Walk in the Mendip Hills: Rocky peaks and spectacular 360° views in Crook Peak

View of Crook Peak in Mendip Hills

Nested in the heart of Somerset, the Mendip Hills offer rocky hills, stunning scenery and fabulous walks. Located near Bath and Bristol, the Mendips are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the perfect day out or weekend escape.

To discover the Mendip Hills, I would highly recommend the Crook Peak walk. In my opinion, it is one of the best walks in the Mendips. I enjoyed this walk on a clear sunny day and was awestruck by the spectacular views. The only drawback is the close proximity of Crook Peak to the motorway and the traffic hum disturbing this peaceful escape.

The Crook Peak walk leads you through quaint villages, verdant fields and lush woods to arresting rocky peaks. The walk offers fantastic 360° views from the Mendip Hills to the rolling hills of Somerset and the shimmering Bristol Channel, and on a clear day to North Devon and South Wales.

Location: Compton Bishop, Mendip Hills, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours

Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)

Stumble upon a quaint village nested in a charming valley

The Crook Peak walk starts in the quaint village of Compton Bishop. Comprising a handful of cute cottages and a typical medieval church, Compton Bishop is nested in the valley at the foot of Crook Peak. The walk, however, does not take you straight up Crook Peak, but loops around the valley before ascending the Mendip summits.

Compton Bishop church in Mendip Hills
Compton Bishop’s church

Starting at the lay-by on Webbington Road just outside Compton Bishop, you walk down a wooded path to the bottom of the valley and the quaint village. Crossing Compton Bishop and guided by the village’s church tower, the walk leads you along country lanes to verdant fields.

Meander through verdant fields and lush woods

From the fields, you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding villages as well as remarkable countryside scenery. The walk takes you across several verdant fields, some hosting sheep and livestock, to the country road linking Cross with Bleadon. Following the road into the village of Cross is the least enjoyable section of the walk. You actually walk on the road and cannot fail to notice Cross is nowhere near as charming as Compton Bishop.

View of verdant fields near Compton Bishop in Mendip Hills
Verdant fields outside Compton Bishop

From the village of Cross, the walk then leads you back along a country path through the enchanting King’s Woods. This is where the ascent to the Mendip peaks starts. Be prepared! The walk takes you up a steep path to the top of the hill. The ascent through the woods is full of colour, scent and charm. As you enjoy the earthy tones, you can almost forget the steep hill you are climbing.

Enjoy spectacular views from the rocky peaks

As you leave the woods behind, you emerge onto a grassy hilltop. From there you can start enjoying delightful views of the surrounding hills and countryside. The walk then leads you further up another steep hill to Wavering Down, one of the peaks in the Mendips. From Wavering Down, the views are truly spectacular: the Mendips Hills, Somerset Levels and Bristol Channel spread out at your feet.

From Wavering Down, the walk takes you along the ridge between the Mendip peaks to the summits of Barton Hill and Compton Hill. As you follow a typical stone wall, you glimpse striking new views every step you take and, in the distance, you can spot Crook Peak. You will recognise the peak by its conical summit. The hike from the ridge to Crook Peak is short and sweet. From there, you can once again admire the spectacular scenery stretching from the Mendip Hills to the Cheddar Reservoir and on a clear day, to North Devon and South Wales.

View from Crook Peak in Mendip Hills
View from Crook Peak

From the rugged limestone summit, typical of the Mendip Hills, you can also spot the charming village of Compton Bishop where the walk started. The walk then leads you back down into the valley. The sounds of birds chirping and nature humming mixed with motorway noise make you almost wish civilisation would vanish and leave you in peace to explore the Mendip Hills further.

To view the walk itinerary, please visit theaa.com.

Explore more walks in the Mendip Hills

The Bleadon Hill & Loxton walk

The Bleadon Hill & Loxton walk is a lovely walk in the Mendip Hills, that takes you along country lanes, rocky paths and rural roads to the summit of Bleadon Hill. From Bleadon Hill, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Crook Peak as well as the Mendip Hills, the Somerset countryside and the Bristol Channel. Check out the Bleadon Hill & Loxton walk guide by A Dragon’s Escape.

Sun shining on spectacular views from Bleadon Hill of Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels
Breathtaking views from Bleadon Hill

The Cheddar Gorge walk

To explore the arresting cliffs of Cheddar Gorge, the largest gorge in England, I would recommend the Cheddar Gorge walk. The walk leads you along the ridge of the gorge and offers breathtaking scenery over the spectacular gorge, the Mendip Hills and the Somerset countryside. Discover the spectacular gorge with the Cheddar Gorge discovery guide.

Crook Peak walk details

Location: Compton Bishop, Mendip Hills, Somerset

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: Approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours with regular stops

Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)

Ascent: Steep

Itinerary: AA’s Over Crook Peak and Wavering Down

Trail condition: Good, but the trail can get a little muddy in wet weather.

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Suitable for bikes.

Parking: Lay-by on Webbington Road, just outside Compton Bishop (Postcode: BS26 2HB). You can also park in Compton Bishop or in Cross.

Facilities: No public toilets. Nearest toilets, shops and pubs are in Cross.

Notes: Please be mindful of livestock and keep your dogs on a lead. Please beware of oncoming vehicles when walking on roads.

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Reference: The AA

Featured image: View of Crook Peak from Barton Hill

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