The Parish Access Trails have been brought about by a project through which 10 Parish Councils were given the opportunity to create an easily accessible circular walk in their parish that reflects the character and heritage of the area. The main focus of the trails is to remove physical barriers such as stiles and replace them with kissing gates and hand gates to allow more people to enjoy the countryside.
Each of the trails have been selected by their local Parish Council and as such are locally distinctive and have different benefits to offer. Reflecting this difference in the routes and their surrounding areas, the descriptions have been written by members of the respective parishes. Look for the Easy Access symbol, in conjunction with the descriptions and maps to help guide you along the walk.
In order to preserve the countryside there has been minimal physical work to alter the routes. This means that while some of the trails are suitable for all year round enjoyment, others might be less usable in winter or after heavy rain. If you are unsure read the brief introduction at the start of each trail in the guide. Here you will find a handy description of how long the route is, how difficult the route is, the likelihood of walking through fields with livestock and whether it is likely to be accessible in poor weather.
The trails were published in two booklets of ten trails each. Here, the booklets are shown separated out: first, information about all walks, then each walk individually.
The first ten parishes to set up walks were: Bitton, Cromhall, Dodington, Frampton Cotterell, Hanham Abbotts, Horton, Iron Acton, Oldland Common, Winterbourne and Yate. These are below.
Ten more parishes set up trails: Alveston, Charfield, Downend & Bromley Heath, Marshfield, Pilning & Severn Beach, Siston, Stoke Gifford, Thornbury, Wick & Abson and Wickwar, and these are shown on a separate page.
(The first series of) Ten Easy Access Trails in South Gloucestershire
Introduction to the first ten trails, with contents, an overview map and a key for the route maps.
Bitton Easy Access Trail - a 5.5km (3.4 mile) circular walk around Bitton parish
A circular route that can be joined at Swineford picnic site (parking provided), Bitton (park at the lay-by in Golden Valley Lane, opposite Aubrey Meads) or Upton Cheyney (park in Wick Lane). The description starts from Swineford picnic site, off the main A431.
Cromhall Easy Access Trail - a 3.0km (1.9 mile) circular walk around Cromhall parish
The parish of Cromhall is situated in the Falfield Vale enclosed to the East by the Severn Ridge and the west by gently sloping ground. Within the local area are the settlements of Cromhall, Bibstone, Townwell and Talbot’s End and to the north within Tortworth Park is Tortworth House set within woodland and pleasure gardens, including an arboretum, a lake and an ancient fort. The description starts at Cromhall Parish Chapel.
Dodington Easy Access Trail - a 3.2km (2.0 mile) circular walk around Dodington parish
The trail passes many points of natural and historic interest and comes close to the Ye Old Inn in Westerleigh Village. It begins at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve and crosses pasture land to the parish boundary with Westerleigh. The trail can be accessed from Shire Way or Besom Lane if coming from the north or from Westerleigh if coming from the south.
Frampton Cotterell Easy Access Trail - a 3.1km (1.9 mile) circular walk around Frampton Cotterell parish
Whilst Frampton Cotterell would never claim to be a chocolate box" village, its many surviving pinkish stone buildings and boundary walls give it a distinctive character which is highly valued by many of its residents. Also highly valued is the countryside in which it sits. The village straddles the River Frome which provides enjoyment for young and old alike, for bird watchers and children with their fishing nets, for joggers and walkers, many with dogs. Visitors alight from a bus beside the Parish Church, so the description starts there.
Hanham Abbots Easy Access Trail - a 5.0km (3.1 mile) circular walk around Hanham Abbots parish
This route follows the River Avon and passes through some beautiful countryside taking in many interesting historic features, views and the odd Inn, along its length. There have been improvements to make the paths more accessible, however, there is an ancient stone stile that makes this route unsuitable for any users who may find this an obstacle. The walk commences at The Chequers Inn next to the River Avon at the end of Ferry Road.
Horton Easy Access Trail - a 2.0km (1.2 mile) circular walk around Horton parish
The village of Horton lies at the foot of the Cotswold escarpment on the Little Avon River between the villages of Little Sodbury and Hawkesbury. Horton and the surrounding area is steeped in history and amongst the many sites worth visiting are Horton Court, site of the old village with structures dating back to 1140, and Horton Camp which is an Iron-Age hill fort both of which are within National Trust ownership. Start at Horton Village hall.
Iron Acton Easy Access Trail - a 3.1 or 5.5km (1.9 or 3.4 mile) 'figure of 8' route around Iron Acton parish; you can walk one or two loops of the '8'
The village of Iron Acton lies approximately two miles north west of Yate and Chipping Sodbury at the junction of the B4058 Bristol to Wotton-under-Edge and B4059 Chipping Sodbury to Rudgeway roads. The name of Iron Acton is derived from ‘tun’ or township timbered with ‘ac’ or oak where iron ore is dug. This suggests that oak woodland once characterised the locality while the suffix ‘iron’ is evidence of old workings for iron scoria or cinders. Start at the Lion Inn.
Cadbury Heath and Oldland Easy Access Trail - a 4.5km (2.8 mile) circular route around Cadbury Heath and Oldland.
The Cadbury Heath and Oldland Parish Walk is particularly suited to those who appreciate local history. The route begins in open heath-land with views south-east towards Bitton and the River Avon. The route then moves into a more urban environment (passing a working farm) which holds its own charms as you look out for historic buildings and remnants of the areas history before entering Warmley Gardens, which has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage. Finally, there is the Kingswood Heritage Museum to add even more depth to the history of the area.
Winterbourne Easy Access Trail - a 3.1km (1.9 mile) circular route around Winterbourne with an optional 400m spur to Monks Pool.
The name of the village probably derives from the Bradley Brook, which runs to the west of the present village, and which at one time often dried up in the summer months, hence ‘winter-bourne'. There is evidence of people living in the area for over two thousand years. The western slopes from High Street down past St Michael’s Church to Bradley Brook were almost certainly farmed in the iron age, where there was good soil, a warm climate, and a water supply. This walk starts on Swan Lane, Winterbourne.
Yate Accessible Trail - a 1.3km (0.8 mile) circular route at Yate (Westerleigh) Common, with a hard all-weather surface.
A fully accessible circular walkway has been created on Yate Common, Westerleigh Road, adapting the existing cycle track and pathways. Most of the gateways have been adapted for wheelchairs and all the pathways are on the level. The route follows the cycle path from either Station Road or Westerleigh Road onto the Common.
Note that we have not checked routes for accuracy or suitability unless clearly stated. Use of the routes is at your own risk. Full terms and conditions are here.
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