Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve Circular Walk
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.
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.
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.
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.
🥾Go through the kissing gate to the right of them and head straight uphill towards the huge tree.
🥾 Pass the tree on your left-hand side and continue up to another kissing gate in the top corner of the field.
🥾 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.
🥾 Go through the gate and keep right along the path until you reach a fence.
🥾Turn right, through the gap in the fence where you’ll see another information board.
🥾 Head uphill along a well-trodden path towards the tree line. You’ll come to another kissing gate in the top corner.
🥾 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.
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.
🥾 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.
🥾 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.
🥾 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.
🥾 Continue down until you reach a gate in the woods. Head through the gate and down two flights of steps.
🥾 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.
🥾 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.
🥾 To the left of the redwood, exit the woods into another meadow.
🥾 Follow the well-trodden path downhill towards the tree line where you’ll find a small car park. (This is the second car park).
🥾 Exit the car park on the left and follow the track through a gate and back to the car.
Facilities at Cadbury Hill Nature Reserve
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
- Discover Clevedon: a Victorian seaside town with England’s only Grade I listed pier (built in 1869), Salthouse Fields and play park, Marine Lake, and home to Clevedon Court (NT)
- Take a trip to the seaside in Weston super Mare: visit the huge sandy beach and The Grand Pier.
- Visit Tyntesfield House and Estate, a National Trust property
- Explore Ashton Court Estate on the outskirts of Bristol, home to Bristol Balloon Fiesta (August).
- Head into the city of Bristol, explore the waterfront, SS Great Britain, shops, markets and museums. Discover the famous street art, and walk across Clifton Suspension Bridge.
- Visit Puxton Park for a family fun day out. Kids will love the Adventure Park with Adventure Area, Animal Zone, Indoor Soft Play, Water Rides, and Mini Railway.
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