The Watchet Grand Tour
This tour starts on the Esplanade, the site of Watchet's Marina, where many boating and fishing activities can be observed at your leisure, whilst supping a pleasant cup of tea or coffee from one of the local establishments or a drink from the Esplanade Club.
Along the Esplanade, you will also find an intriguing Charity Bookshop (where all proceeds
go to local causes), a Chandlery and an Aladdin's Cave at The Ritz and a thought provoking
Taking pride of place in the centre of the Esplanade are the magnificent statues of The Ancient Mariner and Yankee Jack by the renowned Scottish artist Alan Herriot.
Looking seaward and to your left is the Market House Museum and Holy Cross Chapel, whilst to your right is the Memorial Ground and sports area. The Museum, with its free entrance, is open most days and is well worth a visit to get the feel of "Old Watchet" before the rest of your tour. The Memorial Ground is home to public tennis courts complete with an outdoor gym and table tennis table.
Take your time and walk past the Museum to the bridge over the Washford River, turn left by the Star Inn and follow the footpath past the Royal British Legion into Mill Street. Immediately on your left can be seen an old Packhorse Bridge alongside a row of 17th Century thatched cottages.
Now follow the road to your right along Whitehall for a few hundred yards until you reach a further footpath that was once part of Watchet's Mineral Railway. Following this path across the Washford River will take you past the site of Watchet's largest industry, the Paper Mill, sadly now closed. For the length of this path you may see an abundance of local wildlife and flowers, whilst on your right you will surely see, smell and hear a passing Steam Train!
After about half a mile, turn left through the first gate leading to Kentsford Farm, with its unusual ford and working weirs with altering depths - be aware, the ford is in regular use by large farm vehicles! Climb over the stile on the left of the farmhouse and cross the fields with care, admiring on your way the excellent view of St. Decuman's Church and Spire overlooking the town.
On passing Snailholt Farm, keep an eye open for St. Decuman's Well over on your left. At the top of the incline is the Church, with wonderful Medieval Floor Tiles and a Wagon Roof that dates back to the 13th Century. On leaving the Church, the left hand path provides a speedy return to the town centre whilst the the other will provide further views to enjoy.
On reaching the main road, cross straight over and pass through the gate and onto the footpath across the field. from this point you will be able to cast your eyes over the majestic Quantock Hills, dominating the distant skyline, which afford many more pleasant walks. To your right is the larger residential area of Watchet. Follow the path down into St. Decuman's Road and observe the the marvelous views of the Steep Holm and Flat Holm islands, in the middle of the Bristol Channel - both with a fascinating history of their own. The Welsh Coast and the Brecon Beacons can be seen in the distance on a clear day!
Turn left and take the footpath down to the main road, cross the bridge over the railway and enjoy a leisurely stroll down through the main shopping area of Swain Street, where you can find many very interesting shops, full of quality products, clothes and gifts - many which are unique to Watchet!
The Grand Watchet Tour ends at the end of the street, where it meets the Esplanade. We hope you enjoy your visit and stay a while to enjoy our town.
May we suggest you visit our pages of accommodation providers, shops, eating and drinking establishments and service providers for further information, all of whom are proud members of Watchet Chamber of Trade, who provide this site.
All photographs courtesy of Fred Owen and John Richards