I'm a freelance writer and meditation teacher living in Frome, Somerset
Published September 16th 2021
A delightful walk in the country
Frome is surrounded by beautiful countryside and this walk shows how easy it is to get out into some stunning spaces from the town centre.
We start along the river just next to the Rowing Club in the corner of the car park, which houses the Cheese & Grain venue.
Walk along the river, past the skate park/bike track on one side and the allotments on the other, until you get to the weir. Cross the road and continue along the river on the left-hand side.
This brings underneath the railway bridge and then to some open fields with some houses alongside. Continue along the river and then up a small alley at the end of a row of houses and then take a right, where you see a metal gate opening out to a much bigger field with hedgerows and more fields behind it.
These are the community fields which are kept as a greenfield site and you will often find a herd of cows grazing here - as on the day I went.
At the end of this section, the trail goes upwards through a slightly rocky patch, although it is not difficult to traverse. We came down here in the winter and it was incredibly muddy though! We managed to keep our footing in the deep squelchy ground but the women following behind us were not so lucky! Check the forecast and if necessary, bring wellies or at least sturdy walking shoes.
At the bottom, there is another kissing gate and then you need to take care to cross what can be quite a busy road before following the sign above over a small stile and into a neat field next to a house with a small paddock.
There are a few options once you cross the stile on the other end of the field. It opens onto a small lane, where there is infrequent traffic and you can cross straight over or do what I did and turn right along the lane until you get to a couple of houses and a small bridge.
This is the River Frome and is a delightful spot. The grasses in the river were looking a bit tired by the time I got here this time but on previous visits, they looked like hair from some mystical lady of the lake.
Beyond the bridge and past the houses, you reach another stile and cross over into the woods. There are a few different options around here, including a secluded spot where you could have a dip in the river.
To the left, several sheep preferred the shade though.
Reaching the end of the path, it becomes clear why this field is not open. It is part of the Orchardleigh Estate and used as a runway.
I will confess that the first time I came up here with a friend, we did not notice this warning sign and walked along the runway, remarking what a lovely spot it would be for a picnic, and getting completely lost beyond since there were no footpaths.
The actual route is directly opposite and through another fence where you are corralled along a narrow path surrounded by barbed wire and watched by more amused or bemused sheep.
Once in the Orchardleigh Estate, I'll admit to getting entirely lost and wandering around the golf course. Some signs tell you to stay to the public footpaths but those routes are not well-indicated at all. The only sign I saw seemed to be pointing me directly across a fairway, where several golfers were just about to tee off so I followed the road instead.
I was hoping to walk around the lake and although I did find this little spot, where there is some sort of outbuilding with a hot tub that seems to be a holiday rental, there was no way of getting around the lake from this point.
I eventually found my way out of the estate and walked back through Lullington and back into town along the road. It was far longer than I planned for, although this beautiful spot by the river did make up for the journey.