Exploring The Mendip Hills: A Visitor’s Guide

The clue is in the name – The Mendip Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a gorgeous region in Somerset, home to world-class walking, hiking and cycling opportunities.

An Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty Just 15 Minutes (6 Miles) From The Ring O’ Bells

If you’re looking for the perfect base from which to explore this gorgeous Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Ring O’ Bells in the village of Compton Martin is just a 15 minute drive away. With 2 beautiful boutique bedrooms, a delicious food offering focused on hearty pub classics and plenty of award-winning Butcombe beer, you can dine, drink and stay.

Rowberrow Warren Circular Walk

Rowberrow Warren is a beautiful woodland walk, set on a hillside with large winding paths and a small babbling stream meandering through the bottom.

Although the pathways are relatively steep, the wonderful panoramic views are a reward in themselves when you reach Burrington Common at the top.

Rowberrow Warren is also popular with mountain bikers, but there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the nature, wildlife and tranquility that this area offers.

Dolebury Warren & Hill Fort Circular Walk

Now a haven for wildflowers and butterflies, Dolebury Warren is the site of an Iron Age hillfort, boasting panoramic views of the Bristol Channel and the Welsh Coast on clear days!

Dolebury Warren takes its name because of its use as a rabbit warren during the medieval era, and there is still an abundance of rabbits and other wildlife in residence to this day.

Once you reach the top, enjoy the beautiful walk along the top of the ancient Hill Fort, before descending down into Rowberrow Woods. Once you reach the bottom of the woods, follow the stream back until you reach the woodland exit.

Black Down Circular Walk

Black Down is an extensive area of heathland, and the highest point in The Mendip Hills.

From the School Lane entrance, follow the stream along before taking the path that crosses the stream up into the woodland. Continue to follow the path out of the woods to the open area of Beacon Batch. At the gate, go straight across and begin a long, gentle ascent up to the trig point, where you can enjoy panoramic views across North Somerset.

However, if you want to reach the top in the quickest time possible, then you should begin from the Burrington Combe car park. This will reduce your ascent to approximately 1 kilometre.

View the full circular route.

The Strawberry Line Cycle Route

Largely traffic-free with no steep gradients, The Strawberry Line is one of The Mendip’s most popular cycle paths. The 9 mile route takes in a variety of landscapes, from the spectacular Cheddar Gorge and historic town of Axbridge, the steep wooded valleys and a tunnel through the Mendips, to the flat marshes and cider apple orchards around Yatton.

You can access The Strawberry Line in Cheddar village, which is approximately 9 miles from The Ring O’ Bells.

Drink, Dine & Stay At The Ring O' Bells

Located just a few miles from the edge of The Mendip Hills, The Ring O’ Bells is the perfect place to dine, drink or stay before or after a busy day exploring Somerset.

Dating back to the 16th century, our traditional village pub is full of charm and atmosphere.

Outside, our huge beer garden is perfect for al fresco drinking and dining, complete with a play area to keep the kids entertained. On the menu, our focus is locally sourced ingredients, seasonal dishes and pub classics, with a cracking lineup of award-winning local Butcombe beer and cider behind the bar.