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Three Mendip Churches & The Strawberry Line

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.

Severn Beach-Badminton-Burton-Lawrence Hill

River, marshland, rolling Cotswolds and railway path. Sweeping views and timeless English villages.

Along the river front from Severn Beach station, then inland across the marshes and Inglestone Common, climbing to Hawkesbury Upton on the Cotswold edge before turning south east over the top of the Cotswolds through picturesque Little Badminton, then past Great Badminton with it's private and well concealed Beaufort mansion. Onwards through Acton Turville turning west at Burton for a long run across open landscapes to return through Pucklechurch and Mangotsfield. Thence steadily downhill along the Bristol railway path to Lawrence Hill station.

Picnic spots in Tytherington Old Quarry, under the Somerset Monument on the Cotswold Edge and on Mangotsfield old station. Inns and cafes scattered around the villages.

An open jaw route from Severn Beach station and returning to Lawrence Hill station. In 2022 Severn Beach has a new hourly daytime stopping service through Bristol TM to and from Weston, and Lawrence Hill a half hourly service to and from Bristol TM and Avonmouth.

Possible variants include a return to Severn Beach passing through the countryside north of Bristol, or continuation to Sea Mills station, again on the Bristol TM to Avonmouth Service, for those who wish to see Bristol City Centre and the Avon Gorge.

The Severn

Inglestone Common - Somerset monument ahead

Saint Michael & All Angels, Little Badminton

Little Badminton village - spring 2022

West over the Cotswolds towards Pucklechurch

Saint Thomas à Becket, Pucklechurch

Evening, Mangotsfield station

Severn Beach to Purton Circular - River, Marsh & Wrecks

From Severn Beach station over the Old Down ridge with it's extensive views of the Severn and Berkeley Vales, for the usual morning cake and coffee stop at the Oldbury-on-Severn community cafe. Then north through Berkeley, of the notorious castle, and the adjacent church with the unusual feature of a separate church tower, giving the church the appearance of a village garage, belying its ornate interior, reflecting the Berkeley lords. Continuing through the low hills that protrude to the Severn to the river bank at Purton, where the Sharpness canal comes out to run beside the river. The famous Purton Hulks, a collection of wrecks in mud, used to strengthen the bank between the river and canal. Return generally similar close to the eastern edge of the marshes.

Severn Beach Station, now with an hourly service from Bristol, makes a convenient starting point for most places in the Severn Vale.

St John's Elberton and the Severn from the top of Vicarage Hill, Olveston.

St Arilda's, Oldbury-on-Severn, the cafe is just over the little hill.

The Severn at Purton, narrower and calmer.

Wilful child Otis giving his grandparents a heart attack dancing on a ferro-concrete barge wreck, one of the Purton Hulks reinforcing the canal bank.

Sharpness Canal at Purton

Berkeley - separate church tower

Berkeley Castle, as seen by roundhead gunners bombarding it from the churchyard.

Changing linked route map for existing travelogue post

As far as I can tell it is not possible to change the planned route linked to a travelogue once the travelogue has been posted.

For those of us who occasionally link things incorrectly this would be a useful tool for later corrections. There are probably other edits that it might be useful to allow.

Severn Beach to North Nibley via Berkeley -Marshes, Cotswold Edge - Castles & Churches

A circular day out through Gloucestershire history, starting from Severn Beach station. North over the Old Down ridge, and down into Thornbury Vale past the community cafe in Oldbury-on-Severn, then across the marshlands to Berkely, passing a castle renowned for foul deeds. Then turning south east to North Nibley, near the site of the last private battle in England at Nibley green. Home past the six hundred year old Tortworth Chestnut, the castle and church in Thornbury, over Titter's Hill and back across the marshes to Severn Beach station.

Generally quiet roads, the unclassifed road from Berkeley to the A38 and the short stretch of B4060 being a little busier, but the climb out of North Nibley is mostly within the village 30 mph limit. Staggered crossroads over the A38 at Heathfield, with good sight lines. Similarly at Buckover a direct crossing with good sightlines.

Following the NCN route markings round the south of Thornbury takes you past the church and castle, and quite close to the the high street, without getting lost in the sprawling modern housing estates. More direct routes may be possible for those who know the town.

Taking the train to Severn Beach, now hourly, is handy for those needing to cross Bristol to reach the countryside; direct routes to and from north Bristol are also obvious. 

Foggy morning at Severn Beach

Greenditch street: the marshlands

North Nibley, St Martin's with Tudor school

Tortworth Chestnut: six hundred years old, and a great sprawling wreck of a tree

St Leonard, Tortworth

Swinhay Farm: Sir David McMurtry's ultra-modern country seat near his Charfield works

Brightening up: evening sunshine at Severn Beach

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