Bleadon in Spring sunshine
Wednesday 27th March – Bleadon
Walk Leaders: Cheryl & Rosie
This is a lovely walk above the village of Bleadon in Western Mendip. There are really superb views throughout the walk as we overlook Thatchers - cider orchards and Brent Knoll. On a clear day we can see Clevedon and beyond.
Parking: Park in the free village car park just south of the church. There are toilet facilities available and they are generally open. Meet at 9.30 for a 10.00 start.
We head out through the church yard and up Hellenge Hill where we overlook the River Axe and Brent Knoll. The going is generally easy with a gradual ascent up and along the West Mendip Way. Part of the route follows along a Roman Road that leads us to Scratchy Lane, and the route of the WMW.
The WMW leads us gradually up to a lovely open grassy plateau which offers us almost a 360 degree view taking in Western Super Mare and Steep Holm- the Severn estuary and Wales. Let’s hope that the day is clear and bright!
We then head down Shiplate Slait- shiplate meaning sheep path. Passing between Thatchers Cider Orchards we now cross several fields, all gated, until we reach a gate that takes us up hill once again. It’s certainly worth the climb to have a stunning view of the River Axe far below us. As we head across the top of the hill we finally see Bleadon and the church below us.
What a perfect day for a walk in the Mendip Hills. Somewhat earlier than advertised 13 walkers set off behind Cheryl at a fast pace up towards the church in Bleadon. Soon we were into fields and climbing up past piebald horses who were quietly munching at the grass. The views from the vantage point were inspiring us to continue upwards.
Once on the old Roman road (a quiet little lane) we were over taken by a horse rider, but only one white van. Eventually we were able to see out towards the Bristol Channel and down to Weston, and Sand Bay. Wales was also in evidence at this view point, though a little hazy.
From the road we headed straight on to a bridle way, views being glimpsed all the way through the shrubbery. On up over the ridge and into another field where we stopped for our much -needed coffee break. Here we had 360° views and were even able to make out Glastonbury Tor in the misty distance, Brent Knoll, Steep Holm and Flat Holm – truly a special experience.
We joined a path which took us down off the ridge and eventually onto a road beside the extensive apple orchards, which were not yet in bloom, but would be truly magnificent in a few more weeks. Along by the river Axe we were at last on the flat, but not for long as we then climbed up again to be able to see where we had walked earlier. Then the last stretch down steps and a rocky path to the Church. We spent a little time in this old building before making our way back to the cars and driving to the café.
Service was slow in this very busy venue, but we all enjoyed a good lunch when it came. Well done and thank you to Cheryl and Rosie for organising such magnificent weather which enhanced the wonderful scenery on this most enjoyable walk!!
Report by Patsy