With the arrival of dry and sunny weather it is time to start discovering countryside close to our new home.
Early Sunday morning, and we set of to hills above Shepton Mallet, to look for old railway tunnels.
It is more then 50 years since the famous Beeching Report, which recommended axing a third of British railways. During the following years thousands miles of track and thousands of stations were closed. This was supposed to be replaced by improved bus service (which never happened) and roads and cars.
Shortsighted to say the least, as now, with overcrowded roads, we wish we had more railways.
You can read more here.
Somerset and Dorset Railway, which used to connect Bournemouth and Bath, was one victim of the report and the remains of which we set out to find. DH remembers travelling on this line as a boy.
We left our house and walked down to the main road, then climbed a long hill on the opposite side.
Eventually we found a narrow, rocky track, still muddy in places.
Then a right turn and there it was - the old tunnel, we found it.
It was a dark walk through, and yes, we forgot to bring a torch.
Walking very gingerly across the rubble
we reached the other end of the tunnel.
We continued along the old track, which runs through Windsor Hill Wood,
as far as the Viaduct.
Overgrown, this magnificent structure is still as solid as when the steam trains used to thunder over it.
The nature will not be stopped, on the banks a carpet of wild garlic, white wood anemone and first blue of the bluebells.
We turned back and walk through a second tunnel, parallel to the first one, but shorter, with steep rocky banks to the side.
But there is a hope yet.
The New Somerset and Dorset Railway is in the making. Volunteers of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust are raising private money, with the aim to restore as much of the original line as possible.
This is their blog.
And then there is Nancy Camels' Hole. Nancy was reputed to be a witch, living in a cave in Ham Woods.
But that will be another walk..........