Reflections on the Mendips Way

Now that we’ve recovered from our adventure, we thought you might be interested in our reflections – espcially if you are considering doing this walk yourself.

As ‘long distance’ walks go, it’s not too long – which makes it very achievable if you’ve only got a week’s holiday. It also has good train connections at Frome and Weston-super-Mare, which is an important consideration.

We walked from East to West – and we’d recommend doing it that way round. A lot of the guides suggest the other way, but we’re not sure why. The West Mendips section of the path is more scenic than the East Mendips section, so this way the views get better and better as you go. And reaching the sea feels like a good end point to aim for – you can’t go any further!! It’s a shame that there isn’t a properly marked end point to have your photo by, but the sea is a good backdrop to a selfie!

If you haven’t enough days to do it all, the West Mendips path which starts at Wells is a good option – this takes in the best bits and the most spectacular views towards the sea. You could do that in 3 days.

We planned our sections around where there were suitable places to stay overnight. It turned out we started with a long day and then alternated shorter and longer days. This was really helpful both psychologically and physically for our out-of-practise bodies. We’d definitely try to plan future walks that way.

The table below sets out our accomodation plan …. & equally important our food plan! (We’ve given links to the places we’d be happy to recommend).

0Home – Frome0N/AThe CornerhouseThe Cornerhouse
1Frome – Shepton Mallet13.5Cheese & GrainThe DustholeThe Dusthole
2Shepton Mallet – Wells6.5The HiveThe Swan HotelThe Swan Hotel
3Wells – Cheddar11.5Cafe NeroZen ThaiYouth Hostel
4Cheddar – Sidcot8.5Hansford’s DeliPremier InnPremier Inn
5Sidcot – Uphill11cuppa-soups!The Ship InnRooms@Uphill
6Weston-fuper-Mare – Home2breakfast:
The Boathouse

Walking from Uphill into Weston-super-Mare isn’t too far (2 miles), we walked along the beach, but you could also get there via roads. We booked our train for early afternoon to allow us some time in Weston. We enjoyed our fresh donut reward and a coffee on the sea-front and tried our luck on the 2p machines at the pier! We also enjoyed wandering round exploring the town and taking in the sea views, but we hadn’t fully thought through that we’d have our big bags with us to carry round all day.

We seemed to carry a lot of stuff. It must be perfectly possible to do it with less, but we enjoyed our neverending snack supply and having our books and crochet project to entertain us in the evenings. We should have done our final pack together as we could have shared some items, but overall we seemed to have the things we needed and managed to carry our packs ok.

We took paper copies of the OS maps 142, 141 & 153. Although the route is way marked with blue arrows, they aren’t reliable enough to be able to find your way without a map. It’s also worth noting that although our maps were new, there were some points where the route had been altered, or an alternative provided, which wasn’t on our map. The OS app was helpful in these circumstances.

Overall we’d recommend this walk – do let us know how you get on if you try it yourself.

R & L

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