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Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty

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Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty
Author: Claire, Published: 12 Jun 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide star1 Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide star1 Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide star1 Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide star0 Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide
Somerset, Bath
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide boot Locksbrook Inn Long Trail: Riverbanks and Royalty Walking Guide
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An 8 mile circular walk from the Locksbrook Inn in Bath, Somerset. The Locksbrook Inn sits on the bank of the canal in Lower Weston, a relaxed gastropub with a beautiful canal-side patio garden. The walking route follows the banks of the River Avon to reach the nearby village of Corston, with a beautiful old convent. Heading further south you will reach Newton Park, part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate and a beautiful example of the parkland designs created by Lancelot Capability Brown. The return leg heads back through Corston and then joins the Bath and Bristol Railway Path for the final stretch.

The route is relatively flat for about half its length and the remainder has several steady gradients. Much of the route is on surfaced paths but some sections, including the riverside, can get muddy at times. You will need to negotiate several flights of steps, some gates and kissing gates but there are no stiles on route. Most of the route is free from livestock, but you will need to cross one pasture (twice) that may be holding cattle. There is no road walking, just a couple of stretches along pavements plus a couple of road crossings that need care. You will be sharing the old railway path with cyclists, so take care on this stretch. Allow 4 hours.

Locksbrook Inn is located on the bank of the canal, in the Lower Weston district of Bath. Road access is on Locksbrook Road (a one-way street). The pub has its own car park and there is additional parking available in the nearby residential streets (please park with respect for the local residents). If you are coming by public transport, the bus stops on Locksbrook Road are served by Bus 716. Approximate post code BA1 3EN.

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Walk Sections

Start to Bath Marina
Start to Bath Marina

Start point: 51.3823 lat, -2.3933 long
End point: 51.3891 lat, -2.4065 long

The walk begins on the canal towpath, outside the rear patio garden of the Locksbrook Inn. Standing on this towpath with your back to the pub, turn right along the towpath. Ignore the bridge (Number 206) over the canal, instead keep straight ahead along the towpath with the water on your left. The towpath emerges to the road pavement and then forks immediately left to become a stone riverside path, signed as the River Avon Towpath.

You will pass Weston Lock on your left. The lock and short, man-made stretch of canal were opened in 1727 to allow boats to pass through and avoid the river weir. Simply continue ahead on the towpath (this next stretch being lined with trees), with the River Avon now on your left. This stretch of the river is used by the local rowing crews for their training, so you may be lucky enough to see some of them in action.

Further along, the path leads you under an old railway bridge (this now carries the railway path that we will be returning along later). Keep ahead on the riverside path, passing some of the moorings of Bath Marina on your left and some of the marina and caravan park buildings on your right.

Bath Marina to Rugby Field
Bath Marina to Rugby Field

Start point: 51.3891 lat, -2.4065 long
End point: 51.3918 lat, -2.4359 long

The towpath leads you over the arched footbridge across the marina entrance and, soon afterwards, under the stone arch of the road bridge, New Bridge. Immediately beyond the arch tunnel, turn right up the flight of steps and turn right at the top to follow the pavement over the river. At the far side, turn right down another flight of steps and keep ahead on the narrow grassland path to reach a T-junction with a concrete path.

Turn right to join this concrete path, part of the River Avon Trail, with the river running on your right and a large crop field on your left. As the concrete path bears left towards a waterworks, fork right to join the narrow, unmade path which leads you along the grassy riverbank. (NOTE: If this path is too overgrown, there is an alternative permissive path that passes to the left of the waterworks instead.) Beyond the waterworks, simply stay on the riverside grass track, with the river running on your right and a crop field on your left once again.

After 0.6 miles you will come to the next river bridge, an old rail bridge once again carrying the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. Stay with the riverside path leading you under this bridge and continuing between the river and crop fields. When the crop field on your left ends, the path continues with the river on your right and the current railway running up to your left. After about 350 metres, you will come to a waymarker post on your left. Turn left here, passing through the arch beneath the railway and emerging to the corner of a rugby field.

