Ivor King’s Country Rambles around Pill
Walk 1 – Cross Lanes, Common Lane, Summerhouse Wood, The Bottoms.
This is a pleasant circular walk of just over 2.5 miles with a few gentle gradients. At the highest point of just over 300 feet above sea level, panoramic views can be enjoyed of the Welsh hills and the Severn estuary.
We start at the entrance to Cross Lanes allotments.
- With the allotment on your right, walk along Cross Lanes ignoring an enclosed foot-path on the right. As the road curves left, turn right still on Cross Lanes. Pass Cross Lanes Farm and Maggies Cottages on your right. At the end of the metalled road, turn right along a fenced path to a stile. Follow the path bearing slightly right to a gap in the hedge and enter the cricket field. Bear left and head for the opening between the pavilion and the Rudgeleigh Inn.
- Cross the A369 with caution to opposite lane turning left past residences to a stile. Follow the path straight ahead to a gate, then ahead again to another gate. Turn right into Happerton Lane, soon the lane turns sharply left. Follow this, ignoring the track on the right. You are now on Common Lane which begins with a gentle climb becoming steeper .This small green is called Walnut Common and is one of the two ancient commons in Easton-in-Gordano parish. There is a very handy seat near the top on your left where you can rest and admire the view.
- 500 yards on at a sharp left-hand bend take the track on the right keeping to the right of the hedge. Pass to the left of the large dung heap (No it doesn’t smell!), cattle feeders and old machinery to a gate ahead and a stile on the left. Pass through the gate and enter the top edge of Summer House Wood. Follow the path to a gate and straight ahead down the sloping fields to a tree-lined brook.
- Turn right onto a foot-path keeping the brook on the left. Carry on to a gate and stile and enter an enclosed track (which can be very muddy after heavy rain). Keep straight ahead with Summerhouse Wood on your right towards a five barred gate and find two stiles to the right following a distinct path ahead to a stile on the left.
- Cross the stile turning right following the brook in the deep gully on your left.This is the most pleasant and interesting part of the walk with various wildflowers, especially bluebells in May. The wood to the left of the gully is Hailes Wood but the OS map of 1817, called it ‘Buntings Wood’. Summerhouse Wood is still to your right and this part of the valley is known locally as ‘The Bottoms’.
- Soon a path through the wood to the right is signposted but ignore this and carry on alongside the stream. Keep a look out through the trees on the opposite banks for the remains of a ruined mill. This was once a delightful woodland home where the Rosewell family lived for about 60 years, their only access by crossing the stream. The foot-path on which you are standing was in daily use by 20 or so other residents of the nearby cottages, making for the bus stop at the Kings Arms public house. By now traffic on the busy A369 can be heard. Eventually the path curves upwards and to the left and exits beside the main road. Take the footpath on your side of the road, looking for a crossing point on the opposite side.
- Cross the road with caution and turn right to enter a cul-de-sac, originally part of the old Bristol to Portishead main road. At the end of the cul-de-sac you have two options.
Option 1 – If the time is right you can make a detour 350 yards along the A369 to the Rudgeleigh Inn for refreshments before retracing your steps to the original route,
Option 2 – simply cross over Rectory Road to a stile. Then straight ahead up the slope to a clearly seen stile. After crossing another stile pass through thick undergrowth to emerge in the field. There are three foot-paths here. The paths to the left and right are public and encircle the field. An unclassified path cuts straight across to the far corner were all three paths converge at a gateway. Carry on down the slope to enter an enclosed pathway alongside the allotments that will lead you back to where you started on Cross Lanes.