|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Five Bells (ST065423)|
|Distance:||17.1 miles (27.5 km)|
|Meets:||B3191, A39, B3188, B3224, B3227|
|Old route now:||B3191|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3190 is a rural B-road which crosses eastern Exmoor.
In 1922 it began at an end-on junction with the B3191 in the town of Watchet, about three quarters of a mile north of its present starting-point in the hamlet of Five Bells. However, in 1935 the B3191 was extended along the original route of the B3189 from Five Bells to Williton, and it is presumed it also took over the northern end of the B3190, although there is no definitive evidence either way, and roadsigns contradict one another. It could be the case that the B3190 still follows a useless multiplex into Watchet itself.
Heading south-south-westerly from Five Bells, the B3190 quickly reaches the A39 and crosses it at Washford Cross, a little to the east of Washford itself. From here, continuing to run a little west of due south, it climb steadily through the scattered hamlets of Nettlecombe and Sticklepath, before reaching Raleighs Cross. Here, we meet the B3224 coming in from the left, turn right, and run westward for a kilometre before a continuation of the B3224 branches off to the right by Brendon Hill Methodist church.
Our road now swings slowly southwards once more, passing between the reservoirs of Wimbleball Lake and Clatworthy, passing scattered houses and farms but no real village. A sharp left bend takes us past Bittescombe Manor, and then we slowly turn round to the west into the village of Upton. Here the scattering of buildings becomes a little more dense, before they are left behind once more and the road climbs steeply through forestry. To the north is the southern shore of the strangely shaped Wimbleball Lake, and beyond the ruined tower of Uptons old parish church, an interesting stop for those on a leisurely drive.
After a long straight ascent, the road turns sharp left, still climbing as we bypass Skilgate off to the east, and then, after crossing into Devon at the summit, begins the long drop, with increasingly sharp bends, into the small village of Morebath. The road remains twisty as it runs the next couple of miles into Bampton. We end on the B3227 (the former A361) on the eastern side of town.
Logic would suggest that the B3190 would continue south of Bampton for a short distance along the River Exe to meet the A396 at a roundabout in front of the Exeter Inn. However, for some reason this is actually a spur of the B3227 and was at one time a spur of the A396.