40) The Strawberry Line, From Yatton Train Station, Yatton, Somerset, BS49 4AJ
Sincere thanks to Mr Steve Slade for visiting and writing this the 40th route guide listed.
Steve uses a Batec and is an experienced user. The sustran network can be accessed from a number of locations and is well worth checking out with your mobility equipment. Somerset is an area I have yet to discover myself - but this definitely wets my appetite for visiting in the future.
General information on the Strawberry Line can be found on these links
The section I travelled was Yatton to Cheddar and was just over ten miles, although a diversion up part of Cheddar Gorge was a worthwhile addition to the journey, I did a total of 32 miles with various other exploratory diversions.
I started the journey by catching a train to Yatton Station where there is a very reasonably priced community cafe.
There is a good-sized car park although no accessible toilets appear to be available.
The majority of the journey is on a hard-impacted limestone dust track so expect to end up with a bit on your machine and clothes. There are a few sections with slight inclines but nothing that an electric attachment should have a problem with. There are narrow barriers along the route to restrict entry to vehicles and these range from posts to those anti-motorcycle barriers that are wider at the bottom than the top. The track passes through a short section of tunnel near Winscombe Hill which isn't that long but it is worth having lights with you as it is unlit.
Some road crossing is required and there is a section through Axbridge the is on the road, but that is well worth visiting with a number of hostelries / cafes to stop for refreshments.
Some of there road crossing are traffic light-controlled but the A38 crossing is not and can be quite busy.
One of the trickiest parts is the next section after the A38 where the track is on an upward slope and you have to put on a bit of speed on and, at the top there is a very slight kerbstone to get over. This leads you straight on to a road so you have to have sufficient speed to get over the kerb, but then to stop immediately once over the kerb to check for traffic.
If travelling with a companion then asking them to go ahead at this point would be prudent to ensure the road is clear.
What might you see?
Part of the route is on the northern end of the Somerset Levels and it runs past the Cheddar Valley Railway Nature Reserve, although I did not venture off the track at this point. The route runs through the Thatchers Cider Factory and there are plenty of orchards in the surroundings that supply their needs.
A bird symbol is shown on the OS map as Sandford Batch and there is plenty of interest in the hedges bordering the route.
Pictures and route info from Mr Steve Slade.