Chew Stoke to Brockley
The area around the packhorse bridge is very pretty, as are many of the cottages on lower Pilgrims Way.
From the Stoke Inn, you can go left out of the pub onto Bristol road then left onto Blind Lane and left again onto Pilgrims way, then right at Scot Lane. Or go left and then right onto Pilgrims way over the Irish bridge and past the Packhorse bridge – I prettier route. We are in the process of deciding on the signage for this area. If you were going in the opposite direction, towards Chew Stoke, the route takes you down to all the way to Bristol Road so you’d pass these features. Get ready to change into your lowest gears, because the last part of Scot Lane is steep – I almost didn’t make it. If you do, then the driveway to Pagans Hill farm is on your right. At the junction, take a left and continue across country. Turn right off BroadMead Lane into Featherbed lane and past Featherbed farm. At next intersection take a right then immediate left into Redding Pit Lane. Pass by the impressive Winford Manor – an upmarket hotel – after which Redding Pit Lane becomes Old Hill. Turn left onto West lane and continue up to the junction with the A38 at Lulsgate bottom.
Just before reaching the A38, you may notice an unusual wooden statue; it’s worth taking a quick detour up to St Katharine & The Noble Army of Martyrs. The church seems to meet only on Sunday mornings according to achurchnearyou.com.
The A38 is notoriously dangerous – especially around here, so play safe and cross at the pedestrian crossing. Onward along Downside Road which skirts the north side of the airport. After a mile or so, we swing round and down into Brockley Coombe.
I have good memories of this place, as the family used to come here regularly on the way to Brockley Stores. I used to climb up the rocks here. It’s a great ride – little in the way of potholes and the cornering is mild. Say ‘Hi’ to the riders puffing their way up the Coombe! The only thing I’d say is that some cars do come down rather quickly, so be aware that you may be overtaken suddenly around a bend and feel a bit of a woosh. No hands-free riding here!
At the Junction with the A370, cross straight over to continue on the ACW. But we’re going to finish this section by taking a very short detour left to the Brockley Stores.
It’s changed a little from when we came here regularly for fruit and veg. They have freshly made quiches that are delicious, a proper coffee machine and a nice garden in which to eat, drink and relax. A great place to end this stage, and a nice alternative to a pub!