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Looking Back at February Walks Part 1 - 2001 to 2010

14th March 2021 (12:00am - 12:00am)


Looking Back at Walks Over the Last Twenty Years


February Walks Part One 

For convenience I have divided the review of our February walks into two parts. The first part covers the period 2001 to 2010 and the second part 2011 to 2020. By doing this I hope to be able to use more pictures. 

Although February is still officially Winter, when our walks take place towards the end of the month, we are generally starting to see the early signs of Spring with snowdrops, primroses and hazel catkins appearing in the hedgerows. We also see young lambs and Spring crops being sown. However, it can still be cold and wet and a hot meal at the end of the walk is always very welcome. As I mentioned in my introduction to the January walks, the walks are not just exercise but a social occasion and it doesn’t get much better than sitting down to a good hot meal with friends.

The following list suggests that we understandably stay fairly near to home for our walks at this time of the year. The list shows that there were two exceptions, one being Lower Burton near Dorchester and the other, in part two, Broadway beyond Ilminster.

February Walks – Part One  2001 to 2010




Starting Point



Melbury Osmond

The Rest & Welcome




Westland Sports & Social Club



Bradford Abbas

The Rose & Crown




The Red House



Chilthorne Domer

Half Way House



Long Sutton

The Golf Club



North Brewham

The Old Red Lion



Lower Burton

The Sun



Ham Hill

The Prince of Wales



Shepton Beauchamp

The Duke of York



Walk from The Rest and Welcome at Melbury Osmond.I don’t have any pictures or notes on this walk but I think this was when we celebrated the 100th walk  I also see from my diary that there were reports of foot and mouth disease in Northumbria and East Anglia and as this spread over the whole country it was to result in restrictions on our walking in the following months


In my time, walking with the Retirement Association, this was the only occasion on which we have started a walk from The Westland Sports & Social Club.

The walk took us through Nine Springs and over Summer House Hill to Barwick. We returned by way of Newton Copse, the line of the old railway to Hendford and “Brookie” footpath to the club.

A pause in Nine Springs, close to a seat put there as a memorial to Roland Starkie, who had worked in the Erecting Shop at Westland’s.

Climbing away from Nine Springs

Another pause after crossing Two Tower Lane. The Fish Tower is in the background

Descending Summer House Hill towards Dodham Bridge.

Note the construction work on the Old Town Station site


We walked from The Rose and Crown at Bradford Abbas to Thornford and returned via Wyke 

     This is the River Yeo near Thornford. Ann is looking back to make sure that the back marker is in sight

       Late February is a nice time to walk as we start to see the first signs of Spring.  Primroses near Thornford.

  Snowdrops near Thornford


       A pause near Thornford  

        On the way back from Wyke Farm towards Bradford Abbas


This was the first walk that I took part in from The Red House.  It took us past Pavyotts Mill, before making a wide circuit around East Coker and then returning by Pavyotts Mill to our starting point.

Clive calling us to order before setting off on the walk. I think he must have got the instrument, he’s using, at a Christmas party.

              Pavyotts Mill House

Crossing a stream between Pavyotts Mill and East Coker. At this point the footpath is part of the Monarchs Way

 A complex footpath sign at the junction of three, or is it six, paths?

Row of alms houses by Coker Court

Climbing Stoney Lane towards Isles Lane

Passing through Sleight Plantation

Storm damage from earlier in the month

Lunch at The Red House


We generally think of a walk from Chilthorne Domer as being from The Carpenters Arms and forget that The Halfway House on the A37 is also in Chilthorne Domer. This time the walk was from The Halfway House.

It was a very cold, but fortunately dry and mostly dry underfoot.

The first part of the walk took us to New Oakley Farm and then continued towards Limington but stopping short to pass The Warren and then turn back to Yeovil Marsh. There was a short section of road walking in Yeovil Marsh before returning to New Oakley Farm and following the outward route, in reverse, to The Halfway House.

