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Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve Walk

Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve Circular Walk

Trees over-hanging the footpath on Cadbury Hill Local Nature Reserve

Wild flowers growing on the summit of Cadbury Hill

This walking route takes in far-reaching views over the Somerset Levels: as far as Wales on a clear day in one direction and across to the Mendip Hills in the other direction. On the summit of Cadbury Hill is the site of an Iron Age Hillfort, and a pretty grassland area managed for wildflowers and butterflies.

Walk Information:

Distance: 1.2 Miles (3.2 km)
OS Map: Landranger 172; Explorer 154
Elevation: 60m
Dog Friendly: Yes (beware of live stock)
Start/Finish Grid Ref: ST343769 65194
Accessibility: Not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs
Parking: 2 Small car parks on Henley Lane, Yatton, BS49 4AF (free). The first one belongs to the Cricket Club so use the second one if this is full.
What3Words: /// shopper.claw.among
How long does it take: Allow 1-1.5 hrs including stop for rope swing and snacks. (45 mins at a leisurely stroll without kids)
Points of Interest: Iron Age Hillfort, woods, wildflowers, great views and a rope swing!

Things to Note

After rain the paths can get very muddy. Cattle graze the area during some of the year and they can make the paths muddy as well. The ground is really bumpy and uneven at the summit from the remains of the Hillfort.

Ramparts of the Iron Age Hillfort on Cadbury Hill, Congresbury

This walk can be combined with a pub lunch at The Star Inn, Congresbury.

About Cadbury Hill Local Nature Reserve and Hillfort.

Cadbury Hill sits between the villages of Yatton and Congresbury in North Somerset. The hill has shown signs of being inhabited during the Neolithic (circa 4000BC to 2500BC) and Bronze Age periods (c. 2500 until c. 800 BC). But on the summit, the actual hill fort itself was constructed during the pre-Roman Iron Age (c.600BC – 50AD). The ramparts are visible especially on the eastern side consisting of massive banks and ditches. It is now a scheduled ancient monument. There is evidence of a re-occupation during the period c.400-550AD. An archeological excavation here and on the adjacent Henley Hill uncovered jewellery, a bronze figurine and glass vessels amongst other things, which suggests the site was an elite settlement.

Cadbury Hill is a designated Local Nature Reserve. Keep an eye out for orchids which grow on the grassland area in the summer, and in late April – May there are lots of bluebells growing in the meadow and woodland areas.

Person standing next to the information board

How to Get to Cadbury Hill

Follow satnav to BS49 4AF to Henley Lane. It is sign posted Cadbury Hill off the B3133.

By car: From M5 South Jct 20 via B3133 to Yatton; From Bristol via A370; From Weston super Mare and M5 North Jct 21 via A370.

By Bus: Bus X2 from Bristol Bus station to Weston super Mare goes via Yatton. Or X1 stops in Congresbury.

By Train: From Bristol Temple Mead to Yatton takes approx. 15 -20 minutes.

Level of Difficulty

I would rate this Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve walk as easy, with a few moderate sections. There is a steep uphill section at the beginning, and a few steps near the end. Parts of the route can be muddy and slippery after rain.

Cadbury Hillfort Circular Walk Directions

🥾 The walk starts from the two information boards next to the cricket club car park. One gives the history of the area and the other is all about the wildlife.

Information Board at Cadbury Hillfort, Congresbury

🥾Go through the kissing gate to the right of them and head straight uphill towards the huge tree.

Walk start point - gate leading from car park to Hill fort on Cadbury Hill

Huge tree in a meadow on Cadbury Hill

🥾 Pass the tree on your left-hand side and continue up to another kissing gate in the top corner of the field.

Footpath leading to kissing gateView from kissing gate on Cadbury Hill

🥾 Go through the gate and follow the footpath through the woodland, you will pass the hotel on your right-hand side. Continue along the footpath and descend some steps to reach another kissing gate.

Woodland path leading to a kissing gate

Fork in the path

🥾 Go through the gate and keep right along the path until you reach a fence.

Gap in fence in the woods on Cadbury Hill

🥾Turn right, through the gap in the fence where you’ll see another information board.

Information board on Cadbury Hill Local Nature Reserve

🥾 Head uphill along a well-trodden path towards the tree line. You’ll come to another kissing gate in the top corner.

Footpath leading out of the woods on Cadbury Hill Local Nature Reserve

Footpath leading up to the Hillfort on Cadbury Hill

🥾 Go through the gate and ascend the final part of the hill to the summit. You have reached the site of the Iron Age Hillfort. The whole area is uneven so watch your footing. According to the information board, on the left, is the location of roundhouse foundations which date back to the Iron Age. In the spring, the whole area is overgrown and covered in wildflowers so it is difficult to see any remains.

Over-grown with wildflowers on Cadbury Hill Nature ReserveOver-grown with wildflowers on Cadbury Hill

Cadbury Hillfort is one of the most important Iron Age sites in the South-West. Cattle have been introduced to graze the rough grassland, and together with the removal of invading bracken and scrub, have increased the number of wildflowers and butterflies in the area. During April and May, the area is covered in Bluebells. Dogs will need to be kept on a lead when the cattle are grazing in the summer months.

Cows grazing on Cadbury Hill local nature reserveWildflowers growing on Cadbury Hill

🥾 At the top of the hill turn right and follow the path under an overhanging oak tree and head to the far side of the hilltop. Here, next to a fence and the garden centre down below, you’ll enjoy far reaching views over the North Somerset Levels.

Oak tree over-hanging the pathView from the top of Cadbury Hill in Congresbury

🥾 Continue along the footpath around the top of the hillfort in an anti-clockwise direction until the path splits in two. There will be more views towards the Mendip Hills on your right-hand side.

View from the top of Cadbury HillTop of Cadbury Hill

🥾 Take the right-hand track which heads downhill into some woods (on the far side to where you started). You’ll see some newly planted trees to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on your right. The bumps and ridges are the old ramparts and you can see the banks and ditches.

Evidence of the Hillfort's ramparts, ditches and banksOak tree planted in commemoration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

🥾 Continue down until you reach a gate in the woods. Head through the gate and down two flights of steps.

Gate in the woods at Cadbury HillSteps in the woodland at Cadbury Hill

🥾 Follow the path down through the woods and out into a meadow. Here, the path forks, take the right-hand fork back into the woods.

Path leading to a meadow on Cadbury Hill Nature ReserveFork in the path

🥾 Turn immediately left on the footpath and this will bring you into a large clearing. Here, there should be a rope swing hanging down from a huge redwood on your right-hand side.

Large Redwood Tree in the woods with rope swing

🥾 To the left of the redwood, exit the woods into another meadow.

Path leading out of the woods

🥾 Follow the well-trodden path downhill towards the tree line where you’ll find a small car park. (This is the second car park).

Car Park on Henley Lane

🥾 Exit the car park on the left and follow the track through a gate and back to the car.

Gate from car park

Facilities at Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve

Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve has no facilities, the nearest village is Yatton 1/4 mile away – (turn left) on the main road. Yatton has a few shops including a co-op, pub and an amazing bakery further along the road. Alternatively, there is a large garden centre if you turn right on the main road (B3133) which has a cafe and toilets.

What to wear and bring with you

I recommend wearing a good pair of walking boots/shoes to provide support and comfort because parts of this route are rocky and uneven. As I mentioned, the ground can get muddy and slippery after rain too.

I always recommend taking plenty of water with you to keep hydrated and it’s a nice spot for a picnic at the top (if weather permits). If, like us, you are walking with children, snacks/food are essential!

Always follow the Leave No Trace principle and take all your rubbish home with you. Leave only footprints!

Other things to do around Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve

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