Landscape Photo
Photographer: Brian Horisk/AdventureArt, Fife, Scotland

Route Filmstrip & Description

This is one of several waymarked trails in Dunster Forest and climbs from the car park at Nutcombe Bottom (70m) to a height of about 300m along forest tracks with maximum gradient 30%. The return is via tracks and narrow footpaths through woodland and farmland with short steep sections (>40%)

Surveyed by: Exmoor National Park Authority Volunteer, June 2015 (Summer)
Accessibility Rating: 4More Information
Distance: 7.1 km

Public Transport: No
Car Park: The car park at Nutcombe Bottom is about 1km from the A396 to the North of Dunster. It is signposted from the main road.
Steps: No
Barriers: gap near start kissing gates sections of rough, narrow footpath stream crossings
Toilets: No

Full Profile

Nutcombe Bottom car park is entered by turning left off a minor road about 1km from the A396

CarPark Nutcombe Bottom car park is entered by turning left off a minor road about 1km from the A396

There are plenty of spaces.

CarPark There are plenty of spaces.

At the top of the car park, there is a large noticeboard with information about Dunster Forest and its many trails.

Information At the top of the car park, there is a large noticeboard with information about Dunster Forest and its many trails.

Each trail, including Longcombe circuit, is shown clearly on a map.

Information Each trail, including Longcombe circuit, is shown clearly on a map.

Close to the noticeboard, there is a signpost which will start you in the right direction.  Each trail has a different colour code.  Longcombe is blue.

Start Close to the noticeboard, there is a signpost which will start you in the right direction. Each trail has a different colour code. Longcombe is blue.

There is a wide forestry track which leads uphill.  After a short distance, there is a locked gate with a gap for access to the right.  The gap is 1.2m wide.

Clearance There is a wide forestry track which leads uphill. After a short distance, there is a locked gate with a gap for access to the right. The gap is 1.2m wide.

After passing the gate, the forest track, at least 2m wide, climbs, with a recreation area on the left as it enters the forest.
The forest track is left after 250m by turning left onto a narrower and steeper footpath.  The surface here is quite rough with some exposed roots in the first 50m.

Path After passing the gate, the forest track, at least 2m wide, climbs, with a recreation area on the left as it enters the forest. The forest track is left after 250m by turning left onto a narrower and steeper footpath. The surface here is quite rough with some exposed roots in the first 50m.

But the path levels off and becomes wider again before meeting another forest track at a T junction where a right turn is taken.

Path But the path levels off and becomes wider again before meeting another forest track at a T junction where a right turn is taken.

This well surfaced track continues to climb, passing a carved deer head and log seat at a point where another track branches left.

Feature of Interest This well surfaced track continues to climb, passing a carved deer head and log seat at a point where another track branches left.

The circuit carries straight on and still climbs to reach a crossroads.  The woodland opens a little here and this is a good spot for butterflies in the summer months. Cross the larger track to continue in roughly the same direction on a smaller track.

Path The circuit carries straight on and still climbs to reach a crossroads. The woodland opens a little here and this is a good spot for butterflies in the summer months. Cross the larger track to continue in roughly the same direction on a smaller track.

This joins a larger but still mainly grassy track after 150m, the circuit bears to the right at the junction...

Path This joins a larger but still mainly grassy track after 150m, the circuit bears to the right at the junction...

...continuing to climb gradually until there is a right turn at a T junction..

Path ...continuing to climb gradually until there is a right turn at a T junction..

..followed shortly by a left turn onto a major forest road.  This drops slightly to begin with..

Path ..followed shortly by a left turn onto a major forest road. This drops slightly to begin with..

..passing a carving of a fern

Feature of Interest ..passing a carving of a fern

and a woodpecker.  The surface near these is quite deeply rutted (water damage) but the track is wide.  Gradients to this point vary but never exceed 15%.  But for 400m from the woodpecker there are sections with a 25% gradient.

Feature of Interest and a woodpecker. The surface near these is quite deeply rutted (water damage) but the track is wide. Gradients to this point vary but never exceed 15%. But for 400m from the woodpecker there are sections with a 25% gradient.

As the slope decreases, the circuit turns left, still on a good forest track.

Path As the slope decreases, the circuit turns left, still on a good forest track.

A right turn after about 200m..

Path A right turn after about 200m..

..leads to another uphill section which, to begin with, has been water eroded giving a 75cm wide gulley.

Surface ..leads to another uphill section which, to begin with, has been water eroded giving a 75cm wide gulley.

As the track turns to travel nearly south, the surface improves but continues to climb (15 - 20%).

Path As the track turns to travel nearly south, the surface improves but continues to climb (15 - 20%).

When a crossroads is reached, a left turn leads to more level ground

Path When a crossroads is reached, a left turn leads to more level ground

Path

There are tracks to the left which should be ignored.  The trail turns right onto a less well defined path, grassy to begin with..

Path There are tracks to the left which should be ignored. The trail turns right onto a less well defined path, grassy to begin with..

..but a little muddy in places as it passes through attractive woodland..

