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Chew Magna Circular

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Chew Magna Circular
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 07 Apr 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Chew Magna Circular Walking Guidestar1 Chew Magna Circular Walking Guidestar1 Chew Magna Circular Walking Guidestar1 Chew Magna Circular Walking Guidestar0 Chew Magna Circular Walking Guide
Somerset, Bristol
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Chew Magna Circular
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Chew Magna Circular Walking Guide boot Chew Magna Circular Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk from the beautiful village of Chew Magna, near Bristol in Somerset. Chew Magna is the largest village in the district and was a thriving woollen centre in the Middle Ages. The walk gives you chance to enjoy the many historic buildings within the village as well as field paths that give great views of the surrounding hills and a few of the ancient stone bridges which cross the River Chew and Winford Brook.

The route has several gradients throughout and there are a few kissing gates, some steps, a narrow squeeze gap and possibly a stile or two (depending on whether the adjacent farm gates are open). Approximate time 1 hour.

The walk starts from the High Street (South Parade) of Chew Magna, which is about 10 miles south of Bristol. There is a free village car park just off the High Street, behind the Pelican Inn. If this car park is full there are additional parking bays along the High Street and adjoining roads. Approximate post code BS40 8SL.

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Walk Sections

Start to Kissing Gate
Start to Kissing Gate

Start point: 51.3659 lat, -2.6103 long
End point: 51.3619 lat, -2.6084 long

The walk starts from the village car park, behind the Pelican Inn on the High Street (South Parade) in Chew Magna. Return to the road and turn right passing in front of the Pelican Inn. As you reach the road junction ahead, keep right onto Tunbridge Road (passing a water pump on the corner). A few paces down this road it is worth crossing over to the left-hand side of the road, up the steps to join the raised walkway.

Follow the raised walkway (itself a Grade II listed structure) and you will pass the Baptist Church on the right. Soon you will pass over Tun Bridge across the River Chew.

This medieval bridge has three pointed arches spanning 18 metres across the river. Thought to date back to the late 15th Century, the bridge is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is Grade II listed. Halfway across the bridge have a look over the left wall at the top of the central support pillar. You will see a small trough cut into the stone. It is said that, when the village was infected with smallpox, this trough was used by villagers to leave money to pay farmers who brought food to the bridge. The trough was filled with vinegar to help prevent the spread of disease.

Keep ahead to pass the fire station on the right. As the road begins to bend slightly right look out for the entrance to the Coach House on the right. Turn left opposite this entrance through a kissing gate onto a marked public footpath.

Kissing Gate to Chew Court
Kissing Gate to Chew Court

Start point: 51.3619 lat, -2.6084 long
End point: 51.3651 lat, -2.6052 long

Keep straight ahead across the centre of the grass field heading for the metal farm gates on the far side. Pass through the gate (if open – use the stile alongside if not) and keep ahead along the right hand field boundary. Keep ahead through the next two farm gates (if these are locked, one has a stile alongside and one has a pedestrian gate set into it).

Now follow the path ahead with a hedgerow to your left to reach a gate in the far left corner of this field. Pass through this kissing gate and down a few steep steps to reach a junction of paths. Turn left and follow the grass track to reach a bridge over the river. Cross the bridge via the pair of metal gates and keep ahead across the next field and out through a kissing gate to reach the road. Cross over the road with care to reach the gated entrance to Chew Court.

Chew Court to Harford Square
Chew Court to Harford Square

Start point: 51.3651 lat, -2.6052 long
End point: 51.3662 lat, -2.6113 long

Walk up the drive of Chew Court and you’ll notice a cricket field to the left and the lines of stone mushrooms either side of the drive.

The importance of Chew Magna began in medieval times when the Bishop of Bath and Wells established a summer palace here. A small part of this palace survives as Chew Court. The palace was visited by Henry III in 1250.

Follow the drive as it bends right and ahead you’ll see the black wooden gates of the mansion. Bear right and follow the gravel drive with stone outbuildings to your right and the tall boundary wall of the mansion to the left. Follow the drive as it bends left and then fork left up a few steps to enter the churchyard.

The Grade I listed St Andrews Church dates from the 12th Century. It has a 100ft sandstone tower which is thought to date back to the 1440s.

Immediately before the church turn sharp right onto the tarmac path which leads out of the church yard via a small metal gate. Follow the lane downhill and, before you reach the bridge ahead, turn left onto Silver Street –passing a water pump set against the church wall.

Follow Silver Street with the church now to your left. Continue some distance until you reach the major road junction of Harford Square.

Harford Square to Ford
Harford Square to Ford

Start point: 51.3662 lat, -2.6113 long
End point: 51.3672 lat, -2.6194 long

Turn right onto Chew Lane passing the gates of Harford Lodge on the left. Follow the pavement over Spratts Bridge crossing a weir within Winford Brook. After the bridge turn immediately left through a narrow squeeze gap onto a public footpath which runs to the right of the brook.

Follow the waterside path with grass slopes up the right. Pass through an old kissing gate and follow the now narrow path with a tall wall of a former estate on your right. Continue past another weir and a few paces later you’ll reach a T-junction with the road (alongside the gates to The Rookery).

Turn right and follow Battle Lane as it swings to the left. At the fork keep left heading downhill and continue to bear left. You will reach a ford.

Ford to Stone Bridge
Ford to Stone Bridge

Start point: 51.3672 lat, -2.6194 long
End point: 51.3641 lat, -2.6151 long

Use the footbridge to the left to cross the ford and follow the quiet lane uphill, passing under a small footbridge. At the top of Dark Lane, turn left along the High Street. Pass the Catholic Church on the right (ignoring the turning to the right signed to Chew Valley Lake).

Follow the High Street passing between pretty stone cottages. Look out on the right for a row of stone mushrooms in front of a cottage. Immediately before them, turn right down the alleyway passing to the left of cottage Number 26. Follow this stone footpath heading fairly steeply downhill.

The path emerges alongside the river and ahead you’ll see another 15th Century stone arched bridge across the river.

Stone Bridge to End
Stone Bridge to End

Start point: 51.3641 lat, -2.6151 long
End point: 51.3656 lat, -2.6096 long

Turn left over this stone bridge and a little further along pass over a wooden footbridge. Keep straight ahead on the tarmac lane and you will pass Dumpers Farmhouse on the right.

Just after passing house number 17, you will come to a fork in the road. Take the left hand smaller tarmac lane. Continue past the pumping station on the right and you’ll emerge to a T-junction. Cross over the road with care and turn left onto Tunbridge Road. From here just retrace your steps – continue back over Tun Bridge and along the raised walkway. At the top of the road keep left onto the High Street where the walk began.

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network Chew Magna Circular Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Chew Magna Circular"

Very easy short walk, didn't feel like 3 miles.

By lem_jpm on 2015-05-31 17:32:58

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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