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Bristol tours - Bristol Airport to Keynsham/the east - free, unguided walk

Maes Knoll. CC Rodw. More.



An Iron Age hillfort with a boulder-hurling crusader, superb views over Bristol, Chew Valley, and the Mendips, a couple of interesting churches and pubs, and a fine range of barnyard animals.


  1. Turn right out of the airport terminal, beating off the taxi drivers, shuttle-drivers and officials with a stout cudgel, and walk to the entrance, exiting onto a roundabout.
  2. Turn left along the main road to Bristol, cross it using the footbridge, and take the first road on the right (West Lane) towards Felton. You'll pass a statue and church on the right and various mysterious installations on the left, followed by some cows, and then arrive at the George and Dragon, a mediocre food-based airport pub.
  3. Turn left past it up Stanshalls Lane, then second right up Frog Lane.
  4. At the end veer right along the small green, cross Upper Town Lane, and walk down Vee Lane. The first house on the left is followed immediately by a lane, and about 10m along the LH hedge after that is a rather overgrown stile. Cross it and strike out diagonally right across the field, ignoring savage cattle (possible bull).
  5. At the top right corner, exit through the gate and continue through fields along the hedge until you join Kingston Lane on a dogleg, which takes you the junction with the B3130.
  6. Turn left along it, with Hangover Farm to your left, and when you're level with the farm buildings take the slightly concealed stile to the right.
  7. Follow the RH split of the footpath, climbing at first slowly and then faster through meadows, crossing the Monarch's Way and joining Winford Lane near the summit and the village of Dundry. A farm lane joins from the left, then another from the right, and then, with some council houses on the right, you arrive at a left turn, up Downs Road.
  8. Take it or you will miss the pretty village centre, with the church of St Michael the Archangel (superb 15th century tower and views over Bristol), opposite it the Dundry Inn - cheerful, but with a limited range of drinks and overpriced food - and various inhabitants with some interesting tattoos, haircuts and driving styles.
  9. The churchyard slopes down away to Bristol. Go right on the road that borders its bottom, northern side, and you will find you have joined the Monarch's Way footpath, which is well signposted. Continue along it until you arrive at the junction with the Wells road.
  10. Here there are road signs to Bristol and Chew Magna, a rather nifty chapel and lovely garden and allotment. A few yards down the road to the right in Maiden Head is the Carpenters Tavern, which has an uninteresting drinks selection, but it's your last chance before Keynsham.
  11. Get back to where you were at the beginning of the previous point, corss the Bristol-Chew road, and continue along the ridge on East Dundry Lane. At an old crossroads with a farm the road veers to the right. Carry straight on along the old road ("Unsuitable for motors"), and the new road (now Whitchurch Lane) will rejoin you shortly afterwards. It rises slightly to a summit and then drops, at which point take a footpath on the right which doubles back and delivers you to the Maes Knoll hillfort, whence Sir John Hautville or Hawkeville threw what the locals confused even further by calling Hackell's Quoit.
  12. Continue along the path in the direction of Norton Malreward (unremarkable C19th church rebuild) and on leaving the field turn left along Maesknoll Lane, crossing the remains of the Wansdyke earthwork and a disused railway, arriving very shortly afterwards at the entrance to Whitewood Farm on your left.
  13. Turn right down Gibbet Lane, cross the A37 with great care and keep on down Hursley Lane until you get to the junction with Woollard Lane, which is also busy. Turn right along it, then immediately cut diagonally across the field on your left to get onto Highwall Lane. Follow this to the village of Queen Charlton.
  14. Walk straight through Queen Charlton (fine church & cross, and many other details) and straight ahead down the lane. Carry straight on through the barnyard and the rubbish behind and, crossing a path, enter a horse field. This falls steeply to a gully and then climbs as steeply on the other side. Staying on the path through a couple of small fields brings you through a hedge to a stone track. Follow it right, descending with, initially, a golf course on your left. Before the track crosses a stream, take the signed footpath through the hedge on the right. Follow the path along the field boundary with allotments and then the stream on your left. When the fields end, continue along the parallel earth tractor track. Just before a large group of farm buildings, take the footpath up the hill to right. This will hopefully bring you into St Francis road and, following that, central Keynsham and the train station. Pubs: try Temple Street for the Trout, more interesting than the Ship beyond it, or keep going past the station, cross the river and try the Lock Keeper (apparently a Civil War guardpost).


Grade leisurely
Base Bristol (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)
Location tags Bath, Bristol, Bristol Airport, Dundry Down, Dundry Hill, Felton, Keynsham, Maes Knoll, Mendip Hills, Somerset,
Theme tags airport, archaeology, free, nature,
Your guide(s) Self-guided
Walking distance 21 km / 13.05 miles
Walking time 4.2 hr
Total return travel time from base to walk
Total time from "hello" to "goodbye" 4.83 hr


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  1. [...] flight and fancies a free stroll and a beer, we're planning to cheat the taxi and shuttle mafia by walking from the airport over to Keynsham and then take the train to Bath. [...]

  2. […] month ago I walked over from Bristol Airport to Keynsham. The first bit (Itinerary 4-9) was, as usual, the best bit. Coming up the big field on a legal right of way just before Dundry, […]

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Health warning

These free walk instructions have not been properly checked and are offered without guarantees of any kind. Generally it's smarter to try to walk from rather than to the airport first, or there's a distinct possibility you may end up running across muddy fields as your flight disappears through the clouds. On the other hand, at least you'll know the way to the nearest pub.


If you've got an airport route of your own that you'd like to share, please do get in touch.

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