GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Maes Knoll

8 miles (13 km)

This circular walk climbs to a fine viewpoint and ancient Iron Age Hill fort in Somerset.
The walk starts in the village of Pensford where you can pick up the Three Peaks Walk and follow the waymarked trