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Portishead to Clevedon Through Local Villages


This is a long walk (4-6 hours) provided by Mike Johwoodland view between portishead and clevedonnston, owner of Summit Outdoor Leisure, Portishead.

The Walk

A popular Portishead walk strikes-off into the fields from The Downs, just behind Highdown School on Down Road. Here in the fence-line you’ll not miss the stile with a couple of paths fanning out. Take the right hand, westerly one, heading across towards Weston Big Wood on the field boundary.

On entering the woods there is, broadly speaking, one large, circular route. Bear in mind that you are heading west, come out by the re-cycling centre on Valley Road. Steps lead down to Valley Road. Cross over to the opposite verge where there is a path leading up the road behind the bushes, cross the stile in the hedge. Climb the hill towards the derelict farm building, skirt this and have a peer over the edge of the quarry, you may catch sight of the Peregrine falcons hereabouts. Continue westward, (the path is really in the adjacent field), to the stile by the cottage, then turn left and drop down over the common to Weston in Gordano arriving at the Clevedon Road opposite the White Hart.

Walk in the Clevedon direction to St Peter & St Paul Church, (tower and porch 1300, remainder in C15th, funded by Sir Richard Percival, whose tomb lies in the north isle of the nave). Head into the valley and take the first stile to the right. This section follows the track-bed of the old Weston, Clevedon and Portishead light railway which, as the initials (CPLR) imply, ran from Portishead to Weston-super-Mare. It is long since closed, sadly .

Your westward route will shortly come to a T-junction. Here (let’s say 1.5 hours [max] since leaving the Downs), you have to decide whether to turn left heading up to Clevedon / Norton’s Wood Lane and thence back via Clapton in Gordano, or right and over the main Clevedon Road again heading up-hill into Common Hill Wood and the main ridge. I favour the latter route because, once through the woods (keep bearing west once in them), you’ll come out on Walton Common. Here the elevation affords splendid views both over the Bristol Channel and the Gordano Valley. Bear in mind whilst tramping over the top, the ancient earthworks that lie about in the topography; people have been up here for a long time!

Dropping down off the Common, the principle route heads down to join the ‘Coast Road’ at the bend, as it descends to Walton Road. Follow this down hill to the junction with the main Clevedon to Portishead road, by what was once a village shop – Cross Tree Stores. However there is a small footpath that skirts left off the main path, before you reach the road. It runs around the Common boundary and drops off the ridge through a field, to join the main road a farmhouse away from the shop.

Assuming you’re still with me… Choices again: had you stuck to the main path coming out on the bend, then head up the road to the next bend where, on your left, you’ll see a stile. Cross this and then another, descend the field to join the coastal path and head East back to Portishead. Or, at the point of arriving at the Coast Road road, cross over, turn left and around the bend (50M) to where the stream comes out from the right. Follow this footpath up into the woods, which eventually leads you out to Clevedon Golf Course which is bisected by this public right of way. Keep heading west (around Walton Castle) for the delights of Clevedon or turn left where the footpath meets another and head back down towards the church at Walton in Gordano (St Paul’s 1839).

There are buses that travel from Clevedon to Portishead but you can, of course, turn right by the club house onto the footpath that leads you back to the coast path and thence to Portishead, completing a good circuit of the Gordano Valley.

For this I would probably allow four to six hours at a brisk pace.