During this current Lockdown, I decided to walk my local Strawberry Line Walk from Yatton To Axbridge. It originally used to be known as the ‘Cheddar Valley Line’ however it became known as the ‘Strawberry Line’ because of the volume of the locally grown strawberries that it carried to the London markets. The line was also used for passengers, quarrying, agriculture and general goods too.
The cycleway from Yatton to Cheddar is part of the ‘Route 26 of the National Cycle Network’, currently being the longest continuous stretch of cycle track on the Strawberry Line.
My walk began at the Yatton end of the Strawberry Line. 🍓 I packed my bag full of food and drink and made my way to Axbridge! In Yatton, there is still a station which is still in operation. The train runs from Weston – Super – Mare to Bristol on this line bypassing various stations with one being Yatton Station.
This is a beautiful part of the Strawberry Line which is well maintained, lots of wildlife to see. I came across a baby calf which wasn’t born that long ago. Here he is enjoying life with his mother! 🙂
There is often lots of cyclists as well as runners along the Strawberry Line so be aware of this! The Yatton part of the Strawberry Line is about a 30 minute walk. When I got to the end of this part you will come across a bridge, I then walked over the River Yeo here and continued the walk left until I came to the road. Once at the road I crossed over, turning to the right slightly to join the Congresbury cycle track.
The Congresbury part of the Strawberry Line is full of beautiful scenes of the surrounding fields. When I was walking this part it felt like it went on forever, if you look ahead all you can see is long stretches of the cycle path. I stopped here to have a break. I came across the Mendip Springs golf range here on the left which meant I was close to coming into Sandford Village which is very close to the famous Thatchers Orchard’s! 👍
As I came to the end of the Congresbury part of the cycle track it started to go very narrow, I went through a small gateway which had a sign to say it was private land. When I got to this sign I realised it was Thatchers Orchards. I carried on walking which took me through a small part of the orchards where the path is narrow. When I got to the end of this I walked through a gateway, turned left onto a road which is Puxton Road leading me towards Sandford.
Halfway down this road before I got to the main road I then saw a signpost which pointed me to the ‘Route 26 of the National Cycle Network’ which lead me straight into the main grounds of ‘Thatchers Cider’. When I entered this part of the route I saw the main building for Thatchers, along with another couple of buildings and a larger apple tree orchard. Down in Somerset we loveee cider, I feel very lucky to have Thatchers Orchards right on my door step! Whenever we all go to the pub we will always order a cider and often go to their small shop which they have which sell some of the cider which you cannot buy in the shops. (I will write another blog on the Thatchers Cider Tour for you all because it is really worth a trip.) 😁
Once I had walked to the end of the orchards I then came to Sandford Road. Here I crossed over, turned to the left up a small hill which then leads you left onto the Sandford side of the Strawberry Line. Here I saw part the old Sandford Station on my left which is now been transformed into a nursing home for people. There was many countryside fields on my right, one had a small bench on which I took a rest on for a few minutes before carrying on. Along this part of the walk I walked under two small bridges. The walk along here isn’t too long and before I knew it I was then at the Winscombe part of the cycle track.
Winsombe is the village just on from Sandford. I walked on and passed the back of a few houses on my left, got to a very blind left hand bend and then to a part which is known as the ‘Millennium Green’ which is officially the Winscombe part. The Millennium Green had a small number of benches where you can sit and take a rest. Straight after this I went over a bridge going over the Winscombe Village.
As I carried along the Winscombe part of the Strawberry Line I came to a very large, long, black tunnel. I used to ride through this tunnel lots when I was a child on my bike with my mum and brother. This does have cat’s eyes inside to light it up slightly however they don’t help that much. On the right hand side just before the tunnel there is a quiet nature reserve which you can walk through and bypass the tunnel if you don’t want to go through it. When I went through the tunnel I put the torch on so it wasn’t too bad!!
After 10 minutes of walking through this tunnel, I then got to the main road which is the A38. I crossed over this (it has safe crossing points for you) onto the other side of the cycle track. I was then on the Cheddar Valley Cycle Path! This meant I was now in Axbridge. Axbridge and Cheddar are the villages I grew up in as a child with fields all around us. 😎
I continued walking for around 10 minutes until I reached another main road which is one way for cars. Here I turned right and down the hill into the town of Axbridge. Axbridge is signposted from here so you can find is easily, if you like the countryside you will love it here :).
This route took me 2 hours 45 minutes to complete and it tracked at around 15 kilometres. Not too bad at all, I do walk fairly quickly and didn’t stop for long therefore if you are a slower walker allow more time for yourself. This is the picture of the cider we enjoyed afterwards 🍺