Welcome to the fifth Somer Valley Walking Festival. Our aim is to encourage local people and visitors to explore the beauty of the local countryside and also to discover its rich industrial and other heritage.
In 2021 we are offering two days of walks of varying lengths to suit all levels of experience and fitness. All walks are free and do not require booking (except for the long walk on Saturday) Simply turn up at the place and time given, allowing time to register.
Saturday September 11th
10am. Limestone Link Walk tracing the length of the Somersetshire Coal Canal from Paulton to Monkton Combe
An 11.5 mile linear walk following a beautiful section of the Limestone Link path, a long-distance trail between the Mendips and the Cotswolds. Much of the route follows the Somersetshire Coal Canal with a chance to see abandoned locks and bridges plus the section of canal re-watered at Paulton. Reminders of the industrial past can be seen in coal batches at Camerton and Dunkerton and there will be opportunities to spot wildlife as we pass through the meadows. Most of the walk is fairly level, along public footpaths and quiet lanes. A mini-bus will return us to Paulton. The walk will be led by Miriam Woolnough of the Somer Valley Rediscovered project. Sorry, no dogs except assistance dogs. Because of limited places on the minibus places on this walk must be booked via Eventbrite here.
2pm. Paulton Farrington Gurney Circular Walk: from Paulton Library/Hub BS39 7QG
A 3.5 mile circular walk in the attractive countryside around these two villages. Sorry, no dogs except assistance dogs. Walk led by Anne Lyons.
5pm. Sunset Stroll around Peasedown from Bath Business Park, Foxcote Avenue, Peasedown St John BA28SQ
A 3.5 mile evening stroll around Peasedown enjoying the evening views and following the same route as the 2pm walk on Sunday. Walk led by Kathy Thomas.
Sunday September 12th
Longer walks starting from the Beacon Hall, Peasedown St John, BA2 8SN (Grid reference: ST 707 574) OS Map Explorer 142; What3Words:pointer.bends:asset)
10am Walk 1: Limestone Link and Combe Hay
7 miles/11km Elevation; 258 m
A super route through fields and lanes dropping down to the Cam Valley. At Dunkerton we follow the old Roman Fosse way uphill to Combe Hay via the former railway tunnel, emerging by the Wheatsheaf Inn. After a stroll through the village, past the church, we descend back into the Cam Valley through the grounds of the Manor. Wonderful views from the walk through the fields to White Ox Mead. This is a leisurely walk but with some hills, the leaders will ensure that you can take these slowly if you wish and enjoy tea and cake at the end.
Tip: bring a torch to light your way through the tunnel. Walk led by Carol and Kirsteen.
10am Walk 2: Shoscombe and Wellow
8 miles/12.5 km Elevation; 258 m
A walk full of historical interest, visiting the hamlet of Foxcote where the village church played a role in the fight against cholera. Further along the valley is the Stony Littleton Long Barrow, one of the few that can be entered.(Bring a torch if you want to explore it).We walk on to the pretty village of Wellow where happy horses splash through a shallow ford and on to a ridge giving splendid views. After passing a tiny airstrip we reach White Ox Knoll above the old settlement of Ecweek before enjoying tea and cake at the end.
Walk leaders: Marilyn, Jane and Sue.
10am Walk 3: The Long One: Shoscombe, Wellow and Combe Hay
13 miles/21 km Elevation:495m
This is a strenuous walk (at least three good climbs) suitable for regular walkers but rewarded by lovely views of the Conygre , Cam and Somer Valleys.The route crosses the Limestone Link through farmland and woods to the villages named, and includes a section of the old Roman Fosse Way and ‘fording’ of the river at Wellow. Our route also takes us under a disused railway bridge and past the Stony Littleton Long Barrow, which can be explored if you carry a small torch with you. A stimulating walk for mind and body rounded off by tea and cake at the finish.
Walk leaders: Tony and Ray.
2pm Afternoon Stroller
3.6 miles/6 km Elevation: 99m
A leisurely walk from Peasedown St John led by a knowledgeable local councillor. The route is as for the Saturday Sunset Stroll and has one climb which will be taken at a gentle pace. From the cemetery we ascend to the site of an old settlement on a hill top and then through White Ox Mead to a spot giving views of the Somer Valley. We return via the newer commercial site and the well-laid out newer Peasedown housing with its green spaces. Tea and cake to end with.
Tip: Wear flat, comfortable shoes as the ground will be uneven but if it is wet wellington boots or walking boots may be preferable.
Walk leader: Kathy Thomas.
How to join in
The walks are free and do not require booking. You are welcome to turn up on the day and register at the start (except for the Saturday Limestone Link Walk which must be booked via Eventbrite).
Children: Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on all the walks.
Dogs: Well-behaved dogs, on a short lead, are welcome unless otherwise specified.
What should I wear/ bring? For all the walks appropriate footwear should be worn, with walking boots recommended for the longer routes. Please dress for changes in the weather with layers of clothing, waterproofs, hat and sunscreen. Please bring any food and drink you might need, with plenty of water in the event of warm weather. If you would like to bring your own map you will need Explorer 142.
Accessibility: Please note that the walks are on uneven ground and therefore unlikely to be suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
With thanks to all the walk leaders and volunteers and also to Somer Valley Ramblers and Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Can’t wait till September?
Here are some of the self-guided walks you can do in the area.
There are some really good heritage trails – try Timsbury Heritage Trail (or Timsbury general walks) and Westfield Heritage Trail. Radstock Town Council features a number of walks exploring the local area.
Or try our specially prepared self-guided walk – a classic 5km stroll from Paulton straight into fields and along an ancient green lane high above Midsomer Norton. You can download the full walk here – A Short Walk from Paulton Guide
Chris Selwyn has put together some virtual walks of Timsbury. One set of walks is based on a series of photographs with some historic information and photos as well. The other is 360° photographs allowing you to self-navigate around the 12 miles of footpaths within the parish of Timsbury.