One day adventures near Bristol: The Quantocks and Blagdon Lake

Adventures don’t have to involve a circumnavigation of something or a month off work. With commitment to getting up and out of bed with a plan a one day adventure can be had superbly easily. When the mountains or seaside seem just a bit too far do a radius search within an hours drive of where you live and set off!

Knowing where to walk or bike when you get there is a good idea. Perhaps you’ll already have a map; if you don’t fear not help is at hand.

Cheapo and not 100% recommended – use and switch to OS view. Then memorize said map or screen shot it and hope it all looks familiar when you hit the ground.

Assez-cheapo and 100% recommended is a subscription to OS maps online. From here for a very reasonable £23.99 or FREE if you are a Trail magazine subscriber (reason enough to subscribe to Trail alone) you can browse all OS maps to your hearts content and print out perfect day size maps on A4 or even up to A3 if you have a fancy printer.

Anyhoo, on to my recent one day adventures.

Blagdon Lake

Less than 30 minutes from Bristol city centre lies the delightful Blagdon. Home of atleast two pubs and oodles of somerset charm it makes the perfect starting a finishing point to a circular outing around Blagdon Lake. Our route took us out of Blagdon along the western shores of the lake before heading uphill to a delightful lunch spot overlooking Butcombe and the lake. From there we skirted through winding single lanes and over a number of fields to return full circle to where we started where a well earned pint of Butcombe Bitter was waiting for us at the Seymour Arms. The whole circuit took about 4 hours, roads and trails were suitable for wellies. A map was useful for some of the footpaths as you can’t rely on being able to see the lake at all times!

The Quantocks

If you want sea views with your hills and countryside head a little further afield. Just over an hour from Bristol lie the Quantocks. Nestled between the M5 and Exmoor this small but perfectly formed chain of hills runs inland from the Bristol Channel. After parking in Holford village we walked up to the ridge line via Hodder’s Combe and Lady’s Edge. After a rather unnerving incident with a local horse who definitely had her eyes on our pasties we turned left along the ridge and then descended back through Holford Combe. The whole circuit took about 3 hours and provided a lovely introduction to the area. The woodlands felt magical and ancient and both had babbling streams running through with endless opportunities for tree climbing. Highly recommended. Map useful but if you are confident with visualising contours probably not essential – having managed to leave the map I had carefully printed at home a screenshot was sufficient to navigate from!

I’d love to hear your suggestions for one day adventures!




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