The Somerset town of Frome has some lovely trails to follow through the surrounding countryside. There's easy, waterside paths along the River Frome and more challenging climbs up into the Mendip Hills.
This circular walk around the town takes in the river and the pretty Orchardleigh Lake before picking up two waymarked trails to take you to some of the nearby villages, before returning to the town.
The walk starts by the river in the town centre where there is plenty of parking. You then follow a riverside footpath north to Spring Gardens and Orchardleigh Lake. At the western end of the lake is the lovely St Mary's Church. The Grade I listed building dates from the 13th century and underwent renovation in 1878. The lake is also a good spot for bird watching with great crested grebes, mute swan, tufted duck and pochard to look out for on the water.
After passing along the southern side of the lake you head to Lullington where you can visit the pretty weir on the river before passing the delightful cottages in the little village. There's also the Church of All Saints which dates from the 12th century.
In Lullington you pick up the Macmillan Way long distance trail and follow it west to Buckland Dinham.
The route then turns south to Great Elm where there's lovely views of the Mells River and the Church of St Mary Magdalene which dates from the 12th century. Here you pick up the East Mendip Way to take you along the Mells River and through the ancient woodland of Vallis Vale.
The final section passes through the countryside and then through the town centre of Frome. Here you will pass an outstanding collection of small late 17th and 18th century houses. You can also visit the Grade I listed Blue House which dates from 1726. The building was formerly the Bluecoat School and Almshouses.
There's also the Frome Museum which houses a collection of local history and has a particularly important collection of artefacts from the bronze foundry of J.W.Singer.
To extend your walking in the Frome area you could continue west along the East Mendip Way and visit Asham Woods and Cranmore Tower. The tower is the highest point on the Mendip Way and commands wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
If you head east into Wiltshire there are a number of good options for walkers. A few miles to the south east you can enjoy a climb to Cley Hill or visit the delightful viewpoint at Heaven's Gate Longleat.
The climb to the iconic Westbury White Horse is also just a few miles to the east of the town.
Around here you can also pick up the splendid White Horse Trail long distance footpath.
Frome Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Frome Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Frome OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Frome Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just a few miles south west of the town there's one of the historical highlights of the area at the delightful village of Nunney. There's much to enjoy here with a medieval moated castle, a 12th century church, lots of quaint old cottages and a pretty brook running through the centre of the village. There's also an excellent 17th century pub for post walk refreshment.
A few miles to the north there's the worthy village of Norton St Philip where you'll find a historic 14th century pub which claims to be the oldest in the country.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Somerset Walks and Mendip Hills Walks page.