Kelston and the Avon

River, heritage railway and quiet villages with views.

Technical sheet
No. 18103141
A Charlcombe walk posted on 30/12/21 by Walks from the Door. Update : 30/12/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h25[?]
Distance Distance : 8.06mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 784ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 761ft
Highest point Highest point : 771ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 33ft
Very difficult Difficulty : Very difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Cotswolds
Location Location : Charlcombe
Starting point Starting point : N 51.41576° / W 2.394817°
Download : -


(D/A) From the front door of the Charlcombe Inn, turn right and then right again through the kissing gate in the corner of the car park onto the racecourse. At the rear of the pub, turn right and follow the wall with the course on your left.

(1) Well before you reach a telecommunications mast and the grandstands, duck under the rail on your left and cross both sides of the course (and the grassland between) to join a footpath along the wall on the far side. Turn right and follow the path; when it diverges from the racetrack you can either stick to the wall or cut across a triangular area of grass and meet it beyond; either way, you will reach a topograph identifying features of the view (with Kelston Round Hill prominent ahead).

(2) Go through the kissing gate next to the topograph and bear left; in the corner, turn right through another tall kissing gate and follow the path downhill. Beyond another gate is a junction of paths. Turn left through a metal hand-gate then immediately right through another metal gate.

(3) Follow the path along the field edge for a quarter of a mile until you reach a gate on your right, from which a permitted path runs up the slope to the clump of trees on the summit of Kelston Round Hill. To the right of the trees is a signpost, where you turn right and descend, still on a permitted path, to regain an official right of way beyond a wooden kissing gate. Turn left.

(4) Follow the track downhill. After about a quarter of a mile, pass to the left of a barn conversion and follow the metalled lane down to Kelston village. Cross the main road carefully and turn left along the pavement. By the telephone booth at the Old Forge, turn right down a lane (past a house with an ammonite fossil in the wall) that reduces to a path.

(5) At a gate you meet a driveway; go through a kissing gate opposite (signposted “Saltford Cycle Path”). After a further two kissing gates, the path continues to join a farm track that descends to a bridge under the old railway. Just before the bridge, a kissing gate on the right gives access to steps up the embankment.

(6) Turn right (beware cyclists) and follow the old railway, shortly crossing over the River Avon. After a further 150 yards, the trail crosses a bridge over a road in Saltford.

(7) Continue for just under a mile, to Avon Riverside Station on the Avon Valley Railway. Cross the river again, then take the first path on the left, which curves down to the riverbank.

(8) Turn left and pass under the bridge. A kissing gate gives access to waterside meadows, through which follow the river upstream for half a mile, passing a few more gates.

The path leaves the main river to follow a mill stream on the left, which leads you to the main road in Swineford. Cross and follow a driveway to the right of the Swan pub, which leads between buildings and then along a driveway towards a car park.

(9) Beyond a Georgian house on the right, turn right at a footpath sign to a kissing gate. Cross the field beyond to a gate and then climb the hill to a kissing gate into a green lane, which develops into a sunken holloway. At a bend, ignore a path on the right and continue on the wider left-hand path, which widens into a farm track then bends right between buildings to North Stoke village.

(10) Turn left and walk up to the church. Take the track to the left in front of the church, which curves to the right (ignoring a footpath on the right) and climbs to the Cotswold Way path on the lip of the Lansdown plateau.

(11) Turn left, with the golf course on your right and Pipley Wood on your left. At Pipley Barn, bear right along a track across a fairway, still following the Cotswold Way. At a crossroads of tracks and paths, turn right, signposted as a Public Bridleway.

(12) Follow the wall on your left, with the golf course and racecourse away to your right. Beyond the racecourse access road, the path continues in the same direction, following a line of trees, to reach the clubhouse.

(13) Cross the car park in front of the clubhouse and then cross an area of rough grassland beyond, to a metal hooped gate in the corner. Turn right along the road to return to the Charlcombe Inn. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 745ft - Charlcombe Inn
1 : mi 0.39 - alt. 771ft - Racetrack
2 : mi 1 - alt. 732ft - Downhill path
3 : mi 1.55 - alt. 643ft - Kelston Round Hill
4 : mi 2.11 - alt. 377ft - Kelston village
5 : mi 2.63 - alt. 203ft - Bridge - Old railway.
6 : mi 3.34 - alt. 59ft - River Avon
7 : mi 4.26 - alt. 69ft - Avon Riverside Station
8 : mi 4.47 - alt. 39ft - Waterside meadows
9 : mi 5.32 - alt. 59ft - Georgian house
10 : mi 6.11 - alt. 381ft - Church
11 : mi 6.74 - alt. 702ft - Pipley Barn
12 : mi 7.31 - alt. 768ft - Golf course and racecourse
13 : mi 7.89 - alt. 748ft - Clubhouse
D/A : mi 8.06 - alt. 745ft - Charlcombe Inn

Useful Information

One long climb from Swineford. Paths may be muddy in places, and cattle and sheep may be encountered en route.

Pdf Link :

The Charlcombe Inn
Lansdown, Bath, Somerset BA1 9BT
tel +44 (0)1225 421995

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The Charlcombe Inn is a classic countryside free house, with a comfortable interior, large garden overlooking Bath Racecourse, ten fabulous en-suite letting rooms and ample parking.
The menu offers a good range of pub classics plus some more exciting dishes, cooked fresh and wherever possible, using locally sourced ingredients.
Open daily from 9am (12 Sundays), we now serve our main menu from 12.00 all day every day. We also offer morning coffee and afternoon tea. This is a popular spot for walkers and, naturally, well-behaved dogs are welcome.

St Martin’s Church, North Stoke, has an idyllic position next to a trickling stream and waterfall. Its tower dates probably from the 12th century and Roman bricks have been reused in the fabric of the walls.

Sometimes described as the UK’s first war memorial, Sir Bevill Grenville’s Monument, erected in 1720, commemorates the death of the Royalist commander at the Battle of Lansdowne in 1643.

The Avon Valley Railway runs from Oldland Common to the Avon via Bitton, a distance of three miles. Both steam and diesel locomotives are run at weekends

Bath Racecourse is Britain’s highest flat-racing course. Racing was first recorded in Bath in 1728 but the first major meet was held in 1811. Notable races includes the Lansdown Fillies’ Stake (April) and the Beckford Stakes (October)

The Cotswold Way long-distance footpath runs for 100 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath.

The River Avon flows for 75 miles from South Gloucestershire to Avonmouth, but its source is only 19 miles from its mouth as the crow files.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.