For an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) the Mendips sure has plenty to offer, from the dramatic scope of Cheddar Gorge and Ebbor Gorge, to the stunning Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes. It takes very little to understand why the area got its AONB status, and if you enjoy walking then it makes it an area well worth discovering.
With views stretching across to the neighbouring Quantock Hills and towards Glastonbury Tor we really are blessed with a stunning landscape, and if you reaaaaally need some hustle and bustle, then there is of course the ‘City’ of Wells nearby. Wells has a whopping population of around 12,000 officially making it England’s smallest City (outside of London), but couldn’t be a much further cry from city status – For some perspective, Cheltenham has a population of around 116,000. Wells does of course have a Cathedral, but for the younger generation amongst us…it is also the setting for the film, Hot Fuzz.
Fortunately, I have taken up this self-appointed mission to discover as much of the Mendips and Somerset on foot as possible. With my collie-cross partner in crime by my side and occasionally (if they are invited) a stubborn terrier or three, I intend to share some of our favourite, lesser known, and general jaunts about the area to introduce a little bit of Somerset magic into everyone’s lives.
As someone fairly new to the area, living in the middle of nowhere and predominantly overshadowed by lockdown for the last 9 months, it rather hinders the old social life (WILD understatement). My hobbies in 2020 have therefore pretty much included walking the dogs, walking the dogs, walking the dogs and some more walking the dogs. Our most recent adventure took us ‘off-piste’ (definition: an unplanned adventure, not sticking to the original intended route) finding ourselves on a 4.5 mile journey through woodland stumbling across breath-taking views over Chew/Yeo Valley. This entirely spontaneous adventure (the best kind of adventure) only occurred because once we started walking, we just did not stop. Drinking in the views and revealing in some rare quality time with my dog, it was definitely very good for the soul.
So, by way of an introduction ‘watch this space’ for some short snippets of our missions around the Mendips, brought to you by a variety of sources to include (but not limited to) The Mendip Times, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Mendip Hills AONB, some local knowledge and a sprinkling of good old fashioned intrigue.
We would love to hear your stories, any hints or tips for must visit areas and of course welcome any canine companions with well-behaved humans to join us on our adventures.
Please do share your own adventure stories with us and follow ours at www.chasingyourtail.co.uk and @Chasing_yourtail on Instagram.
Regional Reporter - South West England
Harriet lives on a dairy farm in Somerset with her partner and their dogs. Life on the Mendips is a combination of stunning, peaceful, and exceptionally lonely – so, she likes to talk! With her dog of a lifetime, Tally (not that anyone is picking favourites) at her side they enjoy trying new things, and will turn their hand to whatever comes their way. Having grown up in the Cotswolds, life in Somerset is still a fairly new venture to Harriet and Tally so there is plenty to be seen, learnt and shared.