The group taken before the start of the walk

The ponies were in a field by New Oakley Farm

This path meets the end of a track called Thornhill Lane, just a short distance from The Lamb and Lark at Limington, another popular venue for our walks

Primroses on Green Moor near Yeovil Marsh

Crossing a stream near New Oakley Farm, on the return leg of the walk

 Back at halfway House waiting for lunch.


Long Sutton Golf Club has been another popular venue with our walk organisers, appearing five times on the list. This walk took us eastwards to Knole and then northwards towards Somerton. Just after crossing the road to Somerton we turned westwards to Mondays Court Lane. Here we turned southwards to walk through Long Sutton and return to our starting point

The members gathering in the car park at The Golf Club

The fields next to The Golf Club were very wet

A pause at the top of the lane into Knole before we crossed the  A372 by The Lime Kiln to walk up Somerton Field Lane



In Somerton Field Lane

The group of walkers pictured near the northern end of Somerton Field Lane

The view from Mondays Court Lane, looking southwards

A pause in Crouds Lane, Long Sutton, before the walking the short distance back to The Golf Club


We’ve walked from The Old Red Lion at North Brewham on only one occasion. I don’t have notes on the route but apart from the ground being very wet the walk was memorable for an unfortunate reason. One of our members was taken ill very close to the end of the walk but we were able to get him back to the pub. He recovered quickly and was able to walk with us on subsequent occasions.

The car park at The Old Red Lion

A very muddy gateway

An interesting sign. As far as I know none of our members were called Archie but it sounds as though they knew we were in the area.

The group

Another muddy patch

A friendly dog. Maybe this was Archie.

Back at the pub with a well earned lunch


 This was a walk from The Sun at Lower Burton near Dorchester. I have a note of it in my diary but I can’t find any pictures or description of the route, which suggests I didn’t attend this walk. It was organised and lead by Clive Soord who had organised another walk from the same venue in 2007.


Over the years Ham Hill has been a popular venue for our walks. In my time I have counted no less than nine occasions on which we have walked from The Prince of Wales. This time we walked along the northern edge of the hill to Batemoor and then dropped down to the bottom of Witcombe. We returned by climbing up through Norton covert and circled along the western side of the hill to the war memorial before returning to our starting point.

Leaving the starting point by this route makes an interesting picture but in my mind I always have the thought that going downhill like this means that, at some point, you have to climb back up. The roof of The Prince of Wales can just be seen at the top, left of the picture.

From  this point we had to walk a short section of the Odcombe road to reach Batemoor Barn. We had to be careful because traffic moves quickly on this piece of road. 

Now we are walking down the main street through what was the small community of Witcombe with Batemoor Barn on the skyline behind us. All that now remain of the houses are the flat platforms on which they stood before they were abandoned some hundreds of years ago.

Climbing back to the top of the hill through Norton Covert

Walking along a path between the two lines of banks that encircle the hill, close to The Lime Kiln car park

The group of walkers close by The War Memorial

Two Doreen’s and Pete on the edge of the hill by The War Memorial. It’s quite a view on a clear day


Over the twenty years being reviewed we have walked from the Duke of York at Shepton Beauchamp on two occasions. February 2010  and then again in June 2015.

On the February occasion the weather was miserable with constant rain during the walk. One good feature of the walk was that there were no stiles. This is a rare occurrence.

The route took us to the East end of the Shepton Beauchamp before turning towards Barrington Court and Barrington village. We passed through Barrington before turning back to Shepton Beauchamp and The Duke of York.

 Waiting in the car park of The Duke of York for the start of the walk

In Drove Lane, in Shepton Beauchamp approaching the Lambrook Road

 Young lambs, another sign of Spring.

The group with Barrington Court in the background.

Doreen, in her signature wellie boots, can never resist a puddle

Walking away from Barrington Court. It may be raining but theyr'e still smiling

Passing through a kissing gate on the edge of Barrington

Waiting for lunch. It looks as though Len is signing up for the next walk despite the weather on this one.

Queuing for lunch at the servery

The rest of the February walks for 2011 through to 2020

will be in part 2 of this article