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River walk along Hawkridge water Park

LOCALITY: Taunton, Somerset
DISTANCE: 5 miles (8.05 km)
FACILITIES: Circular route, There & back, Parking, Suitable for wheelchairs, T
oilets, Cafe

GRADIENT: Mostly flat
OS MAP: Taunton & Blackdown Hills

Walk description:

Drive into Taunton, heading for the railway station, along Priory Bridge Road. Opposite Somerset County Cricket Ground, which is on your left, go into Priory Bridge Road car park. As you turn into the car park go left. In front of you is a building that belongs to the canoe club. The walk start here.

Turn right at this building and walk along the path with the river on your left. You will walk past picnic benches on the right. Continue along the path and you will walk by Firepool Weir. On your right there is a small children�s recreation area. The entrance for this is about fifty yards past the recreation area on the right.

Continue along the path and you will come to a large metal gate with open access on the right. Go through this access and then turn left, crossing the river via a bridge. Once over the bridge turn right along a solid path. The river will now be on your right.

When you get to a large metal gate, go through the open kissing gate next to it. This is not wide enough for double buggies. The large metal gate can be opened with a radar key. This brings you onto the river nature walk. Along the walk you will come across wooden posts with information with wildlife you could see.

Continue along the path and you will come to Weck Bridge on your right. Go straight on and walk under a bridge. Follow the path around to your right over the wooden bridge. This takes you to the other side of the river. At the end of the bridge turn left and continue the walk. The river is now on your left.

You will come to a information board that welcomes you to Hawkridge Water Park. Continue straight on walking along by the river. You will then come to a small wooden bridge, which at certain times of the year can be flooded. If it is you will need to turn around and retrace your route. To get this far will take you about forty five minutes.

If the bridge is not flooded, go across the bridge and turn left. At the fork in the path you can turn right which will go up the path to some eating facilities and Hollywood Bowls. Otherwise go left at the fork in the path, and continue the walk along side the river. The terrain is now a small gravel path. Continue along the path until you come to a large metal gate. Here you need to turn around and retrace your route back to the last bridge you crossed.

When you get to the bridge, don�t go across it but continue straight on until you arrive back at the information board for Hawkridge Water Park. When the weather is wet this part of the walk will be muddy so will not be possible with wheelchairs or buggies. Therefore you will need to go back across the bridge and go back the way you came, to the open access kissing gate.

When you have passed back through the open access kissing gate you can either turn left and retrace the route back to the car park or go straight on. If you go straight on it take you into the children�s wood. This is a small gravel path through newly planted trees. Go along this path to the end and then turn left and join a solid path along side the canal.

When you get to a watergate turn left by the lock. This can be muddy at times. When you get to a bridge you can turn left back to the car park or go straight on. If you go straight on you go along a gravel path, which is muddy at times. Continue straight on along the path and go under a bridge. The path is now a solid pathway. This leads to a Supermarket on your right.

You will walk by some seats that over look the river. Keep walking until you see some steps. Walk past the steps and you will see a slope on your left. Turn left here and go across the bridge. Turn left at the end and walk back to the car park.

Additional notes:

This is a lovely walk along by the river but part of it can be muddy at times.

There are toliets and eating facilities at the Hollywood complex or in Taunton Town Centre which is by the supermarket you get to at the end of the walk.

For Sat Nav users TA1 1QD

20/01/2008 | Walk posted by cathy nettley

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