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BS9 to Walton in Gordano circular - marsh and estuary

A short circular outing over the Avon bridge featuring the Gordano levels, with their several nature reserves. Crosses Clapton-in-Gordano reserve to Walton and climbs the hill to return along the coast road with estuary views, descending past the Lake Garden and grounds and round the pier end of Portishead, passing the dock and across the ecology park on the return to Sheepway.

A disproportionally lengthy return through Portishead and Pill, alleviated by the seaside features and views. Return to outward route past St Georges in Easton in Gordano above Pill and return under the railway bridge and past the harbour inlet.

Acceptable shared path beside Harbour Road in Portishead. The road is in any case not exceptionally busy. Portway shared cycle path as usual just acceptable for one way use. Take care meeting oncoming cyclists in the sections with no verge between path and road. Noise from the M5 above somewhat obvious in the Gordano valley.

Walton Drove: Mallard on rhine in Clapton-in-Gordano National Nature Reserve

Welsh hills across the Severn in February murk

Brighter in March: MV Elbspirit heading for Portishead, seen from the coast road.

And about to pass behind Battery point at Portishead, obviously not at its full 17 knots or it would have overtaken me on the coast road.

Thornbury to Wootton-under-Edge & Hillesley circular

Along the edge of the marshlands, over the Old Down ridge, then skirting the historic marshland edge town of Thornbury passing the church and castle. Into the Little Avon valley and round by the north to the Cotswold edge town of Wotton-under-Edge. Thence south along the edge through the villages of Morton, Alderley and Hillesley before descending to cross the north of Inglestone Common with return across the Ladden Vale through Cromhall, to Alveston and back to the Severn Side marshlands.

Generally quiet roads, direct crossings of the A38 in Lower Stone and Alveston; somewhat fast, but low traffic, B4058 section south of Cromhall. The side loop west of Wickwar is more amusingly rural but not necessary for traffic reasons.The route shown is the only way through Wotton-under-Edge from the north, Long Street being one way upwards, unless you walk south from the bottom of Long Street after descending Sim Lane. Roadside snack spots near the Little Avon bridge and in the old Tytherington quarry.

Cattybrook Farm

Thornbury Castle and church

Autumn near Horley - the Tyndall monument looks down on stubble

Wotton-under-Edge - the mostly Georgian facades of Long Street

Wortley - not so characteristically Cotswold thatched cottage

Wortley - more classically Cotswold stone houses.

Gloucester-Taunton by the planner

Typical Bristol transit route as created by the planner. Quite a reasonable route, there are now broad shared pavements on most of the parts of the A403 used, probably excepting the first railway bridge. The second bridge, over the entrance to the former Avalon works, now the incinerator (sorry 'Energy from waste') site has a short section of narrow pavement. Direct but somewhat industrial, there are more attractive ways through NW Bristol. Still, with 160 odd kilometres of mostly rural riding perhaps some industrial estates, warehouses, docks, car pounds, tank farms, incinerators and so on make a refreshing and memorable change.

In Lawrence Weston I would use NCN41 past Saint Bede's school rather than Kingsweston Lane. 

A rural approach up the Gordano  valley towards Pill and the Avonmouth bridge.

A refreshing change as you pass through over a century's historic industrial, warehouse and dockland scenery. Your route seen in the distance from Kingsweston Down.

But, all too soon, a return to country life, Bilsham Lane.

Severn, Little Avon & Ladden Brook

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.

BS9-Ashton Court-Wrington the bumpy way

Gratuitously bumpy for a destination that can be reached more or less on the level. The bumps give a trip through Ashton Court, views across the Tickenham valley from near St Andrews church Backwell, and down Wrington Hill into Wrington. Tea, coffee and cake at Mother Hen's cafe in Wrington.

Suitable picnic spots in Ashton Court, and on the Millenium Way in Flax Bourton.

Short stretch of the A370 in West Town before turning off along back lanes towards Claverham & Cleeve. Almost direct crossing of the A370 in Cleeve.

Backwell church

Descent to Wrington

Mother Hen's, Broad Street, Wrington

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