Stourhead King Alfred's Tower walk (2) - 5.5 miles (8.9km)

Walk number two and picnic - Stourhead King Alfred's Tower walk (2) - 5.5 miles (8.9km) - OS Map: Landranger 183, Explorer 142 with Claudine.

Mainly through woodland areas, along gravel, grass and natural forest tracks. There are steep climbs at the beginning of the walk and the paths can be boggy in places, so sturdy footwear is advisable. You're free to walk your dog along this route, but please do keep them under control at all times for wildlife conservation and due to cattle grazing in Six Wells valley. Please remember to bring your lunch for the picnic. 

How to get here:

By bike: Wiltshire Cycle Way runs through estate

By train: Gillingham 6½ miles; Bruton 7 miles

By car: At Stourton, off B3092, 3 miles north-west of Mere (A303), 8 miles south of Frome (A361)

By bus: Frome Minibuses 82 Warminster to Mere; First 58/158 Shaftesbury to Wincanton (passing Gillingham train station), alight Zeals, 1¼ mile

Walk inforamtion

Follow the blue waymarkers on this circular walk of historic interest, through beautiful woodlands to King Alfred's Tower. The route then continues to St. Peter's Pump, through Six Wells valley and past Stourhead House.

From the Visitor Reception building in the main car park take the path that zigzags down towards the Spread Eagle Inn. Walk through the car park and courtyard. Watching out for traffic, turn left and walk down the road, passing St Peters Church on your left. Continue along the road until just beyond the Rock Arch, where you turn right.

Continue walking with Turners Paddock lake and the waterwheel on your left. Keep following the track beside the cattle grid, past Beech Cottage on your right, and over a stile. Go a little further on the main track. Where it forks, take the right hand track and go through a gate. Follow the track along the top of the field. The ruins of Tucking Mill and cottages are hidden in the trees on your left.

Go over the stile at the gate and through the mixed conifer woods, keeping on the main track, going straight ahead at any junctions. After a steep ascent of approximately ¾ mile the track will come out onto park of the Terrace ride, where visitors in the 18th century used to take carriage rides around the estate. Turn left and walk for approximately ½ mile until you reach King Alfreds Tower.

Retrace your steps along the Terrace (following the blue waymarkers) to where the woodland area on your right ends. Turn right down the forestry track on the edge of the woodland. 

When the path bears right, take a left fork and descend to the stile leading into Six Wells Valley. On your left is St. Peters Pump, which marks the source of the River Stour, from which Stourhead takes its name.

Turn right and walk down the valley until the medieval fish ponds come into sight and then walk diagonally uphill to the left, keeping the medieval fish ponds on your right. Upon reaching a gate, go through it and head up the woodland track, then through a second gate and walk left up a short slope. You will now be at the foot of the Obelisk, which was erected in 1746 and rebuilt in 1839. This stands in Great Oar Meadow.

With your back to the obelisk inscription, turn left and cut diagonally across the Great Oar Meadow to join the track (18th-century carriage ride). Turn right and head to the front of Stourhead House. Follow the drive, turning right just before you reach the clock arch to walk through the walled garden. Cross the bridge over the road and follow the zigzag path back up to the Visitor Reception car park  

grid ref: ST[masked]

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  • Lesley

    Thanks everyone for your company! Lovely walk and we were lucky with the weather! Enjoy the photos and hope to catch up with you all on another walk!

    1 · February 23, 2014

  • Pauline

    Are we meeting outside the Reception? Still on because it's a bit rainy?

    February 23, 2014

  • Lesley

    Sorry Claudine! Auto correct

    February 23, 2014

  • Lesley

    Hi Claudia! Where exactly are we meeting? Difficult to see from the route map.

    February 23, 2014

  • Claudine

    The tower is closed on Sunday due to the high winds and half term. What a shame. The Garden house and shop will be open.

    February 22, 2014

    • Katrina C.

      The Pantheon will also be closed as has scaffolding around it to fix the roof, so it's hidden out of view behind tarpaulins. I will have to change my RSVP to NO as I wasn't able to get a convenient lift plus as I would have had to get 2 buses running approx every half hour to an hour which is unreliable on a Sunday and have to get connection means I had to pull out. Too early on a Sunday to be leaving home at around 7 am to know for certain I would be at meeting point allowing time on bus & waiting times? Not for me! :(

      February 22, 2014

  • Eloise S.

    Am I able to bring the dog. Cheers

    February 8, 2014

    • Claudine

      A water bowl is on hand for thirsty dogs, just let one of our team members know if it needs topping up.

      February 22, 2014

    • Claudine

      There are five great estate walks at Stourhead that are ideal for exploring with your dog year round.

      February 22, 2014

  • Nick M.

    Sorry Claudine am going to have to pull out as will have my girls for the day. Nick

    February 17, 2014

    • Claudine

      Enjoy the family time, walking the main 8 miles walk next Summer, may see you then.

      February 22, 2014

  • Claudine

    Please remember to bring some money plus your pack lunch. We will be stopping to eat when we get to the tower. We may also have too pay to go around the tower, if we make it there this time around.

    1 · February 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Clunis, thank you so much for the offer. I've already arranged to drive up with Dave.
    See you tomorrow :-)
    Nina

    1 · February 22, 2014

    • Clunis

      :)

      February 22, 2014

    • Claudine

      see you bright and early.

      February 22, 2014

  • Chris B.

    Sorry folks, stuff to do in time for a meeting on Monday. C.

    February 22, 2014

    • Claudine

      OK, See you on another walk soon.

      February 22, 2014

  • Claudine

    Sorry to hear many of you have pulled out due to the mud or being busy. I am hosting the main 8 miles walk to the tower again next summer. This is because we did not complete the full route in Jan 2014. If you would like to be added to the mailing list please drop me a message.

    1 · February 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I would really love to come on this walk. I looked at trains to get there but I thought it will be easier if I can car pool with anyone leaving from Bristol? I can contribute towards petrol costs and anything else.

    Thank you :)

    February 8, 2014

    • Clunis

      Hi Nina. I'm driving tomorrow. Giving Claudine a lift if you want to come with us?[masked] leaving St Pauls at 9ish :)

      February 22, 2014

    • Katrina C.

      Anyone free to take 2 people there???? Can I please come with Stuart from the other group, would be fantastic as my lift has just let me down last minute, so there will be 2 of us. Same again with petrol costs....

      February 22, 2014

  • Claudine

    For all walks listed by myself, please make sure that you're fit enough to undertake the walk you intend to join. If you're unsure of your fitness level, try a short and easy walk first. It's much better to find a walk a little too slow or easy than to exhaust yourself.

    Some walks are off-road in rural areas. Please have suitable footwear and clothing for the walk you intend to join and bring some food and drink - even if the walk includes a pub or café break.

    Walk leaders may refuse to accept participants who in their opinion are inadequately equipped or unfit. When in doubt, contact the organiser or leader in advance. For the safety of yourself and others please follow any advice and guidelines issued by the organiser and the instructions of the leader. Although walking is a very low risk activity, no activity is completely without risk and it is your responsibility to behave sensibly and to minimise the potential for accidents.

    Thanks

    1 · December 8, 2013

  • Claudine

    Thank you to all the 15 people who have signed up for this walk.

    December 1, 2013

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