Walk Distance: 2.5 km one way walk , 5 km round walk
Walk Duration: 1 hr 10 ( with a very slow, dawdling toddler walking the whole way!)
OS Map: OS Explorer 141 Cheddar Gorge & Mendip Hills West; OS Landranger 172 Bristol & Bath
Suitable for: Little legs, babies in carriers, all the family.
Walk features: Quiet leafy lane walking, shops, pubs and tea room in Chew Magna, excellent pub ‘The Druids Arms’ in Stanton Drew, Stanton Drew standing stones site of historical interest, small stream for Pooh sticks!
‘The Stanton Drew to Chew Magna walk is a peaceful wander along quiet country tracks, taking you into the bustling and pretty village of Chew Magna. This is lovely wander if you are looking for an extension to a visit to Stanton Drew’s ancient standing stones and is particularly beautiful in summer when the verges are full of wildflowers. You can also walk the first part of it from Stanton Drew with a pushchair – perfect for a post-pub lunch stroll.
Roo was a very slow walker when we did this walk (see my blog post) so we didn’t get to try out the return walk from Chew Magna back to Stanton Drew but I have included it here anyway as it is fairly simple. If like us, one way is enough, then time it so you can catch the bus back – check times here and be aware that there are only a couple of services at the weekend.’
The Stanton Drew to Chew Magna walk starts from outside the Druids Arms pub in Stanton Drew – incidentally a top spot for a bite to eat! Cross over the road and head towards the right, where you will find the start of Sandy Lane just behind Stanton Drew village hall.
Walk down Sandy Lane, passing peacefully situated houses on your left and tall hedgerows on your right. This is a pleasant stroll with a pushchair if you need to stretch your legs but don’t have time for the full walk to Chew Magna.
Eventually the lane peters out into a narrow track. Walking for a short while brings you to a shady downhill section. We found badger sets in the high banks here, with their old bedding clearly on display at the entrance to one of the holes!
Walk on as the track emerges out of the trees. Carry on around the bend, ignoring the footpath sign into a field on the bend itself. A little further on, on the left hand side, another footpath leaves the main lane and passes over a small stream on a stone bridge. Head off on this route, taking time for a mini Pooh sticks tournament if the mood takes you!
Through the kissing gate beyond the walk takes you uphill through a field and continue as the hill plateaus. The path continues into the field beyond before bending down to follow the line of the river far below you.
Head out the field over the small step over gate. Beyond you will join one last field – walk across it and you will come to the main road into Chew Magna.
Cross the road and walk up through the impressive stone gateway of Chew Court. Follow the drive past the cricket club on the left hand side. At the end the path passes the pretty buildings of Chew Court and their lovely garden. Keep following to the left and you will come to a small path into the churchyard beyond.
Walk through the churchyard and out the main gateway to reach Chew Magna high street. For those in need of refreshment, the Pelican pub is immediately opposite or turn right and head up the high street to find Moondance – a small gift shop and cafe – on your right, or keep going and you will get to a well-stocked Coop store.
For those returning to Stanton Drew by bus, the bus stop is just next to the post-office on the high pavement side of the street. It cost £1.10 a person for the five minute ride when we travelled but do check the timetable before you set off as there are not many buses a day so you’ll need to time your walk carefully, particularly at the weekends. If not, head back the way you came.
N.b.It is possible to take a slightly different walk route on the way back, which is what we had intended but could not test out as Roo was walking too slowly that day! I have included the map of the whole walk anyway in case you’d like to try it yourself but have not put in directions given the fact the return walk has not been road tested by Baby Routes! I am familiar with parts of it though and can say that it offers a nice stroll through the back streets of Chew Magna before rejoining Sandy Lane.
If you’ve not visited already, make sure to make a short detour from your walk to visit Stanton Drew’s standing stones – the third largest collection of prehistoric standing stones in England! The standing stones are clearly signposted or if you’re coming from Sandy Lane, turn left and follow the side of the road around the bend. Immediately after the bend, cross the road and walk up the lane opposite, following it round to the left and into a small close of houses. The stones are located through a gate at the bottom of the close. If that’s too much like hard work after your walk, then you can also enjoy one of the standing stones from the pub garden!
Map of Route:
Parking is available next to the Great Circle at Stanton Drew or in the village hall car park. An infrequent bus service (672) runs between Bristol and Blagdon, stopping at Chew Magna and Stanton Drew.
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