From Swineford Picnic Area, the route climbs up through the village of Upton Cheyney; from here it's over fields, passing Beach House, and on to Coldharbour Farm. Return is back down the valley, up the other side via the humorously named – Grandmother’s Rock Lane, then onto the less humorous - Hanging Hill, up to Lansdown. Then a short section of the Cotswold Way. On leaving the Cotswold Way the route continues downhill to the village of North Stoke to pick and back to the Swineford Car Park.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) From the Swineford Picnic Area car park (ST 691 692), walk forward through the picnic area; approx. - 50m; look for a metal gate in the left-hand boundary hedge line (ST 691 693). Pass through the gate, and turn right, continue uphill, passing through several gates, to a road – Brewery Hill (ST 692 670). Turn right, and continue uphill, passing the ‘Upton Inn’ on your left. Continue ahead; approx. - 85m, to - Wick Lane (ST 693 670). Turn left into Wick Lane.
(1) Follow the road round to a house and two cottages; approx. - 300m, on your right. (Note: a white metal gate on the righthand side of the two cottages (ST 694 702)). Pass through this gate, turn right, and follow a rough path that runs behind the cottages to a stile, cross over the stile, and into the field beyond.
Follow the left-hand boundary hedge line; aiming for a metal gate at the bottom left corner of the field (ST 697 704). Pass through the gate, onto a path, that runs between high hedges. On exiting the path; follow this field’s left-hand hedge boundary to a wooden stile (ST 697 704). Cross over the stile, turn right, and follow a well-worn path, around a large overgrown thicket, into the field beyond. Continue to follow the left-hand boundary hedge line of this field.
At the corner of the field, walk forward down a slope, approx. halfway down, look for a footpath (ST 699 705) on the right, leading through the tree line. Use this cut-through to access the next field. On exiting; continue to follow this field’s left-hand field boundary hedge line; approx. 60 m, look for a path, on the left, that runs between high hedges (ST 701 706). Pass between the hedges, over a stile, and turn right. Continue along the path to a farm building; approx. 100m, on the left. Pass through a gate; onto the metalled driveway, directly ahead.
(2) Follow the driveway, passing Beach House and farm buildings on the right, to a gate. The gate is opened by pressing a ‘selector button’ fixed to the wall on the right; approx. 5m from the gate. Press the ‘select button’ to open the gate; pass through and continue ahead to – Beach Lane; approx. 75m. (Note: the gate closes automatically.)
At Beach Lane, turn right and walk forward; approx. 15m, look for a driveway entrance on your left (ST 705 708), note a stile to the left of the driveway, cross over the stile into the field beyond. Continue ahead to a gate with a stile; cross into the field beyond. Follow the right-hand field boundary to a second stile (ST 705 709), cross into the third field beyond. Walk forward; as a guide, aim for the left side of a large gap in the field boundary hedge. Locate a stile (ST 705 711), to the left of the gap; cross over onto a narrow-fenced path. (Note: - do not go through the gap. I did, and had to backtrack up a very steep hill!) Continue along the path: through scrub trees, into a large field, turn right. Walk ahead, aiming for the edge of a line of trees (ST 704 713), that roughly divide the field into two.
At the treeline; turn slight left, continue downhill, aiming for the left side of a small outcrop of trees, approx. at the mid-point of the lower boundary treeline (ST 704 715). Look for a path through the trees, leading to a plank bridge. Cross the bridge, and through the kissing gate, into the field beyond. Turn slightly left; cross over two fields to a kissing gate at the top left of the second field (ST 703 717), pass through the gate, and turn right.
(3) Walk forward along a broad lane; running the front of - Coldharbour Stud farm buildings. Continue past these buildings; through some scrub trees to a gate (ST 705 717), pass through the gate into a field. With the field boundary fence on your left; walk forward along the field boundary fence to a gate; approx. 30m, pass through the gate into a paddock. Turn slight left, look for a metal gate on the far side of the paddock; walk forward and pass-through this gate: cross over a farm access road; through a gate opposite, into a second paddock. Turn ¼ left, aim for the top corner of this field, to a kissing gate (ST 707 717). Pass through the gate; turn right, onto a lane with a crushed stone surface.
(4) Follow the lane - Cold Harbour Farm Lane, downhill to a small splash stream at the bottom of the hill (ST 710 712); cross over the stream (Note: - there is no bridge), to an unmade-up path directly opposite. Follow this path uphill; through trees, until it eventually turns into a lane – Grandmother’s Rock Lane. Continue up the lane, until it meets a road – Marshfield Lane (ST 709 706). Note a road sign in the opposite hedge for - Lansdown 2 miles. Turn left, and walk forward; approx. 5m. Look for a Foot Path sign, alongside a house boundary wall – Hanging House cottages, pointing to an unmade-up path. Turn right and continue up the path – Hanging Hill. (Note: The path is steep, rocky in places, and wet in winter.) At the top of the lane, pass through a gate at (ST 711 703) onto a semi-rough, scrubby area.
