Crook Peak

An energetic climb from a pretty village is rewarded with superb views over the Somerset Levels.

Technical sheet
No. 18113338
A Winscombe and Sandford walk posted on 30/12/21 by Walks from the Door. Update : 30/12/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h30[?]
Distance Distance : 13.06km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 273m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 279m
Highest point Highest point : 208m
Lowest point Lowest point : 27m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Winscombe and Sandford
Starting point Starting point : N 51.314591° / W 2.832861°
Download : -


(D/A) From the front door of the Woodborough Inn, cross the road and walk down Woodborough Road between the Co-op on the left and Farrons Estate Agents on the right. Just before the bridge, turn right past the public toilets onto the Strawberry Trail; turn left.
Cross the bridge and follow the trail for a quarter of a mile.

(1) Pass under a road bridge (The Lynch). Continue along the Trail, passing the Recreation Ground on your left. Keep along the Strawberry Line as far as the Shute Shelve Tunnel. Beyond the tunnel, continue through a cutting, then leave the trail along a signposted footpath on the right that doubles back to a track below the Kings Wood car park. Turn left.

(2) Follow an undulating bridleway that leads along the bottom of Kings Wood. After climbing beside the mossy remains of a wall on the left, the path starts to descend through a scrubby area. Ignore a path off to the right, but take the second right, where a path crosses from the left and divides either side of a bramble bush.

Follow this path as it climbs to the open hillside, with views to Glastonbury Tor and Brent Knoll, and then descends to a wall.

(3) Follow the wall down a rocky section and bear right by a gate below a disused quarry. Beyond the quarry, cross open fields; keep right at a junction of paths beyond a wooden kissing gate, aiming for the buildings of Bourton Farm.
Cross the lane below the farm and take the footpath opposite.

(4) Bear right to a stile, then left along the bottom of the field to the second (a stile on the right gives access to Coral Cave, but the diversion is barely worth it).
Beyond a house, head half-left and continue along the bottom of a series of fields towards Compton Bishop (ignoring a footpath to the left over a stile in the hedge).
The last stile leads into a driveway, which you follow between houses before it bends left.

(5) On meeting the road, walk up Church Lane, ignoring the turning to Coombe Lane. Turn left at the church along Butts Batch and pass the Manor on your left. Turn right into Vicarage Lane and when the road ends follow the track ahead as it curves left.
Keep left along the wall at a junction of paths, then turn right (uphill) at a fork. At the top of the slope, turn sharp right through a gap in the fence with a National Trust waymark.

(6) Climb the Razor ridge (which has a false summit) until you reach the rocky summit of Crook Peak. Having admired the views, turn left along the lip of the rocks, then double back right to pass below the low cliff.
Head down the hill to a saddle with a crossing path, and continue along the broad ridge with a wall on your left.

(7) Follow the wall as it bends right across a second saddle, also with a crossing path, then bear left uphill, still following the wall, climbing to the trig pillar on Wavering Down via a stone memorial bench (inscribed “Only a hill but all of life to me”).
Return to the wall and descend to Cross Plain. Turn left through the farm and follow the entrance drive down to a crossing track (Barton Drove). Take a few steps to the right and go through a kissing gate on the left.
Walk straight across the field, aiming just to the right of the scrubby area ahead. Go through a gate and descend a steep, stepped path through the trees.

(8) Exit the wood via a stile and walk down into the churchyard. After visiting the church, follow Church Lane downhill to a road junction in the middle of the village. Follow a concrete track through a farm-yard opposite, passing between farm buildings and then following a line of poplar trees.

(9) In the corner of the field cross a footbridge over a stream. Cross the next field to a ford over a stream in the hedge on your left (bypassable via a footbridge at the far end). Turn left (north) parallel to the left-hand edge of the field to a stile and kissing gate.
Cross the next field (ignoring a gate opposite) and follow the right-hand hedge to a slab stile in the corner, continuing in the same direction with young trees on your right. After another slab stile a narrow path leads over a small stream and between gardens out to the road.

(10) Turn right and walk along the road (The Lynch) for 300 yards, looking out for a footpath sign on a telegraph pole indicating a path on the left between two houses. Beyond the houses, cross a field to a slab stile and kissing gate leading into an open space newly planted with trees. At the end of this area, turn right up steps onto the Strawberry Line.

(11) Turn left over the bridge, then turn right off the trail past the toilets. Turn left back to the Woodborough Inn. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 41m - Woodborough Inn
1 : km 0.53 - alt. 44m - Shute Shelve Tunnel
2 : km 2.21 - alt. 82m - Kings Wood
3 : km 3.82 - alt. 42m - Quarry
4 : km 4.74 - alt. 38m - Coral Cave
5 : km 5.97 - alt. 32m - Church
6 : km 6.68 - alt. 80m - Razor ridge - Crook Peak
7 : km 10.04 - alt. 206m - Stone memorial bench
8 : km 11.05 - alt. 79m - Wood
9 : km 11.8 - alt. 35m - Stream
10 : km 12.31 - alt. 39m - Telegraph pole
11 : km 12.89 - alt. 36m - Bridge
D/A : km 13.06 - alt. 41m - Woodborough Inn

Useful Information

A long climb and steep descent; muddy after rain.

Pdf link :

The Woodborough Inn
2 Sandford Rd, Winscombe,
Somerset BS25 1HD
Tel 01934 844167

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Shute Shelve Tunnel is brick-lined at its northern end (pictured) where it passes through soft marl, but the bare walls of hard limestone at the southern end are lined with flowstone.

Sidcot School (right) is one of the few independent Quaker schools in the country, and has its own Friends’ Meeting House.

The village of Compton Bishop is dominated by the tower of St Andrew's Church, a Grade I listed building. The churchyards contains a medieval cross and inside the building is a finely carved stone pulpit described by one antiquarian as “one of the best in Somerset”.

The spectacular 360° view from Crook Peak is dominated by the M5 heading towards the obvious eminence of Brent Knoll, with the Parrett Estuary backed by the Quantocks and Exmoor beyond. To the west the island of Steepholm lurks beyond the ridge of Brean Down; to the north are Avonmouth and the outskirts of Bristol; looking east over Cheddar Reservoir is a glimpse of the Gorge; and to the south are the Somerset Levels, with Glastonbury Tor prominent in the south-east.

Dolebury Warren is a well-preserved Iron Age hillfort with steep slopes and wide views on all sides. It was used as a rabbit warren during the Middle Ages, hence the name, and the ruins of the warrener’s house are still visible.

Cheddar Gorge was formed by meltwater unable to enter the underlying caves during periods when they were blocked by permafrost. Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, dating from around 7000BC, was found in Gough’s Cave.

Axbridge, though nowadays smaller than neighboring Cheddar, is historically the more important settlement and was granted a Royal Charter in 1202 by King John.

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