I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Published October 31st 2017
The many coloured Greyfield Wood
Greyfield Wood is beautiful in Autumn with its mixture of ancient and recently planted trees, all shedding golden leaves. Although only 9 miles from Bath City Centre, it is quiet and deeply rural and feels like a lovely escape from the city. Managed and maintained by the Woodland Trust, the wood has a car park right on the main path and there are numerous lanes where several cars can be safely parked. At a comfortable walking pace, the woods can be walked around in 30 minutes and so although not too large, there is plenty of space to reconnect with nature, whatever the number or nature of your group.
The woods are riddled with paths and routes through the woods. We took an anti-clockwise walk, keeping the well-built wooden and wire fences to our right, so as not to get lost. This had the wonderful bonus of giving us some fabulous scenic views of the fields and rolling hills that surround the wood. We also had some lovely glimpses of the streams and rivulets that supply the beautiful waterfall, located on the South side of the wood.
The Magical Greyfield Waterfall
The leaf-strewn paths gave us a fabulous early afternoon Sunday walk, but BEWARE!
Due to the ancient and well-established nature of the wood, there are many, many tree stumps and tree roots that jut out onto the path. With autumnal fallen leaves, many can't be seen and so there is a definite danger of tripping up. Nevertheless, keeping an eye on your feet easily overcomes this. The roots themselves are incredibly beautiful, with Ivy almost turning some of the trees into works of art or sculpture.
One of the more ancient trees, with its Ivy clothing
Somerset is a very beautiful county and I feel it is best enjoyed by travelling into the villages, such as High Littleton. This village has a lovely Fish and Chip Shop, convenience store and pub, but is at its most wonderful when seen from the woods. Although ancient, the trees are not densely planted, and so there is plenty of light within the forest itself. This creates some wonderful colours beneath the canopy, and highlights the bright green of the fields and stream, as seen from the main path by the fencing. See photographs below.
Although very popular with both locals and visitors, the wood is also teeming with birds and wildlife, and it is easy to see the many paths made by badgers and deer. Greyfield was originally part of the Earl of Warwick's hunting grounds in Elizabethan times, and so perhaps the wildlife is as established as the trees themselves. My five-year-old son had a wonderful time investigating badger sets beneath the trees and trying to spot squirrels. This wood really lends itself to exploration, as I hope the panoramic shots below will show.
I thoroughly recommend a visit to these woods. The air feels wonderfully clean and it is very liberating to be beneath the trees yet so close to the city. There is no entry fee whatsoever, and yet the trees themselves are more impressive than many other woods that charge admission fees. On a final practical note, I would recommend the wearing of stout wellies or walking shoes, as the pats are a little muddy in places. Nevertheless, this could well be a young companion's ideal. I wish you great enjoyment if you do go.