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.

Ross Janes

Chair, Footpaths Group

Footpaths Group hits since 18.02.2018

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Registered Charity No: 263374  -  Founded in 1970

Southern Fields walk: 3 May

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Photographs from Liz Byrd

Walk through Priors Wood: 19 May

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We had two concerns as we set off. Would there still be any blue bells in flower, a major reason for choosing this walk and would the recent heavy rain have turned the paths into mud baths? We need not have worried.

Although the flowers were over at the entry to the wood we were rewarded with wonderful fields of purple and blue as the walk progressed. Apart from a few puddles the paths were in excellent shape. Our spirits rose with each step we took.

The sun blazed out of a blue sky. The trees and ferns looked green and fresh after the rain. We were surrounded by birdsong and as we walked, besides enjoying the glories of nature we put the world to rights with constant chat. The loop took us from the Priory Hotel via small steadily rising, narrow, twisty paths to Charlton Farm and then to Bullocks Bottom.

From there we descended, with the occasional climb, back to the Priory. En route we found an excellent stop for coffee, a great old tree trunk providing a first class seat. The Priory provided a very good lunch and we unanimously declared the day a great success.

Distance three to four miles approx.

Leader: Carol Wood    Photographs from James Foulds

Shipham Mines: 8 June

Photographs from Maureen Humphries

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Weston-in-Gordano: 1 August

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Seventeen members of the Footpaths Group took part in a walk from Weston-in-Gordano. Starting at the White Hart Inn we climbed gradually up Hill Lane and then through woods and over Middle Hill Common to the open land overlooking Black Rock Quarry. There were several stops to take in the panoramic views across the Gordano Valley and down into the quarry, which is now split into a recycling centre and specialist firearms training centre for various police forces. At the far end of the walk are the ruins of Manor Farm, abandoned some 70 years ago. Buzzards frequent the area and several sightings were made.


The circular walk was less than three miles in length. The weather was sunny with some light cloud and excellent visibility. On returning to Weston-in-Gordano we noted some of the interesting historic buildings, all now converted into homes: the post office, the forge and the village school. We then spent some time at the delightful church of St Peter and St Paul, built by the Perceval family. In the churchyard is the 1202 tomb of Sir Richard de Perceval, who took part in the Crusades under King Richard I. This is believed to the oldest table tomb in an English churchyard. Also present is a Commonwealth war grave and a large cross erected in memory of Spencer Perceval, the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated (1812). 


Following the walk a good lunch was enjoyed at the White Hart Inn.


Report and photographs from

Ross Janes

Bridgwater Canal - 6 September

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This 4 mile walk attracted 16 participants for the circular route on part of the Somerset Levels.

Starting at the Boat and Anchor PH walkers set off along the tow-path of the Bridgwater – Taunton Canal taking in views of the low lying fields and meadows in the area and collecting many blackberries on the way.  The return stretch was through Moorland alongside the river Parrett finishing back at the Boat & Anchor where a welcome pre- ordered lunch was ready & waiting.

Report from Wendy Moore

Photographs from Ross Janes

Uphill - 23 August

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Photographs from Ross Janes

This walk over familiar Clevedon territory was one of a series designed to take a look at all the definitive footpaths (official rights of way) in the town. The walk, mostly in warm sunshine, attracted eight stalwarts. Starting and finishing at the Old Inn on Walton Road, it took in Court Wood (with some steep paths), the Gordano Valley, Walton in Gordano village and Clevedon Golf Club course. The paths concerned were fine with the notable exception of that across the Gordano valley from Nortons Wood Lane to the Portishead Road. This one path was known to be blocked and potentially dangerous. It meant a pleasant enough detour along a minor road (Walton Drove).

The walk turned out to be six miles long, considerably more than expected! However, the effort was in a way rewarded - the Group escaped the very heavy rain later in the day.

Leader: Paul Cronin


Footpath Survey Walk - 16 September

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Brent Knoll - 3 October

On a rare sunny morning six energetic members assembled for the drive to the village of Brent Knoll. We parked near the church and once suitably kitted out with our stoutest boots, and in some cases, sticks, we began the ascent of the knoll following the National Trust path for a short distance. The view over the coastline gradually opened up, giving a excuse for short pauses and admiration. Turning left through farmland, we reached Hill Lane and Ralph's Wood, a commemoration planting now cared for by the Woodland Trust. We enjoyed strolling through the serenity of this beautiful mixed woodland before gaining the path across fields and bracken which led to the main way up from East Brent church. Then the real steepness began as we negotiated grassy mud footholds up to the ramparts of the knoll itself and its astounding 360 deg view. Our flasks of coffee were most welcome as we read about the archaeology of this isolated hill fort - there is evidence of human occupation 2.6 million years ago making iron age activity seem like yesterday, let alone rusty iron stakes from World War 2. A slow descent began down well-built but muddy steps. A quick drive to the Red Cow where we enjoyed a well earned lunch - some cider was consumed too.

