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Ramble from the Drayton Crown

21st January 2020 (9:15am - 1:00pm)



For comparison, this was the Drayton Crown in 2006.

It was then known as the Drayton Arms. 

I don't know when the name changed to The Drayton Arms but going back over sixty years, when I used to see it from the bus travelling between Taunton and Yeovil, it was just known as The Crown. So it has more or less reverted to it's old name.


Walk from The Drayton Crown at Drayton 21-1-2020

On the way from home to Drayton there was patchy fog, dense at times, and the outside air temperature gauge on the car was indication -3°C. Definitely the coldest walk morning we have seen for a while. The good thing about it though, was that there wasn’t any wind and, hopefully, the muddy patches would be frozen hard. Some hope!

Just over thirty members met at Drayton and although there was a small delay for late arrivals we left the pub pretty well on time.

On leaving The Drayton Crown we crossed the road to pass the war memorial and walk along North Street as far as the council houses. Here we turned east onto a track and footpath that took us to Ash Wood and then on, past Park Triangle Plantation, to Park Lane, by the lime kiln.

We then followed Park Lane eastwards into Frog Lane and after about a quarter mile we turned right to follow a track eastwards to join the Parrett Cycleway. This follows the line of the abandoned Yeovil branch of The GWR as far as Law Lane, at Westover Crossing.

Our route then turned towards Muchelney to follow Law Lane as far as Westover Bridge, over The River Parrett, and then upstream along the western side of the river as far as a point just short of the Southmoor Main Drain.

After a brief pause to collect all the walkers we turned back towards Drayton.

This part of the walk was the most challenging as we encountered, in succession, an area of deep mud at a gateway, a very slippery stone slab, where we crossed The Drayton Drain, and a stile that had been damaged by a recently fallen tree.

The final part of the walk, along Ducks Lane, brought us back to the pub and a very good lunch.

 The walk of about 5 miles had been jointly organised by Peter, Tony and Lesley, and although mostly flat, it was interesting despite the foggy conditions. Fortunately the dry weather of the past week had lowered the water level in the river and, with a couple of exceptions, the freezing conditions had hardened the ground to make walking easier.


The next walk in February is being organised by Tony and Lesley, starting from The Pen Mill Hotel, in Yeovil.

Being given a briefing before setting off

The war memorial, just across the road from the pub

After turning off North Street we followed this track and path across to Park Lane .

The tracks in the frosted grass showing that we weren't the first out this morning

The first muddy section of path

It caused a few problems!

Climbing up the slight rise to Park Lane

A surprise by the stile into Park Lane. A periwinkle in flower.

In Frog Lane I had to take this picture of reed mace growing in the ditch beside the lane

We had to pause for a while in Frog Lane because one of our members was not feeling well. He was taken to a nearby coffee shop to wait in the warm, for transport back to Drayton, where he was well enough to stay for lunch with the group.

We are now on The Parrett Cycleway walking towards Westover.

Whilst on The Parrett Cycleway we paused at the bridge over The Perrymoor Rhyne for a group picture

If you look back at the December walk from The Black Swan I showed a picture of these support walls and the bridge as it was in 1961. The following picture was taken in 2006 and the height of the wall above the heads of the walkers clearly shows how much the road has been raised to prevent flooding.


The railway bridge support walls, at Westover Crossing in 2006

The River Parrett, upstream from Westover Bridge. The ground, beyond the far bank of the river, is still flooded.

The River Parrett, near the same spot, again in 2006 with the water level much lower. The picture shows river board people using an electric current to stun all the fish in the water close to them. The fish would then be collected in the net, which can be seen stretched across the river downstream of the boat. Once collected they would examined and returned to the water unharmed. I seem to remember being told that some fish would be removed.

The remains of the railway bridge over the river. Note the rubbish caught up on the railings in the foreground. This indicates how high the river was recently.

 A watery looking sun reflected off the surface of the river

Continuing on upstream to the point where we turned away from the river to return to Drayton

At the footbridge over The Drayton Drain, making sure that nobody hurt themselves by slipping on the very slippery slab.

Another look back to 2006. "Muff" and Jean Voisey emerging from the hedge after crossing The Drayton Drain. Jean has just stepped off the same, but now slippery, slab

Nobody got past here with clean boots!

The next challenge was a broken stile and a narrow slippery bridge. Everybody passed this test unscathed

The final, less challenging, part of the walk along Ducks Lane.

The end in sight.

A well earned lunch