Bleadon – Uphill – Weston Walk – 09.09.2012

Our walk was originally attended to go to Brean Sands, but as you may have already guessed from the title of the blog we didn’t quite reach there! We started out from Bleadon and used Accommodation Road as our route. We felt that this may have been a quieter road to walk than the main Bridgewater Road to Brean.   As I stated in my previous blog, we were lacking an O/S map so we were solely relying on Google maps, therefore we had no idea if there were any shortcuts or footpaths en-route to take us to our destination!

I would not advise anyone to walk along this road, as there are no pavements to walk along and contrary to what we thought the road was actually very busy.   The road took us across a bridge in place and this was not particularly nice as the bridge was quite narrow.   Just prior the bridge, we noticed a large model car racing track, sounds like a lot of fun to me.  It was very close to the railway though,  so I do now wonder if some of the race track hides some of the original location for “Bleadon and Uphill Railway Museum” (Yieldingtree Railway Museum), which was part of the Bleadon Railway Station.     Bleadon Railway station actually closed in April 1964.  I may be completely and utterly wrong, about the location of the museum, but the proximity to the railway appears to about right.

Once we were over the bridge, we were glad to finally see a possibility of leaving the road for a footpath. It was a lovely thought as we had not had chance to really enjoy the views that were surrounding us as we really had to concentrate on where we were walking and enjoy the walk for a change. We were about take a cycle path route 33, which was to take us into Weston rather than Brean which had been our original intention. We did think perhaps that there may be a small chance that they may be a route of the path at some point to Brean on the way? We weren’t sure at all as the cycle path was taking us through farmers fields so shortcuts didn’t look very forthcoming!

From 2012 – 09.09.2012 – Bleadon – Uphill – Weston Walk

The cycle path took us down what is known as “Old Wall”, although I am unsure why the path has earned this title. The only reason I can think if it was the original Sea Wall? As we turned the corner on the path, I noticed a large church in the distance, I think that this may have been the church that I spotted in our previous walk, perhaps we were going to have chance to explore it after all. As we continued on the path was to take us from the “Old Wall” and into “Wayacre Drove”.

I was tempted off the cycle path, when I spotted a possible footpath which would have taken us across a field which looked a more direct route. However, without a O/S map I was unsure as to whether to take it. Despite the fact there were no public footpath signs, I was sure it was a path.  Particularly as the fence seemed to be more like a stile which was broken 😦 . As we followed the cycle path around the field, we found that we were looking at “Wayacre drove” from the opposite side! Therefore, if we had been able to cut across the field it would have been so much quicker.

It was then I spotted a broken sign, looked after by the environment agency / Wessex water / North Somerset Council. I suspect that perhaps I was right and when I thought that I had spotted a broken stile en-route. It seems that these footpath signs were suffering with neglect, reminds me of the Hertfordshire Way 😦 . Hopefully the signs will be restored at some point, as it seems such as shame that public footpaths are neglected like this 😦 . Regardless, we continued to walk along the cycle path which was clearly looked after, enjoying the views along the way. It was not long before we reached “Uphill & Walborough Nature Reserve”.

From 2012 – 09.09.2012 – Bleadon – Uphill – Weston Walk

Walborough, nature reserve is a SSSI “Site of Special Scientific Interest”, as it rich in rare plants, species and an important area for butterflies. The Reserve is named after “Walborough Down”, where a Bronze Age burial mound is situated. The down has been known for grazing throughout its history and during the war some of the down was used for agriculture. The reserve was created in 1996 and was made a local nature reserve later in 2004. It was a shame we arrived in the Autumn time as it seems that the reserve would have been ablaze with colourful butterflies and flowers earlier in the year, including sea lavender which adorns the Victorian sea wall which runs along side some of the salt marsh.

I was quick to notice a sign for the “West Mendip Way”, which we had seen our very short around Bleadon Village, so it was nice to know we had joined up with it again! 🙂 . The path through the nature reserve was quite reasonable to walk as it was tarmac, I think that it had been really looked after as it was part of the cycle route. It was such a shame that the rest of the signs had not been 😦 . As we walked on the church loomed into view. Although we were not quite sure how to walk to it? It seemed to be on top of a cliff! We knew we get there some how, although it did seem to look impossible!

Eventually the path took us under the cliff passing through a very wooded area. I am glad that we kept our eyes pealed as I spotted a information board saying “Explosives Store”. If we looked carefully through the trees we could just see a stone building hidden amongst the trees. The store was built in C19th and was used to store explosive powder. The explosive powder was used to blast out limestone from the quarry which was eventually used for building roads and railway buildings.  It seems that the quarrying that has taken place over the years, which accounts for the cliff that now exists.   As we turned the corner, we found a “Limekiln”, which was built much earlier than the explosive store in the C18th. The kiln had 3 purposes for creating lime for the basis for mortar in buildings, for the fields to ensure that they were less acidified and the use in a paint which was used for whitewashing.  Interestingly Uphill Old Church was kept whitewashed as a marker sea vessels on the channel.

From 2012 – 09.09.2012 – Bleadon – Uphill – Weston Walk

We passed by Uphill Marina, and came out on Uphill Way. As we walked down the road we finally found the entrance to St Nicholas Church and the hill.   As we climbed we were rewarded with a view across Weston Super Mare. St Nicholas Church, that stands on the hill as we see it today, was built in in C11th.  However, a church has stood on this site previously, remains of a church have been found beneath the floor the church.  It’s history may go back as far as 700AD.  It was assumed that the Church was used a stopping point for Pilgrims on there way to Glastonbury Abbey. The Church building went through changes in its time and in 1846 was remodelled by Thomas Knytton of Uphill Castle. The church is now redundant and is used occasionally for services.

We walked through the church on to the hill, where we sat down to enjoy the views and to eat some lunch! Just we found somewhere to sit down to eat, I saw a interesting building. At first I was just excited to see it had a Beacon on it! This is my 10th beacon I have found on my walks 🙂  The beacon is sighted on the remains of C18th Windmill. The windmill was built in 1729, however by the C19th it was no longer used as a windmill and was used as an observation point and then an observatory.  I wouldn’t be surprised that once it is lit it would be seen for miles around, even perhaps across the Bristol Channel.  Alas, we had to leave our resting point to carry on our walk. Our route took us not through the church but along the hill and back to the path we had just walked! If we had realised it we could have walked up this way to the church in first place.

We walked past Uphill Marina once again and navigated our way to Uphill Way. Our route was to take us to the beach. We were to follow the beach the entire way into Weston Super Mare.  Although we had walked into Weston Super Mare the day before, we still had some more things to discover! It seems Weston is full of Artwork, not only do they have Sand Sculptures, but artists seem to have left signs with some strange information on them – one was about a “Fish” being missing, the other about “Hans Price”. These are developed as part of 41 signs called “Wrights and Sights” which are part of the “Wonders of Weston”. We were also treated to some wooden carving, which was rather lovely to see 🙂 . It seems that Weston enjoys Artwork, as the Model Yacht pond, which was built in 1934 has even had sculpture added to it! The sculpture is known as “My Eyes Danced”, by Ruth Claxton, which has circles of metal and glass which not only capture the sunlight, look like the float on the pond if the tide has filled the pond full enough!

Before we ended our walk, we walked past the miniature railway, which I have now discovered has permanently closed after 31 years! That is so sad 😦 . For all the photos of the walk, please click on the photo below

2012 – 09.09.2012 – Bleadon – Uphill – Weston Walk

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One response to “Bleadon – Uphill – Weston Walk – 09.09.2012

  1. Pingback: Weymouth Walk – 13.10.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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