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Severn Beach Promenade 19 October

The alternative title for this walk should have been umpteen shades of grey! Leaving Clevedon with an overcast sky, we clung to the vain hope that the forecast, which said it would be dry with rain “later”, was correct. Perhaps it was….. but “later” turned out to be as we arrived at the beach! Nevertheless, having driven there, we decided to walk anyway. Severn Beach was originally intended to be Bristol’s Blackpool, with beautiful views across the Severn to Wales. It never achieved its objective and remains a quirky little place at the end of the railway line. The promenade was pleasant but empty, the dream of Blackpool long since gone. There might be lovely views but as the mist rolled in we could see only a little bit of the ‘new’ bridge. The information boards were very interesting and on a fine day would indeed be very helpful. The rain got heavier. We had a brief respite, standing under the bridge watching the maintenance workers. We also did a little detour to see if we could find the rail tunnel. It was probably there amongst the bushes. The rain eased and our spirits, along with the mist lifted a little.

There was a good spot near a fine Dutch style building for a coffee break. In true British style, spurred on by adversity, we all actually began to chat, laugh and have fun. As the roads split, we had a rendering of “I’ll take the high road”. We retraced our steps and made for the café where a neon sign reminiscent of an American diner, now declared the café to be open. All agreed the café was a fine example of a really retro cafe from the 1960’s. As we dried out, the coffee and cake were most welcome, with one member even being tempted to an excellent Sausage, egg and chips! The noise level rose and peals of laughter rang out. The very pleasant, tolerant owners worked hard to deal with what was now a ‘full house’. Everyone on the walk agreed that we should return one weekend in fine weather when we were sure it would make a great day out. Despite everything, the walk was voted a great success, if only for its wonderful social content.

Leader: Carol Wood

Report & Photograph: James Foulds

One Walk - Two Days!

15 in total enjoyed the 4 mile mile around Pill but not all on the same day!

The walk was scheduled for Tuesday 7th November, however the day was somewhat damp with rain forecast all day. Although several members turned up the general consensus was to postpone to the Wednesday due to weather conditions. However there were 5 hardy types who couldn’t make the next day and really wanted to do the walk, so walk leader went the extra mile (quite literally) and led the walk both days.

The walk started at Pill Creek and was very varied, going through two cricket pitches, paths, fields and wooded areas. It was enjoyed by everybody, even those who got wet. The Wednesday group being rewarded for their wait by glorious sunshine that day.

The Wednesday group also enjoyed a delicious meal in The Kings Arms, St George’s Close, Easton in Gordano. Thanks to them for making us so welcome.

Walk Around Pill - 7 & 8 November

Tuesday's Walk

Wednesday's Walk

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Photographs & Report from:

Maureen Humphries

Portishead Replacement Walk -  22 November

Due to the uncertainties of the weather the planned walk was changed to something more local and easily modified according to the conditions.

Eleven walkers took part in a 3 mile circuit starting and finishing at the Lake Grounds in Portishead with a coffee stop along the Marina complex.  Although blustery in parts the rain held off and lunch at the Windmill PH completed an enjoyable outing.

The planned walk between Axbridge and Winscombe will be rescheduled in the future.

Report & Photographs from Wendy Moore

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Mince pie and mulled wine walk -  28 December

Three days after Christmas 13 members left the bandstand for a stroll around Clevedon to walk off the extra calories of Christmas. We walked along the front past Marine Lake to The Salthouse, to the flats turned right and made our way to St.Andrews Church and down past the cemetery making our way to The Pill.

We continued walking along by the sea to the sluice gate just before the golf course, we turned left making our way to Strode Road, again turning left and continuing along past Asda making our way to the Shell Garage. After crossing the road we made our way to the donkey path walking to the top passing the allotments then making our way to the finishing point in Oaklands car Park, for mince pies, tiffin and mulled cider. A good time was had by all.

Philip Humphries

Clevedon Moor

A footpath survey, a walk of 3 miles

Leave the Old Inn Car Park at 10.00.

Leader: Paul

Telephone: 791452

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Brean Down

A walk of 3 miles

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 9.30.

Leaders: James and Carol

Telephone:340707  

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Litton

A walk of 6 miles

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 9.30.

Bring a picnic lunch with you

Leaders: Phil and Maureen

Telephone: 07762 256 129

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Crook Peak

A walk of 3 miles

Leave Strode Road Car Park at 9.30.

Pub lunch

Leader: Ross

Telephone: 876157

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Local  ‘Radical’ walk  - 10 March

Report & Photograph from:

Paul Cronin

In the morning’s occasional light rain twentyfour walkers (including ten non member guests) gathered at the bandstand for a walk led by Paul Cronin.


The idea was for a short town walk which touched on some past characters and events which stood out as ‘radical’ in a broad sense.


The group made its way to Coleridge Road (he supported the French
Revolution), St John’s Church (early trade union disputes) and, as the photo
shows, Walton Road (home to Doris Hatt, artist and communist and friend of
local councillor and communist A.E.Searle, the driving force behind the post
war Westbourne Estate).


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Despite the overcast sky, a discouraging weather forecast and depleted ranks due to illness, an intrepid group of walkers set out for Ham Wall on the Somerset Levels. They were to be rewarded with relatively pleasant weather and fine displays of starlings.

