The Chew Valley Three Peaks Walk

The view from Maes Knoll (watercolour by J.Gully, 1986) this is the starting point of the original linear walk, and shows Knowle Hill as the dark hill in front of Chew Valley Lake, in the distance

This walk was first invented by Rowland Janes in 1986 as a linear walk from Maes Knoll to The Oozles (Blackberry Hill), via Knowle Hill, relying on the regular bus service along the A37 to return walkers to their starting point. It was published in 'The Natural History of The Chew Valley' (1987).

The route was lengthened and turned by Judith Gradwell for Avon County Council into an anti-clockwise 16.5 mile circular walk starting and ending in Pensford. ACC published the walk in leaflet form in 1993 and this is the route now indicated on Ordnance Survey Explorer maps number 155 (Bristol and Bath) and 142 (Shepton Mallet).

View from Maes Knoll, June 2008
View from Maes Knoll, June 2008

The original walk was around 10 miles. If it was necessary to walk to the bus stops on the A37 a further walk of around 2 miles at either end would be needed. The route from Maes Knoll to Knowle Hill and on to Stowey was more or less the same, but the original route then took rights of way to the edge of Folly Farm (now Avon Wildlife Trust's flagship environment centre). From there, the walk along the crest above the farm (missed out in the later circular walk), affords wonderful views back across the Chew Valley, its lake, and the landscape that has been walked. The route then used further paths to go past the Hunter's Rest pub and on up to the third and final 'peak'. This high point, an impressive ending place for the walk, is the third of three adjacent hills known locally at The Oozles. It is at ST642600 and affords very extensive views, but this was also missed out in the circular walk. See

Wayfaring Map - The Chew Valley Thee Peaks

The leaflet describing the circular walk as published by Avon County Council is accessible from the thumbnails below - click on them to see larger images (file sizes around 500KB).