Somerset Family Adventures


View over the Gordano Valley

Clapton in Gordano Walk

View over the Gordano ValleyClapton-in-Gordano Round

This walking route takes in spectacular views over the Gordano Valley, reaching as far as Wales on a clear day. The route includes the option of extending it to Cadbury Camp – an Iron Age Hill Fort managed by The National Trust.

Walk Information:

Distance: 2 Miles (3.2 km); or 5.2 Miles (8.4 km) with extensionOS Map: Landranger 172; Explorer 154Elevation: 135mDog Friendly: Yes (beware of live stock)Start/Finish Grid Ref: ST4732573895 (The Black Horse)Accessibility: Not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairsParking: The Black Horse pub (patrons only), or limited parking on Clevedon Lane/Wood LaneWhat3Words: mopped.wishes.regrettedPoints of Interest: Iron Age Hillfort, stream, woods, great views and what looks like a WW2 bomb!

Things to Note

After rain the paths can get very muddy. A small section of the route goes through a farmer field, so please close all gates and keep dogs on a lead.

If you want to extend this walk along Cadbury Camp Lane (west) towards Cadbury Camp (National Trust), this will add on another 2 miles.

You can combine this walk with a pub lunch.

About Clapton-in-Gordano and the Gordano Valley

Clapton-in-Gordano is a small village situated on the south side of the Gordano Valley in North Somerset. The name Clapton (or Clopton) is derived from Saxon meaning “hill settlement” and Gordano describes the triangular shape of the whole valley from Clevedon to Portishead.

A hoard of Roman coins were discovered in Clapton-in-Gordano in 1924. The treasure was unearthed during ploughing and were dated from AD260-273.

At the top of the hill is Cadbury Camp – the site of an Iron Age Hillfort. This hillfort is well-preserved and is a scheduled monument managed by the National Trust. This walk can be extended to Cadbury Camp if you want a longer route. Cadbury Camp was first used in the Bronze Age, confirmed after the discovery of a bronze spear head at the site. It was used through the Iron Age to the post-Roman Era. The site sits on a natural ridge between the North Somerset Levels and the Gordano Valley.

The walk starts from The Black Horse pub, a 14th Century inn, known by locals as “The Kicker”. Behind the pub, coal mining took place in medieval times. The pub was built to serve the local mining community. This is how the pub got its name, from the pit ponies and horses that ended up black from carrying the coal to nearby Portishead. The pub also doubled as the local magistrate’s jail and there are still bars over the window of the lounge bar today. This unspoilt pub, serving cider and real ale from the barrel, has retained many of its original features and is still popular with locals, walkers and cyclists today.

How to Get to Clapton-in-Gordano

Follow satnav to BS20 7RH to the Black Horse pub, Clapton in Gordano.

By car: From M5 jct 19 via High St Portbury and Caswell Lane to Clapton Lane; From Clevedon via Clevedon Road and Clapton Lane; From Nailsea and South Bristol via Failand and Naish Hill; and from Portishead via Clapton Lane.

By Bus: Bus 57 from Portishead (North Weston/Clapton Lane).

Level of Difficulty

I would rate this Clapton in Gordano walk as easy, with a few moderate sections. There is a rocky, uphill section near the beginning, and a couple of stiles. Parts of the route can be muddy and slippery after rain. It was icy when we walked it in January.

Clapton-in-Gordano Circular Walk Directions

🥾 The walk starts at the Black Horse pub.

🥾 From the pub, walk across the road and head up Wood Lane, directly opposite. Continue up the hill, past Badgers Den cottage on your right dated 1766, and walk through the tunnel underneath the M5 motorway.

🥾 When the path forks, take the left-hand path marked as a bridleway. This rocky path can become very wet after rain.Continue uphill until you reach Cadbury Camp Lane – a private road dubbed by locals as “Millionaires Row”. At this point:IF you are walking the extended route, turn right here and follow Cadbury Camp Lane for about a mile to the end. Follow signs straight ahead to Cadbury Camp, the site of an Iron Age Hillfort. Cattle are often grazing here so dogs must be on a lead. Walk the circular path around Cadbury Camp, stopping to enjoy the views over the Somerset Levels to The Mendip Hills in the distance. Stop here for a picnic if you have one. Exit through the same gate you came in and back onto Cadbury Camp Lane. Retrace your steps along the lane.OTHERWISE, turn left here then immediately right and walk down a public footpath between the properties. Follow this path downhill, through the trees until you reach a t-junction.🥾 Turn left here – this path is marked as Old Lane on the Ordnance Survey map. The path winds its way uphill back to Cadbury Camp Lane.🥾 At Cadbury Camp Lane, cross diagonally right over the road, then immediately turn left over a stile into a field. Follow the public footpath signs straight ahead. Keep to the right-hand side of the field with the fence on your right. Cross over two more stiles until you exit the field at Naish Farm. Follow the lane straight ahead, past the farm on your right-hand side.🥾 Walk up to the gate ahead of you for spectacular views across the Gordano Valley to Portishead and beyond. On a clear day you’ll be able to see across the Severn Estuary to Wales.We briefly stopped here for a cuppa while admiring the view. 🥾 Turn around here and turn right, opposite what looks like a WW2 bomb sticking out the ground! Go through a kissing gate into the wood and follow the path downhill to a stream. 🥾 Cross the stream and follow the path to the right which takes you steeply downhill through the trees to a stile. 🥾 Now cross over the stile into a field. The M5 motorway is directly in front of you. Turn left here, and follow the path (keeping to the top of the field) until you reach a gate with a stile. Climb over the stile and you’ll be back on Wood Lane. Turn right onto the road and follow it back to the pub where you started.

Facilities in Clapton-in-Gordano

Clapton-in-Gordano is a small village and the only option for buying food and drink are at The Black Horse pub when it is open. This is also the only option for 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. You can also wear comfortable wellies.

Wear/bring thin layers of clothing which you can easily add/remove depending on the weather. Always check the weather forecast on the day.

I always recommend taking plenty of water with you to keep hydrated (and pop into the pub if you have time). There are spectacular views from the top of Naish Hill overlooking Portishead, so I suggest taking some binoculars. If you decide to walk the extended route to Cadbury camp, there are far reaching views over the Somerset Levels, Mendip Hills the Severn Estuary and beyond. I recommend taking a picnic to eat at the top (if weather permits). Snacks are always a good idea. 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!

The best time to hike the Gordano Round Walk

You can hike the Gordano Round Walk at any time of the year. But the best time is a clear, sunny day to be able to appreciate the fantastic views over Somerset.

Other things to do around Clapton-in-Gordano

  • Visit 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)
  • Visit Portishead: take a walk around the marina and lake grounds.
  • 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

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