Stage 4: Shepton Mallet to Frome — the Mendip Way
Kit P planned a hike.
February 12, 2021
The final stage of both the Mendip Way and the East Mendip Way travels through the rather gloriously pastoral landscape between Wells and Cranborne Chase Area Of Natural Beauty. The first half is high, with some pretty views while the second half gradually descends to the final stop, Frome.
Start in Shepton Mallet and head immediately to the impressive, towering Charlton Viaduct. A Grade-II listed building, it used to carry the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway. Climb Ingsdons Hill and through the tiny village of Chelnych.
The fields eventually bring you to Great Gains Wood and it’s worth taking a detour to the 19th-century Cranmore Tower, sometimes open to the public as a viewing point. The Way leads onwards, to Asham Woods. Criss-crossed with paths, this majestic woodland makes for blissful hiking in the summer particularly.
Follow farm tracks to Chantry and stop by the village’s 19th-century church with an impressive spire. The Way heads along the upper treeline of woodlands that hug the stream of Fordbury Water to Bedlam, on the Mells Stream, a particularly lovely area.
Leave the river and meander across the fields into Frome. History seeps out of the ground in this beautiful town and the trail leads you right to the centre and down Catherine Hill, a notably stunning lane packed with independent shops.
The Mendip Way finishes on the bridge in the centre of the town as it crosses the River Frome. From here, relax in one of the numerous indie cafes, get some local information at the museum and admire the architecture.
Frome’s train station is on the line to London Paddington but changing at Westbury just to the east, allows you to catch trains to Southampton, Bristol and further afield.
February 16, 2021