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Somerset Life - - WALK -

From the long car park be­neath the reser­voir em­bank­ment, re­turn to the gate­way that gives ac­cess up to the reser­voir. Turn away from this and walk along the tree-flanked ap­proach drive that you have just driven down; there are views ahead up to the tree-clad slopes of Ched­dar Wood.

At the end of the drive cross straight over (watch for traf­fic) and take the signed foot­path op­po­site, along Wood Lane. In 100m you reach a busy road, cross this with even more cau­tion and then con­tinue ahead up the yel­low-ar­rowed ris­ing track signed for Shipham.

Keep go­ing through a gate­way and af­ter this look out for ar­rest­ing views to the right, to­wards St Michael’s, a mag­nif­i­cent res­i­den­tial home for phys­i­cally dis­abled adults. This re­mark­able Vic­to­rian Gothic house was built in 1878 as a pri­vate sana­to­rium, founded by Matilda Gibbs who built it in mem­ory of her hus­band, Wil­liam, and three of their seven chil­dren who died of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. Some­thing ar­chi­tec­turally beau­ti­ful and phil­an­thropic aris­ing from tragedy.

Keep go­ing, the sound of the road di­min­ishes and the path passes a small ru­ined build­ing on the left.

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