Two Valleys Walk
Exploring this corner of West Wiltshire and North East Somerset is a real delight. There is something for everyone to enjoy – walking alongside water, through woods, under an aqueduct, past a beautiful manor house, with a couple of stiff climbs to set the heart racing.
The path surfaces vary from tarmac, canal towpath, rough woodland paths with exposed roots, over fields, which can be muddy in places during winter and steps. Fear not! There are good refreshment stops along the route and in Bradford on Avon itself.
The walk begins in Bradford on Avon at the railway station. Walk past the packhorse bridge, Medieval Tithe Barn and through the Country Park to cross the Kennet & Avon Canal on a wooden footbridge. The gentle climb up to Westwood through Beccy Addy Woods is lovely at all times of year but particularly in early summer when the ground is carpeted with wild garlic.
Once out of the Avon Valley and through Westwood you drop steeply down Iford Hill into the Frome Valley, past Iford Manor, crossing the River Frome over ‘Britannia Bridge’.
After Iford the walk takes you through water meadows, into woods and out into an area called Friary; the information board here explains the fascinating history of the place. Climbing more steps, a stony path leads you to Dunkirk Mill, now homes but formerly a woollen mill. A bit further on you cross the lane to climb more steps through woods, cross another lane and up more steps to a field. Turning right you drop down alongside houses to eventually reach The Galleries, a solar powered Community Shop & Cafe – well worth a stop at just over the half way point. Feeling refreshed climb gently away from the cafe through the cemetery, along a short lane with good views over Freshford and drop down through the woods to the road and The Inn at Freshford.
Cross the river bridge and enter a field on your left. The walk is now in an almost straight line back to Bradford on Avon, across the water meadows alongside the River Avon, under the aqueduct at Avoncliff and all the way back to Bradford on Avon on the canal towpath.
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Bradford on Avon