The first walk in the Berkeley Byways series is here and its the Railway Walk!
The original Railway Walk was a long one as it was designed to take in both railway line crossings at Berkeley and Sharpness. However the footpaths have been so waterlogged, I’ve split the walks up and now there are two!
Below are the maps and route descriptions. The walks can be connected together by crossing the main road and walking along Sanigar Lane to Station Road in Berkeley. Please do be aware that this connecting path may be very muddy/waterlogged so if you do attempt the longer connected walk do so in wellies!
The unlikelihood of a new rail link – which would go north only, not to Bristol – is discussed in our feature here: Will there really be a new rail link here?
Start point – depicted by 1 on the map – is the car park opposite the village hall on Oldminster Road.
From here walk south down Oldminster Road, past the Pier View pub then on for another 200 yards or so until you reach the footpath going right down along the side of the football field on your right. You will see the Severn Way public footpath sign opposite 20/21 Oldminster Road – number 2 on the map.
Go down this path until you reach the gate at the end where you have reached the railway. Doing all your very good Stopping, Looking and Listening skills despite the incredibly unlikely event of a speeding train, cross the railway track and go through the next gate into the field beyond.
There are often cows in this field, some may have calves. As always do take care especially if you have dogs with you.
Go through the kissing gate on the other side of the field and turn right, walking up to meet the pavement along the bypass road.
Walk along the road up to the roundabout – this is 3 on the map.
From here take a little detour by going straight on at the roundabout to have a look at the ships in dock and walk over the lock gate between the tidal basin and the beginning of the Sharpness Gloucester Canal.
Then retrace your steps to get back to the roundabout and from here turn left onto Bridge Road. There are a lot of lorries on this stretch so do take care, even on a Saturday, however Sundays are quiet.
Walking down Bridge Road past EMR you will see some old rails in the road, when you see these cross over so you are walking on the right.
Take the small footpath to your right which begins where the rails in the road begin – number 4 on the map. There is also a large gate past which there are more old railway tracks, pass this on your right and continue down along the narrow footpath.
Here you will cross more railways tracks and you can also see the ongoing work by The Berkeley Vale Heritage Railway to clear the overgrown tracks in preparation to run the heritage railway on your left.
Keep walking down the footpath until it bends around to the left and you’ll pop out by the play park.
Cut through the play park to get to the car park and the start point of the walk.
You can either finish the walk here…
Or if you want some more railway action, then turn right and keep walking down Oldminster Road, then at the end continue walking onto Sanigar Lane.
At the bottom of Sanigar Lane you will pass under the railway bridge.
Just after the bridge bear left – number 5 on the map – where you will meet a track going up past a big red brick house running parallel to the bypass.
Take this track and continue walking up for 200 yards or so where you will come to a bridge that runs over the railway line – number 6 on the map,
Have a look then either head back the way you came to get back to the car park…
Or if you are connecting both walks and going back to Berkeley, continue walking along this track until it turns right and you will cross the bypass.
Walk down Sanigar Lane until it becomes a footpath. At this point if you continue straight you will walk up the path that brings you out onto Station Road by the Station Road/bypass roundabout at the start point of the Berkeley Railway Walk.
You can go straight to the Berkeley Sharpness Railway Walk by using the link at the bottom of this post.
I really hope you enjoy the railway walks this weekend everyone!
I am writing a piece on the theme of each walk and why each one is important – these will be added to the website and I will post them here too.
It’s so important to bear in mind when you’re walking that the talk of having a passenger line connected to the main line from Sharpness is an absolutely enormous undertaking. It would cost millions and isn’t even close to being agreed. No funding has been forthcoming and is not likely to be either.
Infrastructure to cope with this new-build town that is planned simply doesn’t exist and isn’t hard to see that it’s not likely to be built either.
I really hope you all are inspired to respond when we can (from the 24th of May when the Local Plan is technically published but this may be pushed back, I’ll keep you posted on timings), as the decisions that have been made here need to be scrutinised and we need answers to these questions.
Happy walking everyone and remember to use #berkeleybyways in any photos you take and upload to social media this weekend!