Somerset: Pensford to Cameley loop
A ride with plenty of stops visiting two CCT churches and passing by four more along the way plus the prehistoric stone circles at Stanton Drew.
Distance: 16.8 miles
Time: 2 hours plus stops
Terrain: Hilly - 1300 up and down. Highest point 650ft Lowest point 250ft
Start: Pensford Village Hall, Publow Lane, Pensford, Bristol BS39 4HW
By car: Limited parking at Pensford Village Hall or on the road.
By train: From Keynsham Station a 6.5 mile cycle takes around 30 to 45 mins each way.
Start at Pensford Village Hall where you can park and offload your bike. Otherwise for a longer ride you might take the train to Keynsham and ride to the start.
From Publow Lane pass the 19th Century Pensford lock-up on your left and turn up High Street, a manageable climb to merge onto the A37. After a 500m ride down to the roundabout take the first left following along the A368 another 500m or so to Chelwood where you will find the Church of St Leonard up a little lane on your right. Built in the 14th Century and restored in the late 19th Century, this church is now redundant but not at present one of those looked after by the CCT.
Return a short way back along A368 turning left along Barn Lane. At the next junction turn left and follow around to the right as it splits onto King Lane.
Next turn left onto Lower Bristol Road and into Clutton passing the school on your right before turning left down Church Road. You will find the Church of St Augustine as you merge on to Marsh Lane. Stop off to see the stripy tower and the skull adorned grave in the churchyard.
From Marsh Lane a left turn down Temple Inn Lane takes you back to the A37 where you turn left for a short dash down the hill and then right onto Cameley Road. This road undulates for 500m and you will see St James’ Church in front as you approach. Have a good look around the church inside and out. It is very well cared for by CCT volunteers and always has wonderful flower arrangements as well as interesting wall paintings to look at.
On leaving St James’ carry on along Cameley Road which climbs up to the junction where you can turn left to Hinton Blewitt and enjoy refreshments at the Ring of Bells which backs onto St Margaret’s Church which apparently is ‘under 24 hour surveillance’ - so reckon it’s OK to park your bike while you look around. While you are at Hinton Blewitt it is well worth taking the lane out from the Church, turning right at the end and finding the viewpoint which gives an amazing vista of Chew Valley and all the way past Blagdon to Wales!
Back track to the Cameley Lane turning but here carry straight on along Sutton Hill Road where you will have a little climb followed by a long downhill to Bishop Sutton. Turn right along A368 for about 500m before turning left down Redlands Lane which follows down to cross a little ford and back up to the junction with Stowey Bottom where you turn left.
Follow Stowey Bottom to cross Moorledge Road (at an angle) and down Moorledge Lane which is up and down until you come up to a junction where you turn left (this is also Moorledge Lane). Then turn left again along Bromley Road. This lane will take you all the way to Stanton Drew. Here you first come to the Druid Arms which has standing stones called ‘the cove’ in the beer garden behind and backs onto the churchyard. To visit the Blessed Virgin Mary church, carry on past the pub, around a sharp corner and right at the triangle. The standing stones are also signposted on this lane. The Stanton Drew Circles and Cove are the third largest complex of prehistoric stones in England and well worth a visit.
Return back from the stones past the pub and take a left along Upper Stanton which leads into Pensford Lane. The lanes meander down and up and finally down with a great view of the Pensford Viaduct, entering Pensford from above the Church of St Thomas a Becket. The church sits in a beautiful spot on an island in the River Chew that gushes around and under the bridge. The church itself is occupied but you can visit the magnificent 14th Century tower which is beautifully cared for by the CCT.
To return to the Village Hall you need to cross the A37 (be careful, there is a pedestrian crossing you can use) and onto High Street and then left on Publow Lane.
This route is also available with more details, pictures, interactive map and route elevation via the free komoot app: https://www.komoot.com/tour/490723946