Grabbist Hill from Dunster Castle Walk
Grab your wellies and take a walk up the hill that provided inspiration for the hymn "All things bright and beautiful". This route passes through the atmospheric branches of ancient woodland and enjoys panoramic views of Dunster and the surrounding area, with the opportunity for refreshment at Dunster Castle's newly refurbished tearoom.
Dunster Castle Car Park
Begin at the top of Dunster Castle car park. Proceed past visitor reception and follow the path round to the right then straight ahead past the garden entrance, shop, and toilets. At the end of this path you will meet Dunster High Street, opposite a former chapel.
Across the road you will see a small road called St George's Street. Cross the high street and follow St George's Street for about 100 yards before turning left up a lane called West Close. Follow West Close up, passing a school and a quiet lane of houses, until the road ends.
At top of West Close, you will see a set of steps in right hand corner of small parking lot. Go up these steps to the village allotments then turn left and follow the concrete path. After about 100 yards you will reach two gates, the left-hand one leading to a small cemetery. Go through the gate on the right, signposted "public bridleway" and proceed up the path, keeping the cemetery in your left.
After another 100 yards you will meet another wooden gate. Go through the this gate then take the left-hand path, sloping slightly downwards, signposted Bridleway Wootton Courtenay. Continue on this path as it curves gently upwards to the right, ignoring a path signed to County Road to the left, and continuing to follow signs to Wooton Courtenay and Minehead. Follow this track for about half a mile.
After about half a mile, the track becomes considerably steeper. Continue to follow the path, taking care on the steeper sections. When you reach a fork in the path, pause to enjoy the view before proceeding up to the right and following this path to the summit of the hill.
At the summit of the hill, you will see a crossroad of paths. Once you have enjoyed a short rest and the splendid view over Minehead and the Bristol Channel, take the right hand path and follow it straight ahead of you, passing the National Trust Omega sign for Grabbist Hill.
After about 100 yards you will reach a bench and signpost with paths to your right and left. Take the path to your left, signposted to Dunster, and continue gently downwards. Here, if you would like to take a short detour to see Grabbist Hill's Iron Age Hillfort as well as stunning views over Exmoor, take the path to your right, also signposted to Dunster, and stroll along the path for about 200 yards before doubling back and taking the left hand path down the hill.
A short walk down the hill, the path forks again. Take the right hand path signposted to 'Dunster via Cemetery' and continue down this path until you reach the gate where you entered the Grabbist plantation. Go through the gate and retrace your steps along the path, keeping the cemetery to your right, before proceeding through the second gate to the path by the village allotments.
Continue for about 100 yards along the path by the allotments before turning right and going down the steps you climbed earlier back onto West Close. Walk down West Close then turn right where it meets St George's Street. At the next junction, by a former chapel, turn right and follow the road for about 100 yards before turning left down Mill Lane.
Continue walking down Mill Lane. Here is a great opportunity for refreshment at the newly-refurbished Watermill Tearoom. Once you have enjoyed a hot drink or bite to eat, turn left out of the tearoom and take a footpath to the left signposted to Gallox Bridge. At the end of this path, turn left again and walk past the pretty thatched cottages and cross Gallox Bridge.
Over Gallox Bridge, turn left and follow the path through over a small wooden bridge. Continue on this path which, after a couple of hundred yards, will take you over a bridge and through a wooden gate back into Dunster Castle's parkland. Follow the diagonal path to your left through the parkland and back to the car park.
Dunster Castle Car Park
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