Footpaths Group

The Footpaths Group endeavours to walk the designated footpaths of Clevedon every few years to ensure that they are in a good state. As well as this serious purpose, our lively and sociable group meet to walk once or twice a month in our beautiful surrounding countryside. The walks range from 3 to 5 miles and vary in difficulty. We meet at a planned point for each walk including the Strode Road Car Park (SRCP) from where we lift share to our starting point. Walks usually finish with a pub lunch.                                               

Walks are planned by members at quarterly meetings with any other matters that might arise. New members always receive a warm welcome and all members are informed of the nature of the walk and any hazards which may be encountered along the way. Walks are advertised here on the Civic Society’s website and also in the North Somerset Times, complete with the leader's telephone number.

We look forward to you walking with us.

Carol Wood

Chair, Footpaths Group


Footpaths Group hits since 01.01.2017

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Tickenham and Cadbury Camp: Saturday 12 March  

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Photographs from Malcolm Case

Considering the forecast, the weather turned out surprisingly well. For most of the walk the conditions under foot were excellent, which lulled us into a false sense of security.

The walk itself headed off from the Tickenham Church towards the golf course. The steadily rising path took us behind the course and up towards Cadbury Camp. The views towards the Mendips were impressive and the flowers, particularly the snowdrops, were beautiful.

On reaching Cadbury Camp Lane we detoured towards the Gordano Valley for a brief stop and refreshments. We then proceeded back along the lane until we found the steep descent through the woods back towards Tickenham.

The path was so dry we decided to risk the route across the fields only to find that they had far from dried out! Nevertheless, with a bit of careful walking we reached the river and a most interesting walk back to the church. A number of us had an excellent lunch at the garden centre.

Leader: James Foulds

Distance: 4 miles approx.

Number attending 13

Local Walk: Wednesday 13 January

Photographs from - Malcolm Case

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After days of rain this local morning walk on pavements and metalled paths was mercifully dry.

With a visit to Crab Apple Inn as a goal 21 stalwarts started from the Barn Carpark and made their way down Churchill Avenue and Strode Road to reach the Southern Ring Path at Yeolands Drive.

Navigating the whole length of this path between modern housing estates, the group finally reached The Chaffins beneath the M5 junction.

Crossing Central Way we then took Middle Path, crossed Kenn Road to Crab Tree Path and strolled down to the Inn 15 minutes before opening time! However, the wait was worth it. A cold, thirsty and hungry group were finally well rewarded at their destination.

Cheddar Reservoir walk: Friday 26 February

Twelve people well wrapped up against a chilly wind set off eastwards from the centre of Axbridge, taking in the delightful collection of buildings in the Mediaeval Square and beyond. A 15 minute walk brought us to the reservoir and our anti clockwise walk around it. Passing the water tower, where group photos were taken we unfortunately scared off the numerous cormorants who make it their home.. The walk offers a consecutive view of Somerset landmarks - Brent Knoll, Glastonbury Tor and Cheddar Gorge all for a 360 degree turn of the head.

About two thirds of the way round we met three more Footpath members who had set off in the opposite direction after leaving Clevedon at 10am instead of 9.30am (wrong time given in the local press). Two continued their circuit but the thought of the pub was too much for the third who decide to join the main group. The Lamb Inn provided a warm and friendly welcome as 15 people trickled in. After an excellent lunch. some walkers decided to view the church.

A welcome 4 mile walk on a grey day after 2 walks had been cancelled due to bad weather.

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Report & Photograph from

Liz Byrd

Uphill:  Thursday 31 March

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Ten walkers and two dogs set off from Uphill village after taking care to order lunch at the Dolphin pub. Crossing through the boatyard we passed climbers scaling the quarry, the remains of the lime kiln and a little further on, the former explosives store. Keeping to the main path, recently made fully wheelchair accessible, we enjoyed the brilliant sunny stroll to the new bird hides and lagoons, where we watched mallards and moorhens while enjoying a coffee break. Up steps to the sea wall, we turned to walk to the Walborough mound accompanied by numerous skylarks overhead.

