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Severn, Little Avon & Ladden Brook

Tuesday 1 September
by wjhall
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Almost circular from Severn Beach Station returning direct to BS9.

From Severn Beach station along the river front to New Passage, then out to Oldbury-on-Severn for morning coffee and cake in the Community Cafe. Onward over the marshlands to the Severn Bank at Severn Farm for a picnic lunch.* Return over the modest watershed into the Little Avon valley, straight across the A38 at Lower Stone and then up the Little Avon, descending to cross the bridge at Damery and climb up to Tortworth, with its nine centuries old chestnut, a sprawling ruin of a tree, behind the splendidly aristocratic church of St Leonard's. Return downhill to Cromhall crossing another watershed to run along the west side of the broad Ladden Brook valley, with views to the Cotswold edge, finally crossing back to the Severn marshlands through Alveston and Cattybrook.

* Not as good a river bank spot as Shepperdine for a picnic. The river bank here is concrete on the river side, dropping steeply straight to a narrow grass edge or directly to the mud. The inland side does provide stretches of sloping grassy bank.

The train service to Severn Beach runs every two hours during the day - a useful way of skipping the urban fringe.

If catching the train from Sea Mills there is usually five minutes to spare by the river, here on a calm September morning. 

Sea Mills could also be a useful destination for some routes out of NW Bristol, although for many, once on the train it makes sense to continue to the end of the line.

Severn Beach - mud and new bridge.

Bilsham Lane: autumn reeds in the ditches.

St Arilda's, Oldbury-on-Severn.

Nupdown Lane - Hill.

Severn House farm - the river bank.

Severn House farm - the view inland.

Little Avon bridge - private fishing, private everything else, but the footpath up the river is about fifty yards away, for anyone wanting a short walk.

Tortworth Chestnut - a sprawling wreck of a tree, but definitely big and old.