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.
Chair, Footpaths Group
Footpaths Group hits since 01.01.2017
Registered Charity No: 263374 -
Leave Strode Road Car Park at 9.30am
Walk length: 4.5 miles. Fairly level with just a steepish slope coming out of Axbridge, No Stiles.
Leaders: Wendy & Geoff
Axbridge – Winscombe -
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.
Backwell Jubilee Stone: 10 November
Photographs from Maureen Humphries,
James Foulds and Ross Janes
Ten members of the Footpaths Group walked to the Backwell Jubilee Stone. Thanks to Liz Byrd’s research we followed a very much better route than the one previously used, which had involved a lot of road walking. The new route is shorter, more enjoyable and almost entirely off road on good paths apart from two brief stretches on country lanes. The weather was dry with some clouds but also plenty of sun.
Following an easy start there was a steep climb through woodlands. Then it was mostly level walking on quiet country paths or downhill. Backwell Jubilee Stone is set in the interesting Jubilee Stone Wood Nature Reserve. This splendid 10 acre reserve of broadleaf woodland with open areas of grassland is well managed by volunteers of the Backwell Environment Trust. The archeological history of the reserve is fascinating with the ruins of a 14th century cottage and rabbit warren, 17th century lead mines and a 19th century limekiln. The walk was around four miles long and took under three hours including stops to enjoy the magnificent views. Afterwards a good lunch was had in The George in Backwell.
Congresbury: 9 December
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.
Report from Dave Long
Photographs from Wendy Moore and Liz Byrd
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!
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 1820s.to 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
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
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 -
Long Ashton: 30 March
Report: Carol Wood
Photograph: Liz Byrd
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 -
Report and photographs from Ross Janes
Eleven walkers took part in a circular 4.5 mile walk starting and finishing at the Blackhorse PH in Clapton-
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.
Report from Wendy Moore
and Photographs from Ross Janes
Southern Fields walk: 3 May
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
Shipham Mines: 8 June
Photographs from Maureen Humphries
Seventeen members of the Footpaths Group took part in a walk from Weston-
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-
Following the walk a good lunch was enjoyed at the White Hart Inn.
Report and photographs from
Bridgwater Canal -
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-
Report from Wendy Moore
Photographs from Ross Janes
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 -
Leader: Paul Cronin
Footpath Survey Walk -
Brent Knoll -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Photographs & Report from: