Bus To Walks
We are going to put together a series of walks you can access via the bus. If you have a walk that can be accessed by a bus and want to add it to our page please contact us.
Have you eaten too many mince pies, Christmas cake, turkey and other delicious treats over Christmas and now feeling the need to walk it off? The bus is a great way to explore the beautiful countryside beyond Frome and surrounding villages and can help you exercise.
First Bus have a series of walks on their website but mainly accessible from the Bristol area: https://www.firstbus.co.uk/bristol-bath-and-west/plan-journey/bus-walks
MENDIP: Walks via the First Bus D2 route
We would recommend two easy walks, using Midford as the start point. In each case, take the First Bus D2 towards Bath or towards Frome (from Bath bus station) and alight at the Hope & Anchor pub (bottom of Midford Hill).
The D2 timetable can be accessed here: https://www.firstbus.co.uk/sites/default/files/public/maps/D2--A4_Timetable_Bath-WEB.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1rkg7vjRgcFqP6cWa0FsO4Wn3pxgAeqCFqpp6AG6vC5zPLgEifm9KESUg
And remember it only costs £2 single on the D2 now with the new fares.
Thanks to a Parish Councillor on the D2 route who produced the following walks:
Midford to Wellow, and on to Norton St Philip. The full walk is just over 5 miles, and should take no more than a couple of hours. It also offers the opportunity for a pub stop at the half way point in Wellow (the Fox & Badger, which sells Butcombe, plus decent guest ales, and has a great food menu).
You can probably do this walk without wellies or walking boots as it follows firstly National Cycle Path 24 almost all the way to Wellow, and then Norton Lane and Wellow Lane to Norton St Philip. There’s a small stretch on the road into Wellow where you need to take care, but otherwise it’s very easy. Once in Norton you can pick up the bus back – and if you have time, grab a drink in either The George or the Fleur de Lys….both very handily placed close to the bus stop! [NB: The first mile or so of the cycle path section from Midford is closed on some Saturdays in December and January, and is also out of bounds for dogs]
Midford to Bath. This takes in the Two Tunnels route – you can either do the whole route, which finishes in Twerton, or opt for a slightly shorter walk, leaving the route after the first tunnel and heading into the centre of Bath (from where you can catch a bus back). The latter option makes a walk of approximately 4 miles, and should easily be accomplished in around an hour and a half.
The start point again is the bus stop at the Hope & Anchor in Midford. Exit the pub car park at the back and you’ll see the disused Midford platform on the old Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (which featured in the classic 1950s film “The Titfield Thunderbolt”). The route follows the “Two Tunnels” path of the old railway line most of the way into Bath, and is initially part of National Cycle Route 24, before becoming route 244. The first mile or so takes you along a wide, leafy path, with views up to Midfield Castle on your left, and across towards Monkton Combe on your right. Soon you reach the viaduct at Tucking Mill, where there are numerous options to explore different routes (a gate on your right, just before crossing the viaduct, leads down to the reservoir, from which there are footpaths to Monkton Combe, Combe Down, and points further north and west).
Keeping on the Two Tunnels route you shortly reach Combe Down Tunnel - the first and longest of the tunnels. At 1,672 metres it is the longest traffic-free tunnel in Europe! It’s reasonably well lit, but a torch can come in handy. Once you’re out of the tunnel you have a couple of options – keep on the Two Tunnels track to the end (in Twerton), or take a path on your right shortly after exiting Combe Down Tunnel, and make your way to Widcombe via Lyncombe Vale Road and Lyncombe Hill. There are several decent coffee shops and pubs in Widcombe and the area around the station – which make for great places to rest whilst waiting for the bus back (the Forum Coffee House is excellent and literally a minute’s walk from the bus station. Both The Ring of Bells and The White Hart in Widcombe always seem friendly, and serve great food).
There are, of course, many variations to these routes. One such is to take a slight right turn shortly after starting Walk 2. Here you follow National Cycle Path 24 towards Monkton Combe, past the school playing fields, under the viaduct, and soon thereafter link up with the Kennet & Avon tow path (National Cycle Route 4). You can either turn right and head towards Bradford on Avon, or carry on towards Bath – eventually reaching the city at Sydney Gardens (and if you continue along the tow path you’ll reach Widcombe, just behind the bus station).
Maps: You can down load the Ordinance Survey map showing footpaths in the area or pop into a local book shop to pick up a copy of an Ordinance Survey map.
Pubs opening times: it’s worth checking before setting out. For example, both the Fleur de Lys in Norton and the Fox & Badger in Wellow have restricted opening hours in the early part of the week.
Bus Times: Again, worth doing a little planning before setting out. But best of all, download the First Bus app…you can then check both bus times and the real time location of the next bus by clicking on the “Plan” option at the foot of the home page…then go to the map and click on the bus stop you want to use. You will then get a list of the next buses and can also track where the bus is, as it approaches your stop. Or you can use Bus Times Org (https://bustimes.org/). This can be very handy if you’re waiting in the pub by the stop!
Royal Victoria Park, Bath
Just a short walk from the city centre is this beautiful area of 57 acres. There are masses of open space for family games and picnics and in the summer you may well see hot air balloons launching early morning and evening. It’s also home to beautiful botanic gardens, a fantastic adventure playground for kids, mini golf, tennis courts and more. Plus you can see the magnificent Royal Crescent.
Website: Royal Victoria Park
Services: Take the 173, 174, D2 to Bath then either walk or catch the bus 4, 4a, 4b, 21, 39 and X39 all stop right outside.