After a mile of views of Brean Down over the salt marshes we left the sea wall path to strike across country and up hill to the Beacon and St Nicholas' church. Several of the party climbed the beacon tower to take in the view extending across Bridgwater Bay, to Brent Knoll and Glastonbury Tor. Down again and back to the sea wall by skirting the far side of Walborough mound. This led us back through the boatyard where enthusiastic sailors were classically mucking about in their boats.And so to the pub where we were joined by another member. to enjoy an excellent lunch after our 4 mile walk.

Liz Byrd

Portishead: Tuesday 12 April

This walk starting and finishing at the Portishead outdoor swimming pool was remarkable for its variety and perhaps even more remarkable for the glorious weather in an otherwise wet week.

Starting steeply through the woods we had fine views both up the Gordano Valley and out over the river to the Severn Bridges. An equally steep descent took us through a new development to the marina. On the way we admired the open spaces, curving terraces and the modern art references to local history. Walking round the marina someone commented that we could easily be somewhere on the Mediterranean.

After a rather lengthy break sunning ourselves, we then wove our way through a further development area remarking on the care taken to create an interesting, varied and pretty environment. Reaching the new wildlife reserve we were astonished to have a very close up view of an adult heron which was seemingly quite un-phased by all the attention. The reserve is developing well and the potential for wild life encounters appears to be very good. We followed the coast back to the Royal Inn where an excellent lunch was enjoyed in the recently refurbished premises. The whole walk was a bit over 4 miles and took about three hours plus lunch.

Number of walkers: 12

Leader: Carol Wood

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Photograph from

Wendy Moore

Blaise Castle: Friday 29 April

This was billed as one of our more challenging walks. In the event, although the distance was near the Footpaths Group’s upper limits and there was quite a lot of uphill walking, the underfoot was much better than expected and everyone arrived back at the finish line in fine form.

The walk started at the Blaise Castle car park. Having skirted the castle, we made our way down a long gulley through the woods. Here we followed a slow moving river past an old mill which had been transported there, when its original site was flooded for a dam. The swathes of white wild garlic intermingled with bluebells were breath taking. Descending by a series of footpaths we eventually passed under the ‘Portway’ and reached the River Avon. On the way we sheltered from a brief rain shower but made good use of the stop to take a refreshments break. Thereafter it was sunshine all the way. Once passed the interesting but muddy looking Roman Harbour we had fine views across the Avon. But in a reverse of what goes up must come down we then started the long haul back to the castle.

There was a lot to see along the way, for example botanical species, some poisonous and some very pretty, such as cowslips; ancient hill forts with archaeological surveys; a beautiful Georgian mansion with fine views across the Severn and Avon; quaint follies; lovely forests and a whole variety of birds. Finally, having reached the top, we had the welcome sight of the car park some way below us across a wide meadow. At the end someone remarked how astonishing it was that Bristol had so much open space so near its centre. Except for the occasional glimpses of houses and a brief walk on a golf course we could have been hiking in the deep countryside. As usual, the reward was a good pub lunch, this time in the refurbished Blaise Inn.

Leader: Carol Wood

Distance: 5.5 miles approx.

Number attending 9

Photographs from

Malcolm Case

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Twelve walkers assembled by the Black Horse Public House for a  4 mile circular walk around Clapton Moor.  The route mostly across meadows and rural tracks provided extensive views towards Portishead and beyond.  A nature reserve bird hide provided a good half way stop before completing the route ready for an enjoyable lunch back at the pub.

Leaders Wendy & Geoff Moore.

Clapton Moor: Friday 20 May

After a period of very heavy rain, Monday dawned bright and warm. As the walk progressed the weather became hot and sunny. Obviously the sun shines on the righteous!

The first part of the walk followed the beach which was pleasant but semi suburban. However soon we turned off to the right and followed a long loop through beautiful countryside, sometimes in the open and sometimes between high hedges. The variety of habitat supported an abundance of wildlife – birds, moths, butterflies and plants. Eventually we reached the “Priory” where we found an excellent sheltered spot for a break. The historians revelled in the visit to the interior of the building.