Note: From this point, it is recommended that you do not follow this part of the Hanging Hill path, as shown on the map; as it leads through an area of scrubby over-grown bushes, fallen trees, and the path is difficult to follow. Instead, take a wide sweep around the bushes on the left, and uphill, until you meet a wire fence. Turn right, and walk forward, following the fence line; approx. 120m, to a small monument; marking the easternmost position of the Parliamentarian and Royalist armies, during the Battle of Lansdown.
(5) Alongside the monument is a kissing gate, pass through the gate onto a path – the Cotswold Way. Continue along this path, through kissing gates, until it meets a second path coming in from your back right – a Y junction. Turn slightly left, and continue along a path running alongside the golf course. Continue ahead for approx. 530m, to a path junction; follow the main path round to the right, and cross over the golf course. (Note: be aware of golfers.) Continue along this path, alongside the golf course; to a metal farm gate at (ST 712 692).
(6) Pass through the gate, onto a crushed stone path; continue ahead, downhill into to the village of North Stoke – approx. 0.9km. Continue down through the village; look for a traffic ‘No Through Road’ sign, on your right, attached to a telegraph pole at (ST 715 699), turn right, and walk down the lane – approx.130m. At the bottom of the lane, follow the road around to the left. Continue ahead to an unmade-up path running between hedges. (Note: ignore the footpath signs, on the right, at bottom of the lane, pointing into fields)
Continue along this path; downhill, without deviation, for approx. 750m, to a kissing gate at (ST 691 692). pass through the gate into a large, open field. Follow a faint path downhill, to a kissing gate, at the bottom of the hill at (ST 692 692), pass through the gate into the field beyond. Turn slightly left, and continue ahead to a kissing gate (ST 692 692), pass through the gate, and continue up the slope to a road. The car park is on the right.
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 62ft - Swineford Picnic Area car park
1 : mi 0.66 - alt. 292ft - Two Cottages turn
2 : mi 1.46 - alt. 341ft - Beach House
3 : mi 2.23 - alt. 240ft - Coldharbour Farm
4 : mi 2.43 - alt. 282ft - Coldharbour Farm Lane (Furthest outbound point)
5 : mi 4.02 - alt. 738ft - The Cotswold Way
6 : mi 5.56 - alt. 381ft - North Stoke
D/A : mi 6.37 - alt. 62ft - Swineford Picnic Area car park
The route is a mixture of fields, paths, and quiet country roads. However, there are two stiff hill climbs, particularly Hanging Hill, which can be very wet after rain.
There are no facilities on this walk.
A walking pole could be a useful addition.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Battle of Lansdown Hill
The route of this walk takes you to a small monument marking the easternmost position of the Parliamentarian and Royalist armies, during the Battle of Lansdown. The most intense fighting took place in, and around, the ‘Bath Road.’
The battle of Lansdown Hill was fought between the Parliamentarian army of Sir William Waller, and the Royalist army of Sir Ralph Hopton. The two forces engaged in indecisive skirmishing for some days before the main battle.
To prepare for the forthcoming battle; Waller moved his Parliamentarian forces to the northern end of Lansdowne Hill, where he built crude breastworks for his infantry, still viable today.
The battle started on the 5th July 1643 and raged all day; with neither side being able to gain a decisive upper hand. However, later in the day; under pressure from the Royalist infantry, Waller's Parliamentary infantry fell back to the breastworks they had built earlier; from where they kept up musket fire until darkness fell. During the night, the Parliamentarian army withdrew silently; leaving burning matches on the wall, to deceive the Royalists that they still held the position.
Though the Royalists were left in control of the field, and potentially, of Bath, they had bought the ground at a high cost. The Parliamentarians, in contrast, had very few killed, or wounded, and were ready to fight another day.
This walk starts at Lansdown Golf Club and takes in part of The Cotswold Way and spectacular views out across the scenery. It also takes you past sites of historic interest in the Battle of Lansdown.
This linear Somerset walk includes typical English countryside, quiet villages, old buildings and historic churches. The route runs from Keynsham to Bath along the northern fringes of the Mendip Hills, and its proximity to both Bath and Bristol ensures that it is well served by public transport.
Explore two attractive villages, returning via a historic Civil War monument with wide views.
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Stroll across a historic battlefield to a famous monument, with wide views en route.
Descend to one of England most architecturally rewarding cities, returning via canal towpath, hillfort and Cotswold villages.
Cross the golf course and racecourse to an Iron Age hill-fort and Cotswold Way viewpoint.
River, heritage railway and quiet villages with views.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.