Path ..but a little muddy in places as it passes through attractive woodland..

Path

..before emerging onto another major forest road. (Bear right).

Path ..before emerging onto another major forest road. (Bear right).

In less than 100m there is a carving of a hare at a junction where the trail turns left.  This is the highest point and is roughly the halfway point.

Feature of Interest In less than 100m there is a carving of a hare at a junction where the trail turns left. This is the highest point and is roughly the halfway point.

After a very short distance, there is a left turn onto a footpath.

Path After a very short distance, there is a left turn onto a footpath.

This is often less than 1m wide with a surface broken by stones, fallen wood and exposed roots.

Width This is often less than 1m wide with a surface broken by stones, fallen wood and exposed roots.

There is a steep descent (10 - 15%)

Path There is a steep descent (10 - 15%)

with a short section where the gradient is 45% as the path swings north and begins to follow a small stream.

Gradient with a short section where the gradient is 45% as the path swings north and begins to follow a small stream.

It joins a larger track which continues to descend but at a much more gentle gradient.

Path It joins a larger track which continues to descend but at a much more gentle gradient.

There are some wet areas.

Path There are some wet areas.

At a crossroads, two paths seem to continue straight on.  The trail follows the right of these, signposted to Dunster (not the right turn across the stream).

Path At a crossroads, two paths seem to continue straight on. The trail follows the right of these, signposted to Dunster (not the right turn across the stream).

This is Long Combe where the circuit continues to follow the stream.

Path This is Long Combe where the circuit continues to follow the stream.

In several places, small streams cross the track making it quite muddy.  The steep hillside to the left has been recently replanted with oak.

Path In several places, small streams cross the track making it quite muddy. The steep hillside to the left has been recently replanted with oak.

 

Path

 

Path

After 800m the track veers right and crosses the stream (rocky underfoot, 5 -10cm of water).

Obstacle After 800m the track veers right and crosses the stream (rocky underfoot, 5 -10cm of water).

In 50m, just before a major track junction, the trail turns left (signed to Broadwood Farm)..

Path In 50m, just before a major track junction, the trail turns left (signed to Broadwood Farm)..

..and shortly recrosses the stream.

Obstacle ..and shortly recrosses the stream.

Path

A sunken path leads to a gate and kissing gate which lead into a field.  The waymarks in this section are missing.

Gate A sunken path leads to a gate and kissing gate which lead into a field. The waymarks in this section are missing.

The line to be taken is along the edge of the fields with the hedge/fence on the right and through a field gate into a second field.

Gate The line to be taken is along the edge of the fields with the hedge/fence on the right and through a field gate into a second field.

At the end of this field there is another gate/kissing gate onto a good farm track.

Gate At the end of this field there is another gate/kissing gate onto a good farm track.

The Crown Estate waymarks reappear but there is one confusing fingerpost where a left turn is taken once through the gate.

Path The Crown Estate waymarks reappear but there is one confusing fingerpost where a left turn is taken once through the gate.

 

Path

A good farm track and later tarmac go past Broadwood Farm before turning north and meandering through fields.

Path A good farm track and later tarmac go past Broadwood Farm before turning north and meandering through fields.

 

Direction

Path

Path

Path

Path

Path

After 500m the forest is re-entered and after another 200m there is a path to the left at a seating area.

Path After 500m the forest is re-entered and after another 200m there is a path to the left at a seating area.

This is the top of the Tall Trees trail and a wheelchair friendly path leads to the tallest tree in England.

Feature of Interest This is the top of the Tall Trees trail and a wheelchair friendly path leads to the tallest tree in England.

This is described

Information This is described

and its height can be measured as one continues along the trail.

Feature of Interest and its height can be measured as one continues along the trail.

There is an information board at a small Blue Badge car park where a left turn followed almost immediately by a right turn returns to the main track from Broadwood Farm.

Information There is an information board at a small Blue Badge car park where a left turn followed almost immediately by a right turn returns to the main track from Broadwood Farm.

 

Path

But as the tarmac returns, the circuit turns left through a gate (which is usually open).  This is still a good track with some fine views of Grabbist Hill to the north.

Path But as the tarmac returns, the circuit turns left through a gate (which is usually open). This is still a good track with some fine views of Grabbist Hill to the north.

Path

Path

The car park is 300m along this track at another usually open gate.

Path The car park is 300m along this track at another usually open gate.

Dunster Longcombe Circuit Phototrail

 

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Accessibility Info Amenities Info Facilities Info Features Info Way Finding Info
Barrier
Clearance
Gate
Gradient
Obstacle
Seat
Step
Surface
Visibility
Width
Accessible toilets
Blue Badge parking bays
CarPark
Public Transport
Toilets
Bird Hide
Boating
Cafe
Fishing
Museum & Heritage
Shelter
Viewing Platform
Visitor Centre
Water  Sports Centre
Wildlife
Feature of Interest
Information
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Direction
End
Path
Start

 

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Vertical Profile

This is an approximate vertical profile with samples taken at 100m intervals along the trail.

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