We pushed on and after a steady climb finally looked down on a quiet secluded beach. Here we decided to picnic. The feeling of being far from civilisation was amazing due to the long vistas of shore lines and sea. The descent to the beach was quite steep but everyone made it intact.

After lunch we pushed on to the point sticking out into the sea opposite distant Clevedon. This took us some 40 minutes. As we walked the views got better and better. Alongside the path it was like a wild flower garden of yellow, white, purple, red, blue and green and all shades between. A wind sprang up and the water became quite wild. After a brief pause at the furthest point and some photographs later, we started back to Sand Bay. We were delighted to find an ice cream van on the way to fortify us for the long straight road along the beach back to the parking.

All concerned found this to be a great day out.

Leader: Carol Wood

Number attending: 9: Length: 7 miles: Time: Approx. 5 hours including breaks.

Sand Bay near Weston super Mare: Monday 20 June


Photograph from James Foulds

Cadbury Hill, Congresbury: Monday 13 June

Eight walkers left the car park of the Star Inn, Rhodyate Hill and headed up the track to Cadbury Hill Fort on Cadbury Hill, passing one of the Manor of Congresbury boundary stones, one of thirty one.

After passing through the gate we started to climb up to the fort passing the embankments and entering through its original entrance. Walking along the southern edge we passed a Victorian feature known locally as the citadel and met some grazing cattle.

At the western end we enjoyed the views towards the Mendips. Continuing around the western end passing the old town quarry and carrying on along the northern edge until we reached the steep path down towards Yatton going through the orchid field, we found some orchids in flower, around to have a look at the dew pond restored by YACWAG and on to the car park in Henley Lane.

From here we climbed up the hillside, formerly a quarry and a land fill site before being landscaped.

At the top we admired the magnificent views towards Clevedon. From here we made our way back to the

Star for lunch. Weather was perfect.

Leader Dave Long


Photograph from

Ross Janes

Crook Peak: Friday 8 July

Photographs from Ross Janes and Wendy Moore


A recce had been done a few days earlier with splendid views under a sunny sky. At 8am on the day of the walk it was pouring with rain.

Six intrepid walkers met me at the Strode Road car park at 9.30am and though it was still damp and overcast the rain had eased off. When we arrived at the base of Crook Peak half an hour later the rain had ceased and the sky was brightening.

The walk began with a short detour into the delightful village of Compton Bishop, listed in the Domesday Book as Comtone and the property of the Bishop of Wells. We looked briefly at the peaceful Church of St Andrew with its fine 14th century Perpendicular stonework. We then followed a gradual climb on a good path to the Peak, which is 175m or 574ft high.

As we made our way up the sky continued to clear and, once past the cows with their calves and out of the woods, a glorious vista emerged. At the summit there are extensive views of the Mendips and across to Glastonbury Tor, Brent Knoll, Worlebury Hill and Clevedon. A shorter path was taken back down to the cars. The walk took just over two hours. We then drove to the nearby New Inn at Cross where a very good lunch was had by all. 

Leader: Ross Janes

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After the earlier poor weather, the day turned out to be beautiful. We set off from the Failand Inn by way of the old road past the historic farm, previously the Old Failand Inn and coaching stop. The path followed across the fields and a couple of styles down to Lower Failand. From there we made our way by a beautiful road back towards Tyntesfield. As the sun became hotter we were glad to have the cover of the old trees. The long views across the valley were outstanding. We now entered the Tyntesfield Estate at the corner nearest to the Failand Inn and after a brief refreshment stop under and old isolated tree, traversed the hot open field by way of the old US Army Base.

Once again we were glad to reach the shelter of the woodlands and the new dog walking route. Carol pointed out much of the botany and wildlife along the path where in the distance we saw the new children’s’ adventure centre. Reaching the upper courtyard of the cowshed complex we stopped for a welcome break and for many a proper cup of coffee. Our route then took us by a path through fields to the entrance to the Downs School. Here there were several options to choose and the consensus was to retrace our steps seeing the new paths from a different angle. We reached the Failand Inn dead on time for an excellent lunch.

