Draycott Sleights Circular Walk
This walking route takes in far-reaching views over the Somerset Levels from the southern slopes of the Mendip Hills. The panoramic views from Draycott Sleights are some of the finest in Somerset – reaching as far as the Quantock hills, Exmoor, Dorset and the south coast of Wales.
Things to Note
After rain the paths can get very muddy and can be slippery. Cattle graze the area during some of the year and they can make the paths muddy as well. Keep dogs on a lead around grazing animals. The ground is rocky and uneven so a decent pair of walking shoes are recommended.
This walk can be combined with a pub lunch at one of the pubs in Cheddar (2 miles away).
About Draycott Sleights
Draycott Sleights (pronounced slates) is a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Situated high on the south-west facing slope of The Mendip Hills in Somerset, it is managed by Somerset Wildlife Trust. It is an excellent location for plants and wild flowers, with over 200 species recorded. The meadows are full of butterflies and dragonflies in the summer months. The rocky outcrops and limestone cliffs provides the perfect habitiat for many plants and invertebrates, as well as a great opportunity for kids to climb on the rocks. Kestrels, Buzzards and Peregrine falcons are often spotted flying overhead, so remember your binoculars – also useful for the panoramic view across the Somerset Levels. We could see Glastonbury Tor, Brent Knoll and Cheddar Reservoir in the distance.
Is Draycott Sleights worth visiting?
Draycott Sleights and Draycott Housegrounds Nature Reserves are definitely worth visiting because not only is it a lovely walk, (particularly on a warm summers day), but the views from the top over the Somerset Levels are spectacular. The area is mainly used by locals, walking or picnicking, making the most of the views and enjoying the wildlife. This area is less well-known than neighbouring Cheddar Gorge, which means that it’s never crowded..
How to Get to Draycott Sleights
The village of Draycott is on the A371 between Cheddar and Wells (approx. 2 miles from Cheddar).
Service 126 – Axbridge to Wells stops near the start of
the walk in Draycott.
Level of Difficulty
I would rate this Draycott Sleights walk as moderate. From the start there is a steep uphill section to the top of the hill, rocky uneven paths, gates, and stiles. Parts of the route can be muddy and slippery after rain.
Draycott Sleights Circular Walk Directions
🥾 The walk starts from the war memorial on the junction of Wells Road (A371) and The Batch.
🥾 Walk up The Batch, passing a few pretty cottages.
🥾 Continue, ignoring the turning for Swan Lane on your right-hand side, and head straight up the hill. Pause, and turn around half way up for great views (while catching your breath).
🥾 The lane becomes a narrower track further up, called Sun Batch.
🥾 Go through a gate which brings you out into a field. Continue straight uphill keeping the hedge on your right. (Bring plenty of water with you, it’s thirsty work in the summer months!)
🥾 In the top corner of the field you will come to a stile. Climb over and have a well earned rest on the other side. You can continue up a bit further to the rocks where the kids can climb. The views from the top are awesome.
🥾 Walk back down to the stile you climbed over and take the footpath right, following the arrows for The Butcombe Way and The West Mendip Way. Head towards a gate with an information board next to it. This will give you some information about the Draycott Housegrounds Nature Reserve and the wildlife you can see here.
🥾 Next to a gate is a stone stile, climb over and cross the road (New Road).
🥾 This is the entrance to Draycott Sleights Nature Reserve. Go through the gate and follow the track to the left. Keep a look out for gliders around here – there is a glider airfield at the top of the hill to your right.
🥾 Follow the bumpy track along an avenue of beech trees. Through the trees you’ll find another great viewpoint across the Somerset Levels.
Next to the trees, you should find a log bench to sit on to enjoy the panoramic views. Glastonbury Tor is in the distance over to the left.
The area is managed by grazing with cows and sheep during the spring and summer, which keeps the vegetation low to allow flowering plants to flourish. Dogs will need to be kept on a lead around livestock.
🥾 Continue on past the trees – you can see Cheddar Reservoir ahead of you in the distance. Go through the next gate and follow a well-trodden path through the field.
🥾 When you see a lone tree (on your right-hand side, the path splits. Turn left here, downhill, towards a farm gate.
🥾 Go through the gate and you’ll see a stone marker with a dew pond next to it. Follow the bridleway downhill all the way through Batcombe Hollow.
🥾 You’ll see a second stone marker in Batcombe Hollow. Continue downhill to a gate just before Batcombe Farm.
🥾 Cross over the stone stile and head towards the farm.
🥾 You’ll see another stone stile on the left, cross over and turn right.
🥾 Keeping the farm buildings on your right-hand side, walk down through the field to another farm gate.
🥾 Go through the gate and walk along a narrow footpath to a pedestrian gate. This takes you out onto a lane.
🥾 Turn left and follow School Lane, past the church and school on your left-hand side, until you reach the main road.
🥾 Turn left here, then cross over the road using the zebra crossing. Turn left and follow the main road back to the start of the walk.
If you have parked near the pub, turn right down The Street, and walk down past the community shop to the car.
Facilities at Draycott Sleights
What to wear and bring with you
I recommend wearing a good pair of walking boots/shoes to provide support and comfort because parts of this route are rocky and uneven. As I mentioned, the ground can get muddy and slippery after rain too.
I always recommend taking plenty of water with you to keep hydrated and it’s a nice spot for a picnic at the top (if weather permits). If, like us, you are walking with children, snacks/food are essential!
Always follow the Leave No Trace principle and take all your rubbish home with you. Leave only footprints!
Other things to do around Draycott Sleights
- Discover Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar Village and Cheddar Reservoir, nearby Guide to Cheddar Gorge and Circular Walk.
- Cycle or walk the Strawberry Line from Cheddar to Yatton. Read our blog post on Cycling the Strawberry Line
- Explore Chew Valley Lake or Blagdon Lake, for lovely walks and country pubs.
- Visit Glastonbury Tor Glastonbury Tor Circular Walk
- Head into the city of Wells, England’s smallest city Visit Wells with Kids
If you’re looking for another walk with the kids in Somerset, why not check out more ideas here.
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