Walks in and around
Monkton Combe

Walk 1
Brassknocker,
Kennet & Avon

Walk 2
Combe Down, Horsecombe Vale & Tucking Mill

Walk 3
Bridging the gap

Walk 4
Somerset Coal Canal & Southstoke

Walk 5
Bluebell Woods &
Riverside Walk

Walk 6
Rainbow's End

Walk 7
Brookside Views

Walk 8
Monkton Combe, Southstoke, Midford

 

 

Rainbow's End

Walk 6 - by Nigel Vile

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General Description - a personal view

Claverton Down is certainly not the most peaceful of locations in and around Bath. If you are not familiar with the area, this is the site of the local Cats and Dogs' Home. One must have a degree of sympathy for our feline friends, with the constant noise of barking and growling in the background.

Man's best friend is soon left behind, however, as the walk passes the entrance to the American Museum before descending into the Avon Valley. At the bottom of Claverton Hill lies the village of Claverton itself. There is just the single street, lined with charming stone properties dating back to the 17th century.

There is a real surprise in the local churchyard - a most impressive mausoleum housing the earthly remains of Ralph Allen who died in 1764, having made his fortune twice over. First, he carried out a number of postal reforms before ploughing the proceeds into the successful exploitation of Bath Stone.

Below Claverton, the walk follows the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal through to Dundas Wharf. This is quite simply an exquisite slice of landscape, surely unrivalled in the Bath area. One guidebook notes: "The purlieus of the Limpley Stoke Valley are a place for superlatives", adding that "picturesque and scenic seem somehow inadequate appendages to a description of the valley." I couldn't put it better myself!

The delights of the towpath and Dundas are all too quickly left behind as the walk climbs a steep field path to reach the top of Brassknocker Hill.

It is hard going but there is some consolation insofar as the frequent pauses for breath will give you every opportunity to enjoy the view back across the valley.

Fortunately, it is a level stroll across the fields alongside Rainbow Wood Farm that brings the walk to a close.

These open spaces are the property of the National Trust, which has bought much of the land to the south and east of Bath, thus protecting the greenbelt around the city.

The Trust has declared this land to be inalienable, which in simple English, means it cannot be built on or sold and will remain rural.

The name Rainbow Wood, incidentally, comes from the arc shaped woodland at the top of Rainbow Wood Fields - a quite logical explanation I suppose.

 

Distance: 4 miles
Time: minimum 2 hours
Start: Claverton Down Dogs Home (GR 775641)
Maps: OS Explorer 155 or Landranger 172

Follow the lane past the Dogs' Home and on down hill past the entrance to the American Museum. In half a mile, almost at the junction with the A36, turn left into Claverton village. Walk the length of the village street, passing the entrance to St. Mary's Church, to reach a small green. Turn right and follow a Tarmac path along the side of this green to a hand gate and the A36. Cross the road and follow the pavement opposite alongside a wall to the left. Where this wall ends, turn right down a sloping Tarmac path to a kissing gate and a field. Head down this field 100 yards to a stile in the wall on the right, join the lane and turn left to reach the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Follow the towpath to the right for one and quarter miles. Just before Dundas Aqueduct, cross a footbridge on the right and follow the bank of the canal past a warehouse and crane by Dundas Wharf. Bear right up the drive leading away from the canal and turn right to climb some rough steps up to a lay-by by the A36. turn right and in 20 yards, cross the A36. Follow a signposted path opposite. Walk uphill along the right edges of two fields to reach a kissing gate at the top of the second field. Continue along an enclosed path alongside a property to reach Brassknocker Hill. Cross the road and follow the enclosed path opposite, alongside a boundary wall to a kissing gate. Continue along the right edge of a field by the Wessex Water Board's new HQ. In the corner of the field, bear left along the end field boundary to reach a metal kissing gate and Claverton Down Road.

Cross the road, turn left and follow the pavement in front of a rank of cottages. Cross a stile on the right before following a path up to open fields and the National Trust Rainbow Wood property. Follow the right edge of the first field to a gate, before heading across the middle of the second field to a stile. Follow the left edge of the next field to a stile in the corner cross a track and a stile opposite before heading diagonally across the middle of the next field to a stile alongside Claverton Down Community Hall. Cross Claverton Down Road to the pavement opposite, turn right and continue to the access road to the University of Bath. Cross the road and turn left to follow the Tarmac path alongside the sports pitches back down the avenue. Turn right to return to the roadside parking area.

 

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