Summary: A fairly even but interesting walk with wonderful views and several points of interest.

Time: 2 and three quarters hours.

Distance approx. 5 miles

Number attending: 15

Leader: James Foulds

Failand and Tyntesfield:  Friday 22 July

Bleadon:  Monday 15 August

Photograph from Wendy Moore

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On a really warm and sunny Monday 15th of August eleven of us set off on a 6 mile plus walk from Bleadon village, up to the Roman road through the nature reserve and then back down through Thatcher's orchards. Then a stretch through farm land before a short distance along a quiet road to get back to the start. Every one made it!

There were fantastic 360 degree views from the top taking in Glastonbury Tor, Somerset Levels, Clevedon & Wales.

A welcome lunch after our exertions was had at Bleadon Tea Rooms.

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Report by Jennifer Price

Brent Knoll: 13 September

Ten people and one dog set off from a sunny Clevedon eager to scale the heights of Brent Knoll.

On arriving at the Red Cow pub car park we found large raindrops falling from an ominous looking sky in spite of weather forecasts promising the hottest September day for 50 years!. Not downhearted, we began our walk through the village accompanied by rumbles of thunder.

On reaching the church gate, we lingered for half an hour waiting for the heavy rain to ease while we admired the gargoyles doing a splendid job disgorging water from the church roof. After greeting several soaked walkers who had climbed the Knoll earlier, we took the opportunity to look around the church. Finally the skies cleared enough to venture on the lower slopes.

We had a short uphill stroll then through a farm and along the lane to the delightful Ralph's Wood. There, the decision was made by the rain and promise of more thunderstorms to return to the pub where we enjoyed a hearty meal. As we left the village on our drive home, we cast lingering glances at the now sunny peak, but a wet Clevedon and another thunderstorm confirmed that the ascent of Brent Knoll awaits us another (drier) day.

Report by Carol Wood

Photographs by Ross Janes

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West Harptree and Compton Martin: 29 September

Eleven walkers set off on a 3.5 mile walk starting and finishing at the Blue Bowl PH on the outskirts of West Harptree.

The circular route via grassy meadows and country lanes took in the picturesque village of Compton Martin.  There the activities of a lone cormorant diving in the local pond directed attention away from engineers dealing with a burst water main on the main road.  Rain clouds threatened to spoil the day but apart from a very brief shower the party was able to remain dry returning for an enjoyable pub lunch.

Report: Geoff Moore

Photographs: Ross Janes

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Felton Common: 12 October

Ten people started the walk at St Katherine's church. We walked around the common, with lovely views to Felton village and Dundry. We also passed burial mounds and a suck stone (ask Liz how she found the suck stone !).

At the highest point on the common we could see the Round House (a disused windmill, then we came to a gap in the hedgerow which was  at the end of the runway and provided a great view of Bristol Airport.

A narrow lane lead to the main A38, where a short walk took us to Felton allotments and nature area, with pond, bird boxes and a bug hotel.

Walking back down the main road we passed the old school , we then passed over a cattle grid to a wood carving made from an old tree and then back to the church.

We all then went for a pub lunch at the Prince of Waterloo in Winford.

Report: Chris & Colin Jarvis

Photographs: Ross Janes & Colin Jarvis

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This walk started and finished at the NT car park in Leigh Woods and went via the Iron Age fort, Ashton Court parkland and the George Pub. Although the weather was overcast it was warm for the time of the year.

The extensive woodlands were beautiful in their autumn colours and the views still magnificent, if somewhat shrouded in a light mist. In particular, the views into the gorge, of the suspension bridge, the observatory and across Bristol were superb. Carol and Dave spoke about the fort and the unique plants found in this area.

We then stopped for refreshments beside the ranger huts where there is a ‘pop up’ café. The new display is interesting and the carved sofa, complete with carved cushions and carved cat, are great fun.

We all remarked on the number of people and the variety of activities present in the woods on a Saturday morning. On leaving the woods we wandered down through the lovely houses to the main Ashton Court Gate. Thereafter we climbed to the ridge with more panoramas before the long circle to the George Pub and back to the car park.

