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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357


For those who want an overnight with a real sense of history then divert off the ridge after the Crook Peak section to Axbridge.


The centrepiece of this placid medieval village is the striking King John's Hunting Lodge, its’ fine timber frame dominating the corner of the main square at the centre of this village. It dates to around 1460 when it was built for a wealthy local wool merchant. The origin of the name 'King John' is unclear however, as it was built long after that King's death! The building now houses the local history museum. Look out for the King John's Head figurehead on the corner of the building outside, a reminder of when this place was The Kings Head Inn (the original head is in the museum and the one outside a replica).


Now a sleepy village, Axbridge was once wealthy and important enough to have its own mint. Several other medieval buildings surround the square, some with Georgian facades, and the village is an attractive array of wooden and painted coloured buildings. Just up the High Street from the Hunting Lodge, Axbridge Drug Stores is a beautiful Tudor timber and yellow painted building, while opposite is the old butchers. The entrance is so unusual, with a blue bull painted on the tiles surrounding a carved wooden door, that John Betjeman once remarked:


'Where in all England is there another Butcher's Shop with a magnificent entrance like that?'


Axbridge has a good range of accommodation and facilities for the overnight walker and is the best choice for those who want to explore a bit after completing their walking day.

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