Rugby Field to Corston Green
Rugby Field to Corston Green

Start point: 51.3918 lat, -2.4359 long
End point: 51.3874 lat, -2.4397 long

Keep straight ahead along the edge of the rugby field, with a hedge running on your right. At the far end, go ahead through the small metal gate to reach the pavement of the A4. Turn right along this pavement, passing the Corston Lane bus stop, to reach the designated crossing point (with drop kerb and central island). Use this point to swap to the left-hand pavement (taking care and waiting for a suitable gap).

Continue alongside the A4, passing Lower Lodge on your left, and then turn left into the side road, Corston Lane. Follow this pavement ahead, leading you into the village of Corston. On your left, you will pass a stone gateway for St Teresa’s Nursing Home. This was once the site of a convent, and several of the buildings and features have been preserved within the nursing home including the main house, the orchard, the raised patio, the fish pond and the chapel.

Simply stay with the main lane, with the former convent’s tall stone wall running on your left and ignoring any footpaths and side roads on your right. Pass St Teresa’s main entrance on your left and afterwards you will come to the tiny village green in the centre of Corston, a raised grass triangle with mushroom-shaped saddle stones at each corner.

Corston Green to Newton Park
Corston Green to Newton Park

Start point: 51.3874 lat, -2.4397 long
End point: 51.3794 lat, -2.4388 long

Keep ahead on the main village lane, passing the Old Bakery and the village shop with post office on your left. At the end of the road you will come to a T-junction with the A39 (with another raised grass triangle). Turn left for a few paces to reach the crossing point (with drop kerbs and central island) and cross over with care to reach the far pavement (by the church entrance). Turn right along this pavement (passing the road from which you emerged on your right and then the Old Rectory on your left).

As the road bears left, fork left onto the access drive for Manor Farm (signed as a public footpath). This drive leads you past stone cottages on your right and stone barns on your left. Follow the drive as it swings left, passing the impressive Manor Farmhouse on your left, with its tall stone gateposts. Keep ahead as the driveway becomes a stone track leading you steadily uphill between hedgerows. You will reach a farm gate ahead, pass through this to enter a pasture (which may be holding cattle). Do NOT follow the obvious track (diagonally right), instead go straight ahead along the left-hand edge of the pasture with a fenced woodland on your left.

At the far end, go through the kissing gate (alongside a farm gate) and follow the grass track for just a short distance to reach the black metal fence. At this point, turn sharp left to reach the black kissing gate in the field corner. Pass through this kissing gate and cross the bridge over Corston Brook, with the pretty waterfall weir to your right. After ten paces, look for a black kissing gate on your right. This is the entrance gate for the permissive path that runs through Newton Park.

Newton Park to Corston Drive Gate
Newton Park to Corston Drive Gate

Start point: 51.3794 lat, -2.4388 long
End point: 51.3801 lat, -2.4372 long

Turn right through this black kissing gate and follow the stone path leading you uphill. On your right, you will pass a fishing lake, one of the original fish ponds that formed the original landscaped parkland of Newton Park (more about that in a moment). Up to your left, you will see some of the modern buildings of the campus of Bath Spa University. At the end of the first lake, go through the kissing gate and follow the path swinging left, uphill through the trees.

You will emerge to a junction with a stone access track (with black metal gates on your left). Turn right here and follow the track passing the end of the second fish pond on your left. This has a beautiful display of water lilies in the summer months. Part way along this lake, look for a bench on your right, the perfect place to sit and enjoy the views and understand the history of this parkland.

From the bench, you will have a beautiful vista across the lake, with the perfectly framed view of the Keep of Newton St Loe Castle beyond. The land here is currently in royal hands, owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and leased to Bath Spa University. A castle was once at the centre of the estate, owned by the St Loe family and probably dating to the 1100s, when it would have been surrounded by a deer park. The Keep you can see was added in the 1300s. A new manor house was built in the 1760s (although the Keep was retained) and in 1761 the famous landscaper, Lancelot Capability Brown was commissioned to create these improved pleasure grounds including lakes and cascades, specimen trees, garden buildings and the lake circuit walk.

