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 01.01.2017

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Registered Charity No: 263374  -  Founded in 1970


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.

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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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

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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Cadbury Camp: 10 April

Eleven members of the Footpaths Group walked to Cadbury Camp from Tickenham Village Hall. The weather was glorious, sunny with a slight breeze and excellent visibility. The three mile circular walk, took around two hours with several stops on the way to examine the Camp and to take in the splendid 360 degree views from Crook Peak and the Holm islands to Wales and the bridges over the River Severn.

The path was dry, firm and well maintained. We paused to look at the interesting new Brown Rock Woodland Project in Bayes Wood - a large handsome wooden platform constructed for educational purposes such as orienteering, conservation and bush craft. We then climbed gradually on the loop path through the woods and across open land to Cadbury Camp, a spectacular late Iron Age hill fort probably from around 600 BC. It covers some 6.5 acres and is about 130 metres above sea level. We walked round the extensive double-banked circular earth ramparts, probably the nearest thing the Clevedon area has to The Acropolis :-)  We continued along Cadbury Camp Lane and back down a good track past Tickenham Golf Club, returning to the Village Hall along the road. We then drove to The Black Horse pub in Clapton-in-Gordano where a good lunch was enjoyed.

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Report and photographs from Ross Janes

Clapton-in-Gordano: 25 April

Eleven walkers took part in a circular 4.5 mile walk starting and finishing at the Blackhorse PH in Clapton-in-Gordano.

The weather proved much better than expected with bright sunshine lighting up the woodland carpeted by bluebells and providing clear visibility to the spectacular views across the River Severn towards Wales. The walk went past Naish House, followed part of the boundary of Noah's Ark Zoo to the Downs School and Charlton Farm before circling back towards the start

As always the Black Horse staff provided a welcome and tasty finish for the walkers.

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Report from Wendy Moore

and Photographs from Ross Janes


Southern Fields walk: 3 May

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Photographs from Liz Byrd

Walk through Priors Wood: 19 May

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

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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


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.

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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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Post Christmas Burn-off Round Clevedon

Meet - CLEVEDON BANDSTAND (please note not usual meeting place)

Time –10.00am

Please join us for an easy 1.5hr walk in Clevedon, directly from the bandstand, to blow the Christmas cobwebs away!

After which you will be rewarded with mince pies and mulled cider. If you wish to have your preferred hot drinks please bring flasks as normal.

Weather permitting there will be an option to extend the walk after refreshments. This section could be as long as you want it to be, leaving at either a convenient spot or when you’ve had enough. Just let walk leader know ⛄️. There will be no planned pub meal at the end of this walk but perhaps an option, if we’re blessed with a glorious day, of taking a packed lunch for a picnic?

Family and friends welcome (please make sure they are aware that they are responsible for their own safety, that it is not an ‘organised’ walk in the sense of health and safety insurance etc).

If you are likely to swell our usual expected numbers in this way it would be good to know beforehand for catering purposes - that would be a great help.

Please drop Philip an email,

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