Barwick Park on the outskirts of Yeovil is home to four follies. Although the grounds are privately owned there are a series of footpaths which criss-cross the estate giving you fabulous views of some of these majestic stone towers. Fish Tower, Rose Tower, The Needle and Jack the Treacle Eater seem to sit at all four main compass points and certainly add an extra interest to the already spectacular horizon in this area of South Somerset. The beauty of this walk is that you can alight at Yeovil Junction station, making this an eco-hike. So a great opportunity to leave the car at home if it suits. It’s also really easy to extend the walk (at the halfway point) and venture into the town centre which gives you the opportunity to enjoy lunch at one of the many independent cafes and restaurants. Likewise, this route does take you past the Ninesprings Café which serves a variety of sandwiches and sweet treats and is of course, dog friendly too.


Great British Life: The Fish Tower Folly with Winter Sugar Beet Photo: Rachel Mead The Fish Tower Folly with Winter Sugar Beet Photo: Rachel Mead

This walk is 5 miles/8km long and is on a fairly level ground apart from the descent at Summer House Hill and the ascent at Constitution Hill.

1. If arriving by train, turn left out of the station, walk down the hill and turn left under the railway bridge. The footpath is on your right hand side. If driving, park in Stoford at the Green and start by following New Road east towards Yeovil, pass under the railway bridge and follow the road around to the right. Bear sharp left uphill, and after about 50 yards turn right and follow the footpath up the steps and through kissing gate.

Go straight across the field, keeping to the left hand hedge, through the gate and turn right. Keep the hedge and railway fence on your immediate right and follow this all the way to the sunken lane which leaves the field. Follow this lane and go through the gate, walk down a slope to Quarry Cottages and turn left right in front of them. Follow the path up the slope and then continue through the allotments, down steps and through a gate. Follow the left hedge along the edge of field, down the steps and over bridge, then turn left and follow the arrows through the gate on your right. Keep on this footpath and go through another gate and follow the tarmac path to the end of the drive.

2. At the end of the drive turn left and after 50 yards turn right signposted Two Towers Lane. You will pass the Jack the Treacle Eater, which is one of the four follies. Walk to the end of the lane. At the end of Rex’s Hollow take care in crossing Two Tower Lane and climb up the steps in the bank opposite. Walk diagonally across and down steps. Turn left and bear immediately right and follow path through woods.

Great British Life: Let's go to Summer House hill this Winter Photo: Rachel Mead Let's go to Summer House hill this Winter Photo: Rachel Mead

3. At end of woods, pass through gate into Yeovil Country Park and bear right across the lower slopes of Summer House Hill, through gates and over the bridge. Turn left to follow the cycleway, keeping to the right through Ninesprings. You will pass the Yeovil Country Park Visitor Centre on your right, where you are welcome to stop for refreshments or to use the public conveniences.

4. After passing the Visitor Centre and Goldenstones Leisure Centre, turn left and leave the cycleway to follow the wide tarmac path up the slope into the woods. Follow the main track to the left as it winds through the woods to the ponds. You will reach the Victorian Valley Gardens. Walk through the ford next to the pond. Turn left along a path then through a kissing gate (you are now leaving Yeovil Country Park). Turn right then bear left up the hollow. Keep heading to the very top of the slope and across the open field keeping to the right of the hedge to a gate.

5. At Two Tower Lane, cross straight over via the kissing gate and in the field bear right to stile, cross and bear left to Barwick House and pass through kissing gate into drive. Turn left and follow drive to the end. In the distance you can see the Jack the Treacle Eater. 6 At the end of the drive turn left onto Rex’s lane for 100 yards before taking the footpath on the right and retracing your walk to the Green in Stoford.

Great British Life: Barwick walk map Barwick walk map