There was always plenty of wild life to see as we progressed. We returned by car to the pub for lunch. Everyone agreed that it had been a most pleasant walk and a great way to celebrate the approach of Halloween.

Distance: 6.2 miles

Number of walkers: 9

Leader: Carol Wood

Circular walk from Leigh Woods: 29 October

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Photographs from James Foulds

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Backwell Jubilee Stone: 10 November

Photographs from Maureen Humphries,

James Foulds and Ross Janes

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Congresbury: 9 December

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Twelve walkers met at the Strode Rd. car park before driving over to Congresbury, we gathered in the Ship & Castle Inn car park.

It was pointed out that if we had been standing there before 1924 we would have been standing in the River Yeo. The Ship & Castle is mainly an 18th cent. building named after the Bristol coat of arms on the sign. In 1658 the inn was called the Bristol Arms.

From here we walked up to the A370 where we talked about the change to the river course and the road layout. On into Kent Rd. passing the old Nonconformist Chapel , we stopped to look at the house that was once the old lockup and the site of the village pound.

From here we followed some footpaths through some more recent housing estates back to Kent Rd. Heading back towards the river we turned left to walk along beside the river, across Millennium Green and through next field until we came to the mill pond and weir. Had a quick coffee break here before crossing over the foot bridge and along a footpath to the road taking a short detour to the right to look at an elegant Georgian house, The Birches.

From here we walked to Brinsea Rd. crossing over the new zebra crossing and into the Causeway and then right into Paul's Causeway passing the Old Inn, possibly a 16th cent building, then past the old poor house and court house and on into the churchyard. We looked at the church cross and the Hardwick Memorial before a visit to St. Andrews Church and then to the Refectory, a grade 1 listed building, and then across the green and into Broad St., the site of the cattle markets from 1227 to just before WW2, past the 15th century market cross.

After a change of footwear in the car park we walked to the Plough for lunch. Weather was a bit overcast but dry.   

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Report from Dave Long

Photographs from Wendy Moore and Liz Byrd

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Christmas Burn-off: 28 December

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Leader Carol Wood

Photographs from David Pedder

The footpaths’ group ‘burn off’ proved to be as popular as ever.

Of course we were blessed by the fine weather and that makes all the difference at the end of December. The purpose of this walk is to get us out in a healthy pursuit after all the over indulgence of Christmas and Boxing Day meals and snacks.

The chosen day probably coincides with finishing off the turkey!  So the route picked was well known, not too difficult but with just enough challenge to give us a feeling of achievement.

We followed the promenade to near the ‘Salthouse’ where there is a fairly steep ascending path up through the woods. After a brief look at the river we descended to the sea wall and made our way as far as the public path permitted.

The water reflected the blue sky, although Wales lay in the mist. We noted a great variety of birds on the mud banks.

We then made our way back to the still icy in patches path round ‘Poet’s Walk’ and followed this back to the ‘Salthouse’, where most of the group called in for coffee and definitely “no cake”.

All in all, a very pleasant morning outing setting us up for New Year.

Distance: about 3 miles.

Number present: 16.

Registered Charity No: 263374  -  Founded in 1970

RSPB Ham Wall Saturday: 7 January

‘Marvel at the thousands of starlings coming in to roost’.  This suggestion from RSPB Ham Wall was enough to persuade 13 of us to venture from the warmth of our homes into the damp Somerset Levels.  However, we were rewarded by the mist clearing, visibility improving and the risk of rain disappearing.  

A RSPB official was sufficiently impressed with our enthusiasm to give us an impromptu talk about the site before we took a walk along the wall and tried out our bird identification skills with the help of interpretation boards. We saw a stationary marsh harrier, many great egrets and reed buntings before a few starlings flew overhead.

The main event then unfolded. Countless starlings flew over our heads (the RSPB calculate a million!) others flew in from all directions forming dense ribbons in the sky. It was a sight to behold but the sound of the birds as they settled into the reeds was an unexpected bonus.  Marvellous, certainly. I have a souvenir of a good afternoon as when I examined my hat I found several white splashes, fortunately not a million!