The walk itself, on a pathway between moor and water reserves, is flat and on a good hard surface; no more than two to three miles in total. It is a ‘there and back’ walk so people could control how far they wished to go. This made it very inclusive for those members, who for various reasons, are less able to tackle harder terrain. Before the arrival of dusk and the starlings we enjoyed refreshments on a stand overlooking a large pool, with many species of bird including both the great and lesser egrets and the infrequent visitor, the Glossy Ibis. Gazing across the levels, we listened to the calls of the waterfowl.

Suddenly, with an eerie whir, great clouds of starlings appeared swirling above our heads before diving into the reeds. The murmurations were spectacular. However, impressive though the aerobatics are, the sound of thousands of beating wings is something you have to witness to appreciate.

The outing was unanimously declared to have been an outstanding success and fully worth the journey.


RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve - 9 January

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Report by James Foulds

Photographs from Malcolm Case

Eight Footpath Group members set off on an invigorating sunny morning - much appreciated after so many dull days. On reaching Leigh Woods, we took a downward path shared with the SUSTRANS route to Paradise Bottom, turning off to the right before the real mud started.

Away from our balmy coastal home, we found that snow had fallen even this short distance inland although most of the paths were frozen rather than snowy. Following well signposted National Trust trails we enjoyed the sun filtering through the bare trees, which protected us from a light but cool breeze.


Leigh Woods - 7 February

Report & Photographs from Liz Byrd

After enjoying the view across the Avon Gorge , a brisk pace brought us to the Paddock - a sheltered clearing where we enjoyed a welcome coffee break among snow covered logs. Back into the woods we met energetic volunteers clearing brush around Stokeleigh Camp. The nearby pond already showed waterblade shoots promising a splendid golden display in April/May. Once back through the Parish Wall we eventually gained the car park , all agreeing that the 3 mile walk in the sunny winter woods had been very enjoyable even if no pub lunch was available on this occasion.

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Long Ashton - 25 January

Nine members were lucky enough to have a fine weather morning for the 3.5 mile walk around the

 Ashton Hill Plantation on the outskirts of Long Ashton.

The downhill start had some fine views of the open countryside with the path bordered by spectacular tree specimens.  Gatcombe Farm provided an ideal coffee stop with the welcome sunshine enabling the group to sit at one of the pleasant outside tables.

The return circular route through the woods was muddy in many places but after a change of footwear the short car journey to the Angel Pub was rewarded by an enjoyable lunch.

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Report and photographs

from Wendy Moore

Nailsea’s Industrial Heritage

Due to the recent weather conditions this walk was changed from the advertised one at Axbridge.

Twelve members took part in a 2.5 mile walk looking at some of Nailsea's old cottage buildings and their links to historic local industry.

The party was made welcome at the start for coffee at the 15th Century Holy Trinity Church and at the end at the Ring 'O' Bells public house for lunch.

The walk , which featured in the March/April publication of North Somerset  Life magazine, was mainly on local roads and footpaths and was slightly altered to take account of the exceptionally muddy condition of fields and gateways.


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Report & Photographs from Wendy Moore

Bristol Harbourside walk - 19 February

We drove to the Long Ashton Park & Ride and took the bus to Hotwell Road where we were joined by more walkers. Thirteen of us set off on a three mile walk from Junction Lock Swing Bridge near Merchants Road on a dry and increasingly bright winter morning.

We went along the north side of the harbour on the interesting Harbourside Walk, passing historic sites such as the pumphouse, which is now a pub, various quays and former docks. Along the waterfront many attractive terraced houses and blocks of flats have been built, demonstrating how the city successfully regenerated what was once largely a derelict docklands area. 

After crossing Pero’s Bridge, we stopped for a coffee at the Arnolfini Art Gallery. We then continued over Prince Street Swing Bridge and returned along the south side of the harbour. We passed the coastal cruise vessel MV Balmoral built in 1949, the M Shed museum whose name is derived from the way that the port identified each of its sheds, and various cranes and former shipyards.

We also saw Brunel’s SS Great Britain and the Matthew, and the Underfall Yard which remains the operational centre for lock gates and bridges. The group then enjoyed a good lunch at the Nova Scotia pub before returning to Clevedon.


Report and Photographs from Ross Janes

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Flax Bourton - 9th April

With all the recent rain the decision was made to save the Winford walk to later in the year and to walk to Flax Bourton, Bourton Combe & Barrow Court instead. Still muddy sections but nowhere near the bog-snorkelling that would have ensued on the Winford Walk!

Seven of us turned up on an unpromising morning but luck was with us, and although we had spells of light drizzle the heavy rain kept away to just as we got back to cars.

We had an interesting walk with plenty to see on the way. Not far up the Combe we were greeted by a very enthusiastic flock of sheep who gave us a very noisy welcome and brought their young to us to show off. Lots of wild flowers are appearing with primroses in abundance,

Spring must be round the next corner. Then near the end of the walk we passed Barrow Court, a very beautiful building and grounds.

The morning was complete with lunch at The George in Backwell.

Report by Phil Humphries, Photographs from Wendy Moore

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