Start Point – Portcullis Inn, Tormarton
Distance – 7Km (4.5 miles)
Difficulty – Easy
Time – 2-3 hours
Refreshments – The Major’s Retreat, and The Compass Inn at Tormarton
Reproduced by kind permission Gwynne Stock
The trial follows paths and lanes across an ancient open farmed landscape from the historic village of Tormarton and descends through an important Cotswold estate – Dodington Park.
1 Starting outside the Portcullis lnn in Tormarton, head west through the village to the kissing gate adjacent the Old School House. From here the walk follows the route of the Cotswold Way
National Trail. Follow the Cotswold Way National Trail signs, cross several fields, stone stiles and lanes to reach the main A46 road. Cross the A46 taking extra care at this busy road, and continue down into Dodington Park.
2 Descend into Dodington Park, crossing the footbridge that marks the source of the River Frome and the start of its 30km journey to the River Avon in the heart of Bristol. Continue to follow the Cotswold Way National Trail way‑markers through the park.
3 After around Ikm, the path swings left and drops down hill. Dodington House lies mostly hidden but occasional tantalising glimpses of its domed roof can be seen in the woods below to your left. Follow the path down to the old stone bridge. After crossing the stone bridge, bear left and cross the estate road, taking care as this section can be muddy in winter months. Continue to Catchpot Lane at Coomb’s End.
4 On reaching Catchpot Lane, we now leave the route of the Cotswold Way National Trail. Turn left and follow the lane for around 2km, passing Garden House to your right with its beautiful red bricked walled garden, several converted old stables and the elegant Home Farm. Note the old mounting block just before the small post box, used for mounting horses. Proceed over the crossroads marking the entrance to Dodington House and begin the climb back up the Cotswold escarpment, passing Shepherds Close Farm on your right. Continue up the lane until you reach Old Farm on your right.
5 Passing Old Farm, turn right to follow the bridleway towards Southfield Clump. The bridleway follows the edge of the field which can be muddy in winter. The bridleway swings left uphill through Southfield Clump and into Long Nursery woodland running adjacent the field edge. Continue through to rejoin the lane where it meets with the B4465 at Dodington Ash.
6 Turn left passing the Turnpike House and circular Bath Lodge to the A46, taking extra care here as this junction is very busy. Cross the A46 with care and take the road signposted to Tormarton. Proceed for 100m, turn right and follow the lane for around 3/4 km towards To rmarton village. Turn left leaving the lane, following the public footpath across several small fields before emerging back into the village and the Portcullis Inn.