Walking Near Bristol and Bath


Winford Manor is ideally located for exploring the historic cities of Bristol and Bath, Cheddar Gorge and caves, the home of the famous cheddar cheese and indeed our beautiful west country. Sat just on the edge of the Mendips, Winford Manor is the perfect anchor site for avid walkers or gentle strollers to explore the rolling countryside, sheltered combes, ponds, woods and farmland.

Part of the South West peninsular of England, Somerset is a predominantly rural county and a major holiday destination. It's popularity is hardly surprising considering the rich mixture of quiet pastoral landscapes, wild moors, stunning limestone gorges and the spectacular northern coastline. Five ranges of hills, the Mendips, the Quantocks, the Poldens, the Blackdowns, and the Brendons, provide wonderful walking and spectacular views. South Somerset is a rural idyll with gentle landscapes, sleepy villages and colourful beauty in the fields, orchards and woods. The important and hauntingly beautiful Somerset Levels provides a complete contrast to the deep and dramatic Cheddar Gorge with its soaring limestone cliffs, and yet these different landscapes are but a few miles apart.

Local landscape ecologist, Adrian Boots says “The Mendip Hills is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From 'top of the world', huge panoramic views across the Bristol Channel and Somerset levels, to stunning vistas through deep, forested combes. From the Chew Valley Lakes and natural nature reserves to the heritage and culture of the Cathedral City of Wells and the mysterious Glastonbury Tor and Abbey. Home to numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s), and bordering some of Britain’s most important wetlands, The Mendip Hills has something for everyone, and awaits your discovery…”

Visit Adrian’s website for more information about his walking days from short taster sessions, courses, wild food walks, foraging & cook-ups, and bushcraft expeditions at www.walkthemendips.com.

Explore the deep and mysterious Goblin Combe, 130 acres of spectacular landscape with a dramatic Combe gouged from a limestone plateau surrounded by semi-natural ancient woodland, flower rich calcareous grassland and limestone health. These habitats are support rare wildlife and are protected as a Site of Special Interest. www.goblincombe.org.uk.

Very locally, try the Winford Walk offering views across the Mendips and over the pretty farmland around Winford in the Chew Valley area of North Somerset. Local walking maps and further details can be found at www.winfordpc.co.uk/Winford_Footpaths/.

Stroll on a bit further to find Chew Valley lake: Chew Valley Lake is Bristol Water’s biggest lake with a perimeter of some ten miles and a total capacity of a 20,000 million litres. Construction of the lake started in November 1950, it took just over five years to complete. Sixteen farm houses, eleven other houses and 2,000 acres (480 hectares) of land were bought up and drowned by the rising waters and three and a half miles of road were diverted or widened. Chew Valley Lake provides a home for a great variety of wildlife. Its shallow, lime rich water is teeming with aquatic insects and supports a lush growth of water plants. These provide food and cover for huge numbers of birds for which the lake is nationally famous. Over 260 different species have been recorded, ranging from tiny reed warblers to the majestic Bewick's swan. The level of the lake rises in winter and falls over the summer and autumn exposing wide muddy margins. Different birds are attracted here over the changing seasons.