Walk: Short Keynsham Circular to Chewton Place

Map of Short Keynsham Circular to Chewton Place

Station: Keynsham
Trains: Usually 2 per hour from Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa.
Distance: 4.5km
Allow: About 1 hr

The Walk

Starting at Platform 2 of Keynsham Station, where London-bound trains stop, head directly out of the station onto Keynsham Road. Use the pedestrian crossing and turn right, but before heading down the hill notice the shared path heading into the woods [1]. This was the route of a short branch railway into Fry’s Somerdale Chocolate Factory, which once crossed Keynsham Road and connected to the main line through what is now the station car park.

Walk down the narrow pavement to the bottom of the hill, and then cross the road to turn right into Avon Mill Lane. Take care crossing the road here.

Almost immediately you will cross the River Chew on a modern bridge, built after the great flood of 1968 which washed away many bridges in this area [2]. If you look to your right, you will see the stone arch where the railway crosses the river.

Continue until you reach the mini roundabout, then turn right and pass under the arched bridge. As you reach the top of the hill, go through the gate into Keynsham Memorial Park. Cross the grass to reach the footpath heading away from the railway towards the A4 Keynsham Bypass [3], with the River Chew on your right. Pass under the bypass, rejoin Avon Mills Lane turning right and then cross over busy Bath Hill [4].

Steel Mills

Turn left and then right, following the path between the River Chew and Bath Hill East Car Park. After about 150m, go through the steel gate and continue along the path [5]. Another path joins on the left 150m further on; keep to the right here and continue until you reach Steel Mills. Steel Mills really was the site of two steel furnaces in the 18th Century; their exact location is lost but some of the old mill buildings survive, converted into houses.

Cottages at Steel Mills, Keynsham
Cottages at Steel Mills, Keynsham

Passing the stone bridge on your right [6], keep going south along Steel Mills. At the top of the hill, bear right towards a group of cottages [7]. The path turns right down a short hill, and then left into a courtyard. The exit is at the back of this courtyard on the left, through an arch, which you can’t see until you’re almost upon it [8].

Stone Arch near Steel Mills
Stone Arch leading to broad valley

Pass through the arch and the kissing gate into a broad valley, with the Wellsway high up on your
left and the River Chew gently meandering on your right.

Meandering River Chew, near Keynsham
Meandering River Chew, near Keynsham

Chewton Place

Follow this path for about 750m until it turns slightly to the left and leads you to a steel kissing gate [9]; pass through this and turn right following the lane across the bridge onto a river island . On your left is Chewton Place, once part of Keynsham Abbey. Chewton Place has a storied history; in the 1930s it was home to garden concerts before being acquired by Imperial Tobacco as a training centre. In the grounds you will see a quirky obelisk known as the Owl Tower [10]. Cross a second bridge, noting the sluice gates.

Owl Tower obelisk at Chewton Place
Owl Tower obelisk at Chewton Place

As the road bends to the left, turn right through a rather narrow stile next to a steel gate and head straight on across the field, ignoring the kissing gate to your left. Head north towards Keynsham, following the clear path (this is the Two Rivers Way) for about 850m until you reach a wooded area [11]. Continue through the trees until you reach Albert Mill, where the path turns left into a short passage. Albert Mill was built as a cotton and hemp mill, later producing dyewood before closing in the 1960s. Turn right as you leave the passage, and cross the courtyard following the road to St Clements Road.

After a short distance, turn right at Steel Mills and then left before the bridge, so that once again the river is on your right [13]. At the end of this short road, the path splits. The path to the left is well-surfaced while the path to the right is not; either will do.

As you come out of the trees, the bulk of Keynsham Leisure Centre looms above an ornamental lake on your left [14]. Pass under the – let’s hope! – aqueduct, and keep to the path immediately alongside the Chew as it passes under Bath Hill [15].

Continue heading north until you reach the bandstand, turn towards it, and then take the path to your left leading towards the massive bridge of the Keynsham Bypass [16].

Keynsham Bypass soars over Keynsham Memorial Park
Keynsham Bypass soars over Keynsham Memorial Park

Keynsham Abbey

Pass under this and follow the path round to the left and up the hill. This leads to Abbey Park; as the path joins the road the ruins of Keynsham Abbey are on your left [17]. This Augustinian abbey was founded in about 1166, and dissolved in 1539 by Henry VIII.

At the end of Abbey Park, turn right and immediately turn right again so you are almost heading back on yourself, to reach Keynsham Station.


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