Mileaters Walk... Askerswell, Powerstock Castle and the Old Railway.
The Mileaters enjoyed their first walk of 2020 on 2January. There was an excellent turnout of 24 walkers with two more joining us later for lunch at the Spyway, Askerswell, where we enjoyed some excellent freshly cooked meals. The walk from the pub car park avoided the steep climb to the heights of Eggardon Hill but did not miss out on some fine views of that hill as well as towards Shipton Hill and, further afield, Beaminster Down and Golden Cap.
From Askerswell the walk headed due North coming out onto the road between North Eggardon Farm and Nettlecombe but soon turned off onto the old Maiden Newton to Bridport railway line heading onward to the Powerstock road. After a short distance we then turned off for our coffee stop at the Motte and Bailey East of Powerstock and Nettlecombe, a fascinating but little known site; the castle was once owned by King John and later visited by Henry III. The castle ditches afforded welcome shelter from the rain while we stopped for coffee. Heading back South we rejoined the line by the old Powerstock station. This became a private residence in 1968 well before closure of the line in 1975 – all thet while since occupied by the same family. The old platform can still be seen in their garden.
Given the recent terrible weather we were grateful for a dry morning and mostly good tracks; there were some inevitable tricky negotiations around muddy gateways and one completely flooded area where Rollo produced secateurs to cut a way through the bramble around the edge. Our return back to the Spyway, was uneventful and the pub was grateful that we were by then quite strung out arriving in dribs and drabs to order drinks and wait for our food!