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Three Mendip Churches & The Strawberry Line

28 Jan 2023
by wjhall
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A fairly level route across the moors, through and round the western end of the Mendips with three ancient churches as landmarks.

South east on the Strawberry Line across the moors from Yatton station. Then an out and back spur from Sandford through Shipham, passing St Leonards, and up into the edge of the Mendips at Rowberrow, where St Michaels stands under Dolebury Warren. Back to the Strawberry Line to go through Winscombe and Shute Shelve tunnel to the edge of Axbridge. Along in front of the south slope of Wavering Down to Compton Bishop and St Andrews nestling in the valley between Crook Peak and Wavering Down. Round the end of Crook Peak and past Barton back to Winscombe to rejoin the Strawberry Line for a straight run north back to Yatton.

Useful picnic spots at Winscombe Station, above Cross, and of course the seats on the Strawberry Line. A pause on the moor is always worth it even if hurrying back for the next train can be irrestible. Refreshments at the Swan, Rowberrow/Shipham, cafe and inn in Winscombe and at Yatton and Sandford.

In Sandon the route shown uses the usually quiet A368 through Sandford for tarmac one way and the gravel and beaten earth NCN route 26 past the cider factory the other. One is faster and smoother, the other off road. Pullin's bakery in Yatton will have hot savouries, hot and cold sweets until about 1300, can be reached using back streets avoiding the busy B road. Crossing back over the A38 in Star has poor sightlines to the right, walking towards the left may improve matters.

Late autumn morning on the Strawberry Line south of Yatton with the Mendips on the skyline. With seat!

One of the network of rhines draining the marshland pastures.

St Leonard, Shipham.

St Michael, Rowberrow.

St Andrew, Compton Bishop on a grey day with the Crook Peak ridge behind.

The south scarp of the Mendips: Wavering Down, seen across the churchyard & Compton Bishop.