Walk Distance: 2.5 km
Walk Duration: 40 minutes
OS Map: OS Explorer 141 Cheddar Gorge & Mendip Hills West; OS Landranger 182 Weston-super-Mare;
Suitable for: All-terrain pushchairs, little legs, sturdy ‘normal’ pushchairs (on track route only), babies in backpacks, groups of buggy walkers.
Walk features: Wide gravel tracks, suitable for dog-walkers, no stiles, mixed woodland views, picnic table, car park, good for blackberry picking in season, options to shorten or lengthen walk, possible to hear Nightjars here on summer evenings.
Stockhill Wood is found within the Mendips AONB and is managed by the Forestry Commission. Just a short drive from the popular local attractions of Wells, Wookey Hole and the Chew Valley, the mixed woodland is home to a network of wide open gravel tracks making this perfect terrain for those looking to escape into the Mendips countryside for a family pushchair walk. All-terrain pushchairs will manage all paths in all but the wettest weather and sturdy everyday pushchairs should manage the larger gravel paths without problems in dry conditions. Responsible dog walkers are also welcome in Stockhill Wood and older walkers will enjoy exploring some of the narrower paths that interconnect with the wider walkways. Visit at dusk in mid-summer for a chance to hear the visiting Nightjars and bring a bag for blackberry picking in the autumn.
The below walk is just one option for walks at Stockhill Wood- there are many different tracks so you can plan your walk to suit your requirements.
With your back to the car-park entrance, turn left and pass the picnic area on your right-hand side. Take the gravel path at the far left end of the car park (the path closest to the road). Follow the path around to the right and up a small hill.
As the path bends to the right to join a larger gravel track, continue straight ahead on the smaller path. N.b. If you are walking with a normal pushchair or the weather has been very wet, you can opt to turn right along the main track instead as this is easier walking. This track will rejoin the walk at the point marked in bold below. A short distance beyond you will find a footpath sign pointing to a path leading off the track to your right. Take this path.
The walk now takes you among the deciduous trees, giving a wilder feel to the woods than the wider gravel tracks. Those with all-terrain pushchairs will need to watch out for the occasional tree root and the path can get muddy after wet- weather but most of the year it is perfectly possible with a suitable off-road buggy and offers a more varied route.
The woodland path emerges onto a wider gravel track. Turn right and join this main track which leads you in turn to another intersection. Take the right-hand path and follow the track around the corner after which you will see it stretches straight ahead into the distance. You will pass an intersection with another track to your right. If you need to shorten your walk for any reason, you can take this track back towards the main car park. N.b. If you took the gravel track option listed in bold above this is where your path rejoins the main walk. Turn right here onto the main gravel track.
Follow the gravel track straight through the woodland and continue on as it rises steadily uphill. Just over the brow of the hill another track intersects with the main track. Turn off the main track taking this path to the right hand side which descends slowly through the trees and gives glimpses of views over the forest and onto the Mendip Hills beyond. Continue straight past the crossroads of paths and continue walking.
A short distance further a small path leads diagonally off to the right. Take this path and a short wander through the trees will bring you back to the main car park again and the end of the walk.
Map of Route:
Stockhill Wood is located 5 miles north of Wells, around 4 miles south of the Chew Valley and around 7.5 miles from Cheddar and Wookey Hole Caves. The cities of Bristol and Bath are both around 30 minutes drive away. Stockhill Wood is best accessed by car (or by the strong-legged cyclist) and a car park is available at the wood entrance.
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