Stage 4: Bridgwater to Bridgwater Bay — River Parrett Trail
Includes a movable bridge
Check opening times.
1 in total
Kit P planned a hike.
January 6, 2021
This stage of the River Parrett Trail leads you from the market town of Bridgwater right out to its eponymous bay on the edge of the Bristol Channel. This is a particularly lovely Tour if you’re keen on birdwatching, as the mudflats draw thousands of birds and many species. The highest thing you’ll walk on during this stage is your own boot soles and, instead, you can marvel at the endless marshes and fields alongside the river.
Starting at Bridgwater Docks, you’ll immediately pick up the River Parrett and not leave its side. While the river is technically tidal all the way to Langport, it’s in these first couple of miles where this becomes particularly apparent. As you reach Dunball, you’re likely to see mudflats, should the tide be on the lower side. And where there are mudflats, there are birds.
This area’s watery nature is carefully managed by sluices, known here as ‘Clyces’. You’ll pass numerous, any of which are worth having a good peer at. I’ve marked out Fenlyn’s in the Highlights, but you’ll see plenty. Take care around them and don’t go falling in.
At Combwich, you can stop at the old pub there if you’re hungry; it’s called the Anchor Inn, which goes to show that this river is no stranger to passing boats. Continue onto Steart Marshes where it can feel an awful lot like there are more birds than ground. Managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, this extraordinary peninsula offers breathtaking views and plenty of bird hides.
The River Parrett flows into Bridport Bay and the Bristol Channel at Stert Point (I don’t know why it drops the ‘a’ either) and this is where the trail ends. To return to civilisation, head south-west to Stockland Bristol and catch the number 14 bus back to Bridgwater.
January 7, 2021