This circular walk is a great all-rounder with places for dogs to go in the water, countryside fields and a hilltop overlooking Chew Valley Lake. Stop halfway for fish and chips at Salt & Malt, or finish up for pub lunch at the highly recommended, dog friendly The Pelican pub.
This walk was 7.7km/4.8miles and took us about 2 1/2 hours to walk.
1. We started at The Pelican free public car park. From the car park, turn left on the main road and walk for about 5 minutes until you reach house 26. Just before the house is a public footpath (there aren’t any signs, so keep an eye out!), which takes you to a lovely shady woodland and the start of our river walk.
2. Cross over the bridge that passes over the River Chew, after, turn left, cross the river and continue to another small bridge. After, turn right towards a house named Dumpers Cottage (it looks like a driveway, but don’t worry) and continue down the footpath.
3. This part of the walk is easy – just walk alongside the river! There’s plenty of areas for dogs to run in and out of the water on hot days. We visited in May, when there were no livestock in the fields, but there may be some cows later in the year, so please keep an eye out and keep dogs close if so.
4. At the end of the fields are a small woodland, follow the footpath which will lead you to the access road for the waterworks. Walk up the road, until you are to the end (this road is very quiet, but we put Bella on lead). When you reach the gate at the end, stay in the field and turn right. This path will lead you to the main road – Wally Lane (dogs on lead again). From here you should see the signs for Chew Valley Lake to your left. Carefully cross the road and enter the car park. This is a great place for a picnic, refresh, using the facilities or getting some insanely good fish and chips from Salt & Malt.
5. When you’re ready, walk past the lake, through the large car park and fenced in gravel path, and towards the last car park. You can either extend your walk further by doing a circular loop around Chew Valley Lake nature reserve, or turn off before you reach the reserve, to the car exit onto Walley Lane. Please bear in mind that dogs need to be on lead at all times whilst at Chew Valley Lake.
6. After you have exited from the car park onto Walley Lane, you need turn right and cross the busy road for a brief few moments to get to the footpath opposite that will lead you to Knowle Hill.
7. Once in the field, follow the path on the edge that leads you up a slight incline. This path ends at a small cluster of houses, where you will walk straight onto someone’s driveway (it feels odd, but don’t worry, it is a public footpath!) We put Bella back on lead.
8. Turn left out of the driveway and walk for a few minutes up the lane, until you see a big bracken- strewn hill in front of you and a footpath going up it to the left. Walk up and over for views of Chew Valley. When you are just past the top, the path splits, take the left-hand path and head towards the far north-west corner of the common, to a narrow footpath alongside a house.
9. You will come out onto big green fields with a stunning view, belonging to the farm on the right. Walk past the farm and carry on down the track until you reach a gate. Pass through the gate and follow the path until you reach Denny Lane. Dogs on lead to quickly cross the road to the other footpath on the right (opposite side of the road). This footpath skips out the road, so it curves back towards it after a couple of minutes. Once at Tunbridge Road, cross again to the footpath on the other side of the road.
10. This footpath is easy to follow, so just head across the 3 fields, down the steps, turn left and you can spot an excellent area for a bit of doggy paddling in the River Chew. Carry onto another field and you can see Stanton Road at the end of it. There were no livestock when we visited in May, but please keep an eye out in the summer months as there may be cows in the field.
11. Dogs on lead and cross the road and walk down the driveway. This driveway is a public footpath, even though there are private signs nailed into trees (so just ignore them). It’s also a chance to peak at some gorgeous houses! Follow the track until you come out at the church. Once out of the church you can see the start of your walk – The Pelican, which is a perfect place for a pint or food after your walk.
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