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Report and Photographs

From Carol Wood

The first published walk of 2017 was a stroll around Bristol harbour starting from @Bristol.

We crossed Pero’s Bridge, named after an enslaved African boy who was a servant for a family in the 1740s; a reminder of the sugar/slave trade on which much of the city’s wealth is based.

The walk went along various quays some of which were still operating into the 1960s and which are lined with buildings and places of architectural interest. We also enjoyed sightings of The MV Balmoral, SS Great Britain and The Matthew, which is undergoing essential work before the summer season.

All of these vessels recall the historic importance of Bristol as a port. We then passed the old Underfall Yard and Pump House. The yard is still in use as a traditional boat building centre.

On the north side of the harbour the original buildings have been replaced by modern apartments and restaurants ensuring that this part of Bristol remains vibrant. One remaining derelict building is the Canon’s Marsh Gas Works that was originally built in the make gas from whale oil Thankfully the smell does not linger!

The walkers made good use of local coffee shops and The Nova Scotia pub for a hearty meal.

In all, 19 Clevedon Footpaths walkers started the year as we mean to go on!

Distance: 2.5 miles approximately.

Bristol Floating Harbour: 10 January

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Report by Carol Wood

Pictures from Geoff Hale

Nailsea: 30 January

Six intrepid walkers turned up for 9.30 am on Monday 30th of January.

Due to low cloud/mist and heavy rain the previous day making it slippery under foot on the low level ground between Nailsea and Wraxhall the group decided to popstpone the 6 mile walk and instead completed a circular walk of a distance of 3 miles; mainly on tarmac paths starting from Scotch Horn Leisure Centre and including part of the Nailsea loop and the outskirts of Wraxhall adjacent to Nailsea.

Report and Photograph from:

Simon & Jenny Price


Twelve members of the Footpaths Group took part in a 3.5mile circular walk in Portishead.  Starting at the Windmill Public House the walk circled along the seafront climbed up behind the open air pool and continued via woods and roadway arriving at the entrance to the marina by the new RNLI Lifeboat Station.  Crossing the entrance to the Marina a short stop was made for coffee/tea at one of the quayside refreshment bars before continuing into Portishead Town via the Cabstand junction.  The circle was completed along the daffodil lined roadway above the lake ground  before returning for lunch at the Windmill.

Portishead:  10 March

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Report: Wendy Moore

Photographs: Ross Janes

Southern Fields

Continuation of our exploratory walk -  2-3 miles

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 10.00am


Paul Cronin: 791452

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Clapton in Gordano / Charleton Farm

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 9.30am

A walk of 4-5 miles

Pub Lunch.

Leaders: Geoff & Wendy

Telephone: 874767

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Prior’s Wood – Bluebells

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 09.30am

A walk of 4-5 miles

Leader: Carol Wood

Telephone: 269789.

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Shipham Mines

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 09.30am

A walk of 4.75 miles.

Pub Lunch

Leaders:Phil & Maureen Humphries

Telephone: 474516

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Leave Strode Road Car Park at 09.30am

A walk approx 6 miles.

Pub lunch.

Leaders: Jenny & Simon

Telephone: 790582

Nailsea, Backwell, Wraxall

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Fourteen stalwart Footpaths Group members and two dogs set out from the eastern edge of Long Ashton facing into unforecasted rain and a steady westerly which enforced a rather brisk pace along the main street. This is one of our "wet weather" walks living up to its name. Many of the historic points of interest were bypassed in the two miles to Gatcombe Farm where blue sky appeared, the sun shone and we enjoyed coffee (and in some cases, cake) on the terrace.

Once fortified we enjoyed tackling the mud in the fields behind Long Ashton which form part of the circular village path. Ambling through the roads beyond the village hall, we took note of the variety of houses built over the years, some of them rather grand. Into the mud once again passing the well and into Hobwell Lane, crossing the road to collapse in the Angel Inn where another member joined in the lunchtime revels.

A good 4 miles with no stiles and well - marked paths.

Long Ashton: 30 March

Report: Carol Wood

Photograph: Liz Byrd

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