Stride out into mining country

Somerset is known for cider, not coal. But Mark Rowe digs up its surprising past

This walk explores the landscape left from the little-known era of mining in Somerset, which employed 9,000 people in the 19th-century.

Start by Radstock Museum in Waterloo Road in Radstock. Cross the A367 and take the footpath for Thicket mead. Pass under the old railway bridge and turn right and climb the field to the top-left corner to a gate. Walk uphill and turn left along a farm track. Turn right by the sign to Quarry cottage, past the house to a gate. Walk downhill, cross the bridge and uphill to another stile. Cross and bear diagonally left uphill to a stile on the right and another ahead. Turn left along the lane and head right up steps on to Clandown recreation field.

Walk diagonally left to the road. Turn right and take the first road left. After 400 yards, turn right across the field to Paulton Lane. Clamber over an overgrown stile opposite, then head across the field, at about two o'clock, keeping the oak tree to your left. Look for two yellow waymarkers, about 30 yards apart. Walk between them but closer to the right-hand one, and keep the hedgerow a little to your left.

Aim for a stile directly across the field, and then make for the left-hand corner of the next field (with a car park on your left) to steps on to the road at Camerton. Turn left. The path continues to the drive of Camerton court. Pass through the small iron gate and cross to the kissing gate. Go diagonally right across the field. Through the next gate, go downhill to a stile. Turn left and pass the old colliery cottages, walking along the road for about 800 yards to crossroads. Turn right and take the second footpath on the right and pass through the estate to a track. Where the paths cross, go straight, through the gate and across the cottage garden to a field. Keep right to a stile by the edge of the wooded batch and keep ahead.

Follow the track behind the cottage and follow the path to the river and turn left in front of the bridge over a stile and walk with Cam Brook on your right. Go through a gate; turn right on the road then left through the gate to walk with Cam Brook on the right. Cross the footbridge to a road. Turn right up the road into Carlingcott, walking past the former mining cottages of Carlingcott. Bear left past the village green before turning right past house No 94 down a track to a field. Continue with the hedge on your right to another field. Here, cross a stile, with the hedge now on your left. Keep ahead and drop down the hill to a stile and cross the road to a metal gate. Turn left and walk up the grassy path. Where the ground levels out, take the well-hidden stile on the left and cross the fields at about 11 o'clock to reach a stile into woods.

Take the stile ahead and follow the field edge to a gate to cross the A367. Turn left and then right at the first drive leading to Woodborough Court. Just before the house, bear right into the field and go downhill. Keep downhill to the metal gate and then pick up a path from the left.

This path then emerges on to a field which you cross straight to find another gap in the hedge. (A stile should be in place soon.) Through another field the path (not yet on the OS map) will bear around the south side of Ludlows Farm. Turn right, and then left along a track that becomes a road, downhill into Radstock. At Waldegrave Terrace, take the final footpath left to the car park.

Distance: Eight miles
Time: Four hours
OS Map: Explorer 142, Shepton Mallet and Mendip Hills East
Further information For details on Somerset go to For information about bus services from Bristol and Bath, contact Traveline (0870 200 2233;

Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot