Skip to content
The view over Somerset from above Nether Stowey on the Coleridge Way
The view over Somerset from above Nether Stowey on the Coleridge Way | © National Trust / Kate Chandler

Coleridge nature walk

This walk includes much of the most direct route between Samuel Taylor Coleridge's cottage and Alfoxton, where William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, lived. With some sections of the route barely changed since the time of Coleridge, you'll experience some of the same nature and wildlife that the poets did.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Public car park in Nether Stowey, grid ref: ST191397.

Step 1

From the library car park, turn left down Castle Street and left again opposite the George Hotel and clock tower. Head up Lime Street towards Coleridge Cottage.

Step 2

From the cottage, carry on uphill and turn left into Mill Lane before the A39 traffic lights. Go past Coleridge Road on your left.

Step 3

Bear left along Mill Lane at the end of the village, avoiding Jackson's Lane, Hack Lane and two left turns back into the village.

Step 4

Before reaching the line of tall ash and poplars on the right, turn right along the Coleridge Way, following a bridleway. Initially lined by tall hollies, the path soon tunnels beneath ash and maple, in a sunken lane section. The way then divides – you can splash along the shallow gravel-lined stream, or take the dry higher route; either return you to a drier path.

Step 5

At the crossroads, turn right to take the track uphill. At the top of the hill, by the fingerpost, follow the Coleridge Way/Quantock Greenway along the edge of a field. The path leaves the field in the top corner, above the old stone quarry.

Step 6

At the corner of the lane at Walfords Gibbet, go straight up the lane that runs along the crest of a steep wooded slope on your left.

Step 7

As the road climbs uphill, turn right along the Coleridge Way/Quantock Greenway, following a sunken track that is often both stony and muddy. In wet weather it's easier to walk through the woodland above and to the left.

Step 8

At the highest point of this sunken muddy track, turn left up a minor, unmarked path that runs straight uphill below twisted oaks. This leads to a minor crossroads – turn right here, uphill again. The path leads you up to the ramparts of Dowsborough Castle, an ancient hill fort.

Step 9

Bear right down the slope after a grassy glade at the end of the Dowsborough ramparts. The trees clear to offer views over the heathland of the northern Quantocks. Alfoxton (Wordsworth's house) lies on the other side of the wooded crest. Follow the stony track down through the heathland and turn right at the minor crossways, marked by a fingerpost.

Step 10

As the wood begins, follow the track which rejoins the sunken path. Carry straight on this path until you return to the road. At the road, turn left and go downhill for about 130yd (120m). At the gate on your left, cross directly over the road to pick up a minor path that begins by a holly bush. This path then runs straight downhill into the bottom of Bin Combe valley.

Step 11

At the bottom of the steep slope back into Bin Combe, turn left and follow the often sunken track back out of Bin Combe, through a bridle gate, past the cross rides by the cottage, past the stream path section, to the road on the outskirts of Stowey.

Step 12

Back on the road, turn left and then first right by a thatched white cottage with a little orchard. Follow this uphill, diverting if you wish to see the old motte and bailey mound on your left by the 30mph sign. Then follow the road back down into Stowey car park.

End point

Nether Stowey car park, grid ref: ST191397; or Coleridge Cottage, grid ref: ST191399.

Trail map

Map route for Coleridge Cottage nature walk
Map route for Coleridge Cottage nature walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

A close-up photos of an old oak tree

Woodland Hill circular walk 

A short walk through mixed woodland and nearby heathland that is a haven for native wildlife and has evidence of early human settlement.

DistanceMiles: 1.8 (km: 2.88)
View across fields from Beacon Hill at Staple Plan, Somerset

Staple Plain walk 

This wildlife-rich walk takes you through woodland, up Beacon Hill and back through lowland heathland. After taking in views across the Quantock Hills, look out for red deer, skylark and Dartford warbler.

DistanceMiles: 2 (km: 3.2)

Get in touch

35 Lime Street, Nether Stowey, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 1NQ

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

A person walking along the South West Coast Path at East Soar, South Devon


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Visitors on a walk in the countryside around Wellington Monument, Somerset

Walking in Somerset 

From the majestic crags of Cheddar Gorge and the sea views at Bossington to gentle strolls through Tudor parkland at Montacute House, these are some of the best walks in Somerset.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.