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Welcome to the Somerset GOC Group page!

My name is Julian Donald, I am a trustee and board member of GOC with responsibility for Group Liaison.  I am currently the Group Coordinator for the Somerset Group on a caretaker basis.  Though I was born and brought up in Taunton, I live about 150 miles away in Wolverhampton with my partner and cat.  This means I can’t take an active a role in organising the group.  I would welcome one or more people from Somerset taking on the Group Coordinator role to really get the Group off the ground.  It’s not as difficult as it sounds.  If you think that person could be you then please contact me on [email protected].

Why go walking in Somerset?

When it comes to walking, Somerset has something unique to offer.  For instance, what can match the beauty and majesty of the coast between Kilve and St Audrey’s bay?  There are the pretty hills and villages of the Quantocks and the Brendon hills.  Then there are the historic castles of Dunster and Taunton or the spirituality of Wells and Glastonbury.  As a contrast there are the Somerset levels, famously flooded as God’s judgement against Gay marriage according to some.

Who is welcome?

Somerset GOC welcomes members old and new.  Most GOC members are gentlemen between 40 and 70 but we do our best to welcome lesbians, younger men, trans men and women as well as people from minority ethnic groups.

What do you do?

We are a friendly bunch and usually walk on the fourth Sunday of each month, with sometimes a few variations during the year to link in with other events.  A typical Somerset GOC event will be a walk of about 8-9 miles over undulating countryside.  We never leave anybody behind so there’s no need to worry about your fitness level – we all had to start once.  We usually start at 11.00 on a Sunday morning at a car park and we typically get back there at about 3.30pm.

What do I need to bring?

The main thing you need is a pair of stout walking boots with good grips on the soles.  It helps if they are waterproof and they are not too smart to get muddy (it is Somerset after all).  They don’t need to be expensive, it’s far more important that they are comfortable.  Trainers would be OK in the summer but be warned that there can always be mud and cowsh*t in Somerset. Some people wear wellies but remember that they would have to comfortable for 8-9 miles.  Other essentials are some kind of waterproof and a pullover or fleece if it is cold.

Things which are nice to have include walking trousers in a quick-drying material, rather than jeans which get very heavy when wet and take ages to dry.  An extendable walking pole (or two) is a help when climbing hills and trying to get down slippery slopes.

Please bring a packed lunch, a flask and/or a bottle of water.  Don’t forget you’ll have to drink as much liquid as you would normally do in a day plus extra because of the exercise, about one litre in winter, more in summer.  You’ll also need something like a rucksack to carry your stuff in.  I know a guy who has been carrying his lunch in a carrier bag for the last 20 years but I don’t recommend it.

Talking about Summer, don’t forget some sunscreen in the summer.  I use factor 50 because I’ve got pale skin.

Thank you for vising our page.

Julian Donald





Future Events

Spring Cycling and Walking Week, Mallorca April 2021

Cerne Abbas and Minterne Magna Gardens

Jurassic Coast : Osmington Mills and Ringstead

Radstock Railway the second

Frome Watermeadows and Winfrith Heath

Sidford to Sidmouth

Recent News

AOG in Stirling 24th-27th July 2020


Cornwall Puts Forward Bid To Host UK Pride 2021


Come Out For Cornwall Pride


A Change


Recent event reports

Dorset Group 15 Apr 21: Wareham Forest: Lawson Clump & Morden Bog


Dorset Group 11 Apr 21: Blandford Forest & Ancient Ringmoor


Dorset Group 1 April 2021: Hethfelton Woods and Hyde Heath


Dorset Group 28 Dec 20: Coastal Circuit from Kimmeridge to Tyneham


Dorset Group 22 Oct 20: Abbotsbury and Chesil Beach


Dorset Group 11 Oct 20: Corfe Castle-woods,downs common and railway


Contact the Somerset group co-ordinator

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