knowledge to lead us along a shorter route of about 4 miles. It was flat and we finished earlier than originally planned but, in view of the weather, that was not a bad thing.

The pub was very welcoming and we enjoyed a good lunch.

The January walk will be from The Drayton Crown Inn, at Drayton.

Bev doing the admin In the Bar at The Black Swan

Ashley, our walk leader and co-organiser setting off down the car park

Confusion! Ashley had moved off without warning.

Following the path around the edge of Northstreet Moor

In Moor Lane walking towards Bow Street

Bow bridge and The River Parrett

In the middle of the picture, lurking in the undergrowth beside the old railway line, is a piece of Brunel's broadgauge rail being used as a fence post.

Following the old railway line towards Yeovil

Looking westwards, from the rail line, along Perrymoor Rhyne

By Westover crossing cottage. The crossing was there because the bridge carrying the railway over Law Lane was very low and high vehicles had to divert over the crossing.

I took this picture of the railway bridge in 1961.

Note the caution sign. "Headroom 7ft-6in". The view is towards Muchelney and the crossing and cottage are to the left of the picture.

This is a more recent view of the bridge supports taken in April 2007, from a similar position to the previous picture. Since then, and after the severe flooding of a couple of years ago, the road level has been considerably raised and the top of the support is barely 5ft above the road.

The view from Westover bridge across The River Parrett, in the foreground, and the flooded fields to Muchelney, on the right.

The walkers standing on Westover Bridge. Some members tried to persuade me to stand further away to get a better view but I couldn't do this without falling in the river.

Ashley originally planned the route to follow along this bank of the river but further on the path was under water and the rest was very slippery.

Nearly back at Langport.

Ashley and Pete the tail ender

On the path along Cockle Moor

Passing through the Town Garden to reach Northstreet Moor

Waiting for a well deserved lunch