First thing a little trivia: Siccaridge Wood is a semi-natural woodland that has been managed as coppice for hundreds of years, historical records have been traced to the mid 16th century (1576). At that time it was called Sickeridge Coppice and it belonged to the local lord of the manor. The name Siccaridge comes from the old English ‘sicor hyreg’ which means ‘secure, safe ridge’. The Bathhurst Estate acquired the wood in 1861, and it is now part of the Golden Valley Wildlife Way which includes Strawberry Banks, Daneway Banks and Three Groves Wood nature reserves. (All must be explored soon).
The Frome Valley Walkway is an 18miles trail along the river Frome, a tributary of the Avon river. The path runs from the centre of Bristol to the middle of the South Cotswolds in Chipping Sodbury. For more informations on the history of the area, maps of walks, and downloading a very useful leaflet click here.
We began our walk near The Daneway pub. As a matter of fact the few parking spots along the road were already taken, so we parked in the pub carpark which is currently closed. The owners, however, have set up a hot drinks stand that serves delicious coffee and cakes, highly recommended either pre of after the walk!
We set off along the road directly opposite The Daneway towards Siccaridge Walk. The entrance is about 300yds on the left (there are a few car parking spaces here too). Gorgeous wood. Beeches, elms, ashes, hazels… the bluebells had started to blossom and vast carpets of fragrant wild garlic perfumed the air. The path is easy to follow and gives you a few options, all of them seem to leading to the canal side.
Here you have the option of, having crossed the bridge, turning left back towards the pub, but decided to head right and walk little longer enjoying the sunshine. It was sheltered spot, away from the cold wind. The canal isn’t at all navigable in this stretch, the water shallow, full of flowers, broken trees, with the odd lock still visible amongst the shrubs. In part it is quite deep, so better keep children and animals in check.
When we got to the next bridge, we turned left and walked back, the path follows the contour of the hills, and the canal remains at the bottom of the valley on your left. Again, easy path, safe for dogs, no cars, and the neighbouring fields with farm animals (horses in one and rams in another) seemed well enclosed.
We had Lilli with us, our ancient terrier, so we only walked for about 5km or thereabouts, but the beauty of this walk is that you can make it as long or as short as you wish. It looks like it could be quite busy at weekends, so if you’re feeling you’d rather contemplate nature in solitude try weekdays!
Murphy's View: hello humans, I have loved this walk, sadly I didn't caught any sniffs of pheasants or hares but I talked to some dogs along the way that had been chasing deers. Lucky them! The website of the Siccaridge Wood said I had to be on the lead but along the canal I was freeeeeeeeee... we bumped into a few other dogs and people, so I had to be super well-behaved to avoid 'the lead'. I had plenty of opportunities for nice refreshing dips though. The water was clean so no need for a bath when I got back at home, although my humans said I smelt like a pond. And the problem is??? I loved this walk!