We love finding great places where we can take Bella on a good long walk and then collapse at a nearby pub after for a drink and some food. Bourton Combe, in Flax Bourton, is a dense, shady woodland where a circular route will take you about 1 hour or more to walk, and it’s also rather conveniently located near to the wonderful George at Backwell pub.
Bourton Combe was recommended to us through Facebook and was described as a ‘wonderful wooded walk’, so we just had to check it out for ourselves! Parking at the far end of Bourton Combe lane of the A370, there’s space for a few cars at the side of the road. Getting out the car with an excited Bella, we headed to the small lane on the right-hand side, signposted as a bridle path.
a hidden, peaceful, shady woodland
Walking through a tunnel of trees, it’s clear this is an old woodland, with trees growing out of every nook and cranny in sight. Striding into the main woodland, it feels unruly and almost forgotten, like not many people wander here or know about it. Despite this, there are easy to follow, well-defined paths, the main one running parallel to the cow fields (the cows are luckily enclosed). Bella was in doggy heaven, running around happily finding sticks to chew and smells to sniff. In the spring we’ve heard that the woodland floor is covered in wild garlic so we cannot wait to come back then!
We wandered around the woodland for an hour, walking sometimes on the main path and then delving into the dense trees every now and then. To walk the main route at Bourton Combe, follow the path parallel to the wall, following it until you reach Water Catch Farm, follow the path to the left of the farm buildings, before turning right and heading back into the main woodland.
Once back in the main woodland, there is a large quarry off to the left hand side, for this we put Bella back on her lead as a caution. At the end of the walk, we got caught up in the most torrential rain! Luckily the dense woodland canopy shielded us from the worse of it as we ran back to the car and dried Bella off.
Heading for The George at Backwell just a couple of minutes drive down the road, we were pleasantly surprised to find such a great pub that was dog friendly. With a car park and a large garden area, we could easily see how popular it would be on a beautiful sunny day. The garden area has fairy lights dangling from the buildings, making it feel welcoming, friendly and cosy. Once inside we could choose from a few different areas in the pub, if you’re lucky, you may be able to nab a seat next to the wood burner! We settled for the galley seating area which has lots of space for a doggy that just loves to lie in the most inconvenient space (basically right in the middle of a walkway!) The staff were brilliant, super friendly and completely used to seeing dogs in the pub.
They even had doggy treats at the bar!
It was great to see such a big varied menu, with choices of nibbles, light bites, mains, salads and pizza. There really does seem to be a choice for everyone. The atmosphere was welcoming and cosy, with people occasionally stopping to give Bella some fuss.
We decided on some starters and pizza for the mains. The food was well presented and absolutely delicious! We would definitely recommend The George at Backwell and we can’t wait to go back again!