Crook Peak stands dominant on the skyline above the Somerset Levels. A landmark for those who drive south on the M5. The funny shaped hill before the flat bit to Taunton. Crook Peak is rocky outcrop at the end of the Mendip Hills. The peak is an undulating walk along Wavering Down from Kings Wood.
Parking in the National Trust car park at Kings Wood, the first part of the adventure is straight up through the woods. In winter a muddy slog, but in the spring and early summer it is a blanket of colour. This walk is part of the West Mendip Way. A path that runs along the Mendip Hills through Somerset. The path goes up through the woodland, a rocky path that at times runs like a river.
Cross Plain, Wavering Down and Compton Hill
At the top of the hill, the trees thin and then the large expanse of Cross Plain appears ahead of you. On the left is a very special tree for us. We visit with happy memories each time we come on this little adventure. Cross Plain is bare with just a few windswept trees and small plants dotted around. The gorse in winter is just coming in to flower and mushrooms linger from the autumn abundance. Semi-wild ponies roam the down, cautious but inquisitive about walkers.
Heading upwards from Cross Plain and the small isolated Hill Farm on the right the trig point of Wavering Down comes in to view. A steep slope upwards towards the windy point of the hill.
A brief stop is needed before heading down from Wavering Down onto Compton Hill. This is a snaking walk following the stone wall that forms the boundary between the adjacent fields. Compton Hill is covered in gorse with small trees surviving on this windy hillside.
Leaving Compton Hill the final steep slope and scramble of Crook Peak comes into view. Rugged rocks that are a good scramble for two boys or a slightly longer walk around the hill leads to a clear path to the peak.
From the top the views are amazing, up the M5 north towards Wales with the Brecon Beacons in the distance. South across the Somerset Levels and the Cheddar Valley. This is exposed and wild, even more so when a winter squall blows through!
The walk back is either back the way you came or a short drop down into the woodland along the road. A path leads through the villages of Compton Bishop and Cross before heading back to Shute Shelf where the walk began. There is also parking at Webbington so careful car placement can make it a one-way walk!
This is one of our favourite walks, just under 9km we can do it in about 2.5hours with stops and sticks! Another iPhone adventure!