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Buttercup time in the marshlands: Yatton to Weston via the Somerset Levels

5 Nov 2023
by wjhall
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Late spring and the marshes are golden with buttercups, the rhines with yellow flag iris and the pastures are lush. Down the Strawberry Line from Yatton station, tunneling through the Mendips to Axbridge, then on through Cheddar using the lane along the lower slopes of the Mendips to turn south near Draycott and start across the pastures round Nyland Hill, one of several bumps dotting the levels, rising slightly to the Isle of Wedmore. Descend from the Wedmore ridge into the marshlands of the Somerset Levels, turning west across Tadham Moor and then north again through Mark, with its church a landmark in the wide plain. Cross the A38 and then on past Brent Knoll, another bump in the plain, to enter Weston-super-Mare through the Walbarrow reserve under St Nicholas, Uphill, perched above the quarry cliff. Along the front and past the park to WSM station.

Refreshments at the Pumpkin Cafe & Delicatessen in the attractive little town of Wedmore, and other cafes and inns in the town and on the route.

The last mile of B road into Wedmore can carry fast traffic but the 30 mph limit is soon reached. With a slight detour it is possible to turn north at Cocklake and then west to join the quieter middle road on the Wedmore ridge.

It is not possible to cycle north across the A38 dual carriageway just south of Brent Knoll, the crossroads allows right turns for  traffic from the south only. Dismount and walk across each side separately, usually eased by southbound traffic jams and relatively sparse north bound traffic. Traffic on Accommodation Road beside the railway is fairly light sometimes fast. To avoid this it is also possible to join the rougher southern part of NCN33 by turning west to the holiday camp. Through the Walbarrow Reserve, NCN33 is tarmaced.

During the day an hourly train service links Weston, Yatton  Temple Meads and the Severn Beach line.

Beyond the Mendips - Cheddar reservoir seen from the Strawberry Line

Axbridge - King John's hunting lodge

St Andrew's church, Cheddar

Looking back across buttercups on Nayland Moor to the Mendips

The low ridge of the Isle of Wedmore seen looking back across buttercups on Tealham Moor 

Yellow flag iris in Jack Drove rhine on Aller Moor

Crossing Tadham Moor - swans on the North Drain as it passes through the buttercups

Mark church seen from the seats beside Mark Rhine with buttercups in the village pasture

NCN33 in Walbarrow - with St Nicholas Uphill above the buttercups