The Strawberry Line

 

MOTORHOMETRIPS

The motorhome website for an active and healthy lifestyle

with tips for cycling and hiking for campers and caravanners.

There is a Sainsbury supermarket within walking distance of the site.

 

You can not fault this site, the facilities are first class and the only minor gripe is that the motorhome service point is very close to the exit barrier, making it difficult to use if you do not want to upset anyone who is trying to leave the site.

 

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/caravanclubapps/applications/uk-caravan-sites-and-parks/SiteDetails.aspx?csid=21851

 

We frequented the White Hart, which has a nice garden area and provides a fine range of local beers and does good food, though it was seriously struggling to cope on the Bank Holiday Whitson Monday.

http://thewhitehartcheddar.co.uk

 

Following a fairly hectic visit to the Gorge on the Sunday, on account of the number of people and traffic, it was a welcome relief to appreciate the serenity of the ‘Sttrawberry Line’ on the Bank Holiday Monday.

 

The path follows for most of its way, the old branch line of the Great Western Railway, first built in 1869 and it’s name derives from the Cheddar strawberries, prevalent in this area and indicates that this line was mainly used to transport agricultural produce, though it also carried quarried stone. As with many later rural lines it struggled to make a profit and inevitably was destined for closure some 100 years after its opening but this loss is our gain as it has been converted into cycle route 26.

 

To pick up the start of the cycle way, take the railway track from the site and head into the village and when the track ends take the path which skirts the school on your left. This will then lead you into Station Road by Tesco Express. Turn left along Station Road and at the junction keep following Station Road, until you come to a road on you right, where you will see Cheddar Tyre Supplies. Take this road, past Cheddar Cycle Store and this leads onto cycle route 26, which is then signposted all the way to Yarnton.

 

This cycle route has everything as it passes Cheddar Reservoir, before descending into the charming medieval village of Axbridge, complete with its King John’s Hunting Lodge and thanks to its bypass and with a little imagination, you can roll back the years as you stand in the ancient market square. As you progress through this section there are some descents and climbs but the rewards are some stunning views before you get back on the off road track again.

King John's Hunting Lodge National Trust - Restricted Opening Hours

 

A hidden gem ,just after the tunnel, yes this route even has its own tunnel, which is perfectly passable without lights, as long as you get off and walk, is Sladers Leigh. What this unspoilt area of natural grassland lacks in size it more than makes up with its varieties of flora and fauna.

After the tunnel you pass through Winscombe station and though no buildings remain, the platform areas have been restored . If you want a restored station you have to wait until you reach Sandford and Banwell and the wait is well worth it. This railway heritage centre has fine restored station buildings and a number of open railway stock, where you can enjoy a cuppa and cake provided by volunteers. It also has slam door corridor coach, which must be a revelation to the youngsters. It is also a site to a most tasteful retirement complex.

You finally descend into the River Yeo valley and you follow the river for a short section, before crossing it and entering the marshlands of Biddle Street. You then reach the mainline station at Yarnton where there is a cafe.

Where the slow lane meets the fast lane

 

You can then continue to follow route 26 along the road to Clevedon, (about 4 miles) which for the first part is on quiet country roads until you reach the main road into Clevedon, where there is a busy section, before you reach the outskirts of the town. Once in the town the traffic slows down as you navigate towards the sea. Clevedon was a grand Victorian holiday centre and has a superb pier though it was hard to appreciate, given the heavy bank holiday crowds and the fun fare on the green, though popular with the youngsters, somewhat distracted from the idyll of a Victorian seaside scene.

 

Postscript

 

There are plans to extend the ‘Strawberry Line’ to Wells and Shepton Mallet and also improving the Yarnton to Clevedon section.

http://www.thestrawberryline.org.uk

 

There is another campsite in the town, an adults only site, opposite the Caravan Club site.

 

http://www.cheddarbridge.co.uk

The Strawberry Line

 

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://innorthsomerset.co.uk/locate/Strawberry-line-2012_LR.pdf/download&ved=0ahUKEwievNfQ6u3NAhVKbRQKHUHmAEEQFghBMAg&usg=AFQjCNGcEMKpIezmVLqoWVfSYEWeuVZlNQ&sig2=J7BA7olPY1tzQfhTYyqqVg

 
 
 

The Strawberry Line

 

We stayed at the Caravan Club Site at Cheddar & following a very warm welcome picked up a leaflet on the ‘Strawberry Line’ , which is a ten mile, mainly off road cycle path,connecting Cheddar to Yarnton. Until we had arrived at this site, we had no idea that this cycle path existed, so this turned out to be a big plus.

The site is well located, being only a short stroll from the village and the highlight of the area, Cheddar Gorge and though we arrived on a bank holiday weekend, it did not detract from this magnificent geological feature, a superb example of a collapsed limestone cavern.