Trains: Usually every 30 minutes from Bristol Temple Meads. Some services operate from Weston-super-Mare.
Allow: About 40 mins
Like most of these walks it can be done in either direction. I describe it here from Avonmouth to Shirehampton simply so it could end with refreshments at The Lamplighters. It could also be extended by adding the next section to Sea Mills.
If you do combine the two walks, I suggest that you do it from Sea Mills to Avonmouth as there are no refreshment facilities at Sea Mills and the only public loo has long since been rebuilt as a residential house.
From the platform of Avonmouth station (1), exit the station and turn sharp right into Portview Road, parallel with the railway line with the high blue-brick wall to your right. Keep on to the end of this road passing the Avonmouth Tavern also on your right. It then joins The Portway almost under the huge bridge of the M5 Motorway; unavoidably, this is a noisy area.
Turn to the right and go under the motorway bridge. On the other side, still very close to the bridge, turn right, down West Town Road (2).
West Town, Avonmouth really is a “lost” suburb. It was started in the 1870’s between the railway line and the River Avon to provide accommodation for the workers employed in the nearby industrial sites. There were several rows of terraced houses complete with shops and a mission hall. The end came on the night of 17th January 1941, when the area was devastated by German incendiary and high explosive bombs.
The inhabitants were evacuated and re-housed and the dwellings were never rebuilt. The little community which lived here was dispersed forever and the land was taken over in part by the Port of Bristol Authority. By 1970 West Town was no more than a convenient gap on the map to push the new M5 through, and the bridgeworks were completed by 1974.
First left is an entrance to the Park and Ride, so it’s best to use the right hand pavement in West Town Road. Cross the Severn Beach railway line by a level crossing and, still under the motorway. Cross West Town Road to a scruffy parking area. Go through the row of large boulders, ignoring the locked metal gate to the right.
Go through a second gate into the long and narrow wildlife area sandwiched between the railway and the river. There is a hard path all the way to the Lamplighters.
Near the far end of this reserve the pathway joins an access road that leads to a boat repair (3) facility on the banks of the Avon. At the far end of this access road is The Lamplighters public House (4).
The Lamplighters was built in the late 1700’s as a hotel. To the right is the access ramp to the Avon formerly the landing for the Pill passenger ferry.
If you intend to walk on to Sea Mills, go straight on keeping the pub on your left. Otherwise, turn left into Station Road and keep to this road, ignoring the footpath sign indicating right into an impenetrable fence and bramble patch.
Just before the bridge on the left of this road, set into the wall of No.91 is an old cast-iron milestone indicating that its five miles to Bristol.
Go under the railway bridge. Before reaching The Portway, turn right and, to the right of the entrance to Fraikin’s, take the pathway to Shirehampton station (5).
Should you not wish to take the train, you could cross the Portway by the footbridge and catch the Park and Ride bus at the stop opposite (6).
Alternatively, cross by the same footbridge and continue in roughly the same direction along the other part of Station Road to reach the Shirehampton High Street for pubs cafes and more buses.
Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the route description, FoSBR cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for changes in the details given. Hedges, footpaths and fences can be moved and redirected. Paths can become slippery, boggy and dangerous in wet and wintry weather. Take special care when crossing major roads.
Check for service disruption before setting off.
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