Walk Distance: 2 km
Walk Duration: 40 mins
OS Map: OS Explorer 154 Bristol West & Portishead; OS Landranger 172 Bristol & Bath (but splits at Clevedon so not recommended)
Suitable for: pushchairs (be prepared to push up a couple of short, steep hills & 2 short sets of steps wide enough to bump up/down), little legs, babies in backpacks, all the family.
Walk features: Great views, seaside, playground, cafes;
This short Poets Walk loop around Clevedon cliff-tops offers some fantastic sea views and will blow the cobwebs away. Start from Old Church Road Allotments, Old Church Road, just west of central Clevedon or if you are already enjoying the traditional family fun of the pier and Clevedon sea-front then pick up the walk by the playground opposite the west end of Marine Lake.
The Old Church Road Allotments are found at the far end of Old Church Road – go past the turning to St. Andrews Church on your right and keep going along Old Church Street. As the lane peters out you will see the allotments on your right hand side. Continue straight on the rough track where you will see several large boats on their stands. You will find a signposted footpath for Poets Walk on your right hand side just before the boats which leads fairly steeply uphill. Pushchair parents be prepared for a short, sharp slog uphill – wearing of buggy wrist straps is advised!
Follow the path around to the left and you will emerge onto Clevedon ‘s cliff-tops and a conveniently placed bench! The views of the Bristol Channel here are well-worth the uphill effort. On a good day you can see the North Devon Coast to the south-west and have an eagle-eye view of the Pillow Mounds mud-flat below – a great favourite with wading and marine birds.
The path skirts a lush grassy mound on your right on which is perched a World War 2 pillbox. These were a series of scrambled fortified buildings sited in strategic places across the UK as a result of fears of an imminent German invasion. The hill-top here is known as Wain’s Hill and has been used more than once as a defensive vantage point – it was originally the site of an old iron-age hill-fort. Despite its military history this makes an excellent grassy spot for a picnic on a sunny day and adds interest for children in need of history and adventure to keep them walking!
Keep left on the main path as it bends right and uphill, following the edge of the headland. As you bend round towards the north the path begins its gradual descent and the views across to Wales open up. Should your suddenly feel the urge to speak in verse or scribble down a work of poetic glory then do not feel surprised – you will be in good company as it is said that the great poets Tennyson and Coleridge found inspiration from the beauty of the views from these very cliff-tops. It is for them that Poets Walk is named.
Continuing downhill on Poets Walk, children will quickly locate the Look Out – a stone structure looking out to see which looks a little like a miniature castle turret. This is thought to have belonged to the Finzels – a local Clevedon family who imported sugar from the West Indies and it is said that they used the Look Out to spot their incoming trade ships.
At the bottom of the hill there is a small flight of wide steps. These are negotiable with a pushchair if you take it slowly. Follow the path around to the right and to a second set of steps – again, there are only a few and it is possible to bump a pushchair down them.
From here you can leave Poets Walk and extend your walk along the edge of Marine Lake and enjoy all the offerings of Clevedon ‘s traditional Victorian seafront. Salthouse Fields are located to the right of the path and children will be delighted by the miniature railway running around the field. Clevedon ‘s Grade I listed pier is visible jutting out below Clevedon town -follow the seafront path towards the town for access and to pass all manner of typical seaside food treats.
When ready to head back to the start (or for those beginning Poets Walk from Clevedon seafront) turn your back to Marine Lake and leave the seafront path, dropping down to the right hand side of Salthouse Fields. You will pass the children’s playground and Salthouse Fields car park on your left. Opposite the car-park you will come to a small walled footpath winding up between some houses from the road. It is signposted to Poets Walk. Follow this as it leads gradually uphill again through a pleasant shaded woodland path. Shortly after the Poets Walk path turns left downhill emerging by St. Andrews Church. This ancient church dates from as early as the twelfth century and is named for the the saint of fishermen – an appropriate guardian for the local maritime community.
Continue down past the church and bend towards the right past the cemetery. The path emerges back on the road the walk started from. Turn right and follow the pavement back to the allotment and the walk start. For those starting from Clevedon, follow the directions now from the top.
Map of Route:
There is free roadside parking along Old Church Road near the start of the walk. For those starting the walk from Clevedon seafront, there is a car park next to Salthouse Field, accessible via Salthouse Road.
Clevedon is accessible from Bristol with a 30 minute bus journey. Take the 361 bus from Bristol Bus Station towards Clevedon Triangle. Get off at Saltings Close and walk for a few minutes to the walk start or to begin the walk from Clevedon seafront, get off at Salthouse Fields stop. From Clevedon, both stops are accessible via a five minute bus journey on the 361 heading in the direction of Bristol.
View Clevedon seaside and Poets Walk in a larger map
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