At the end of the lake, stay with the path as it swings left uphill and continues along the length of the lake (with the water down to your left). You will pass one of the impressive garden buildings on your right, The Garden Temple. Further along, the path swings left, crossing the bridge over the Corston Brook inlet. At the far side, turn right (as directed by the permissive path waymarker) and follow the path leading you uphill through a beech woodland. At the top, go through a wooden gate and follow the grass path which leads you out via a black kissing gate.

On your left, you will see some cream-coloured student accommodation buildings and, to the right of these, you will see the tall red-brick wall that surrounded the manor’s kitchen garden. Walk diagonally across the grass, heading for the near corner of this red-brick wall. When you reach this corner, you will find a waymarker post with yellow arrows. Turn left to follow the walkway with the walled garden on your right. At the end of the walled garden, turn left (signed for Main House and Visitor Reception) and, at the crossroads, turn right to join the main access drive for the university. Pass the Castle Keep on your left and follow the pavement along the access drive, with the rolling parkland of grazing sheep and specimen trees across to your right.

The access drive leads you past the main mansion house to reach the Steward’s Lodge on your right. At this point you need to swap to the left-hand pavement, continuing along the main access drive which bears left. Stay on the path closest to the main drive, heading out past the security lodge and then continuing on the grass verge (taking care of traffic). At the bottom of the dip, you will come to a waymarker post marking the point where a footpath crosses Corston Drive.

Corston Drive Gate to Railway Path
Corston Drive Gate to Railway Path

Start point: 51.3801 lat, -2.4372 long
End point: 51.3915 lat, -2.4265 long

Turn left here, through the gate or fence gap and follow the enclosed grass path. Pass the kissing gate into the park (on your left) that you used on the outward leg, cross the brook and go ahead through the kissing gate to enter the farm field. NOTE: For the next stretch (back to the railway path) you will be retracing your steps from the outward route. Walk ahead for a few paces and then turn sharp right, passing through a kissing gate into the cattle pasture.

Walk straight ahead along the right-hand boundary, with the fenced woodland on your right. At the top, go through the field gate and follow the access track between hedges and then past Manor Farm to reach the A39. Turn right along the pavement and, as you draw level with the church, cross over with care to turn left into the side road, Corston Lane. Follow this lane through the village, passing the village stores and St Teresa’s (both on your right), to reach the A4.

Turn right along the pavement past the lodge, swap to the left-hand pavement (taking care with the road crossing) and continue past the bus stop. Just beyond this, turn left through the gate into the rugby field and walk straight ahead along the edge of the field, with the hedge on your left. At the far end, pass under the railway arch and turn right to join the riverside path. Continue until you reach the bridge passing over the river. Go under this bridge and then turn immediately right, up the steps to reach a junction with this railway path. NOTE: You will be sharing this path with cyclists, so take care.

Railway Path to End
Railway Path to End

Start point: 51.3915 lat, -2.4265 long
End point: 51.3825 lat, -2.3933 long

Turn left to join the old railway path, a tarmac path passing a sculptural bench on your left. The Bristol and Bath Railway path, follows the line of the former Midland Railway. The railway closed to passengers in the late 1960s and the track was converted to a path for walkers and cyclists between 1979 and 1986. The path is 13 miles long, but we are following less than a mile of it on our walk…

After about 0.6 miles (1km) the path leads you under the A4 road bridge and, a little later, across a bridge over the River Avon (the path splits in two across this bridge, but you can follow either branch). Immediately afterwards, fork right and follow this narrow path leading you downhill to reach the riverside path (which you should recognise from the outward leg). Turn left to join the riverside path and follow it, back past Weston Lock and on to reach the Locksbrook Inn for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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