Walk 1 - Beach, Pier and Conservation area
Two Enchanting Walks across Clevedon and its splendid surrounds.
Walk No. 1. Beach, Pier and Conservation area
This walk starts from the public car park on Elton Road opposite the seafront bandstand. It encompasses some splendid channel views, much of Clevedon’s main conservation area including many sites of historic and architectural interest.
From the car park you will see to your left the Bandstand which was built to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. A little further along The Beach is the “windswept tree” which has become as much a symbol of Clevedon as the pier, a recently restored Victorian shelter dating from 1895 and Clevedon’s millennium monument.
Continuing along Elton Road with the Bristol Channel and hills of the Welsh coast on your left you can on a clear day see Barry Island and the “Sugar Loaf” mountain behind Newport, especially if you use the nearby telescope.
Immediately adjacent to the road you will see a splendidly crafted drinking fountain restored to full Victorian glory in 1981.
The next area of interest is The Beach with its Regency and Victorian houses interspersed with a good selection of eating places, the Heritage Centre and shops dealing in antiques and pottery. Two footpaths lead into Copse Road with its superb Regency and Victorian houses and shops.
The major focus on The Beach is the pier, first opened to the public in 1869 and restored to its former glory in 1997. The pier has recently been listed as Grade I, one of only two piers in England to have this award.
A stroll to the end of the pier is rewarded with excellent views back to Clevedon seafront and the area of Wains Hill and Poets’ Walk (see Walk No.2). During the summer months boat trips are available including short excursions to the Severn bridges and Penarth and longer journeys to Ilfracombe and Lundy Island.
At the end of The Beach turn right up Alexandra Road and you will pass on your left the Doulton drinking fountain, a gem of its type. You will also see the floral displays in Pier Copse. After 150 yards you will see on your left the entrance to Alexandra Gardens, but before entering the garden tarry a while to admire the Old Market building on the other side of the street. This was built in the same year as the pier and was intended to avoid hawking by providing local tradesmen with a place to display their wares.
Retracing your steps enter Alexandra Gardens with its splendid mature trees, floral displays and beautiful gazebo. The gazebo was given to the town by the Civic Society in 1999 in memory of Lady Elton of Clevedon Court and the longstanding family of Clevedon benefactors. This is a splendid place for a short break and a moment of quiet contemplation. Continuing up the hill through the trees will bring you to Hill Road and its individual charm. This is Clevedon’s premier shopping area which is lined with a good selection of family owned businesses and specialist shops and eating places.
For more information about the pier or to plan your visit, please click here >>
Before you browse among the shops and eating places you would be well rewarded by turning left and visiting one of Clevedon’s restored drinking troughs on the sharp corner at Marine Hill.
One can imagine how invaluable this was at the time when horse drawn carriages ruled the road. In returning to Hill Road you can now enjoy the full range of shops and eating places. Continuing along Hill Road after the shops you have a choice, to go through Herbert Gardens with splendid mature trees and well-maintained lawns or to walk along the road and enjoy viewing the succession of period houses tucked into the hillside.
Ahead of you, standing proudly on the side of the hill, is Christ Church built in 1839 to accommodate the growing population of Clevedon – then reaching 1700 persons! The population is now more than 20,000.Turn right and pass down the side of Clevedon bowling club in its picturesque and sheltered set ting.
At the road junction with Linden Road you will pass under a splendid specimen of Monterey Pine, arguably the most distinguished tree in Clevedon, a credit to the judgement of the person who planted it. Linden Road, particularly on its northern side, is fringed with splendid Victorian houses built to meet the times of large families and lots of servants.
Six Ways has a variety of attractions. On the junction of Linden Road and Albert Road is the distinguished building built originally to house the local newspaper offices (The Clevedon Mercury). It is pleasing to noteThe Mercury is now situated in a tastefully restored building a few yards further down Albert Road.
Between Elton Road and Seavale Road is a fine example of the Tree of Heaven. This was planted by the Civic Society to mark the Silver Jubilee of our present Queen. The Golden Jubilee in 2002 was further marked by the installation at its base of a circular seat.
The eastern side of Elton Road has much interest. The first house was a school in the early years of the last century.
At the junction of Elton Road and The Beach you will find a peace memorial and miniature garden at Spray Point – a good place to sit down and enjoy the sea air. Also adjacent, on Seavale Road is the standing area for donkeys which were used for hire in the Victorian era.
Relaxed, and we hope invigorated, you can now complete the walk. The length is approx 2 miles and we think that with stops it should take about 11/2 – 2 hours. We do hope that you enjoyed the walk.
Having whetted your appetite for Clevedon may we refer you to the next section of this leaflet which contains details of other notable buildings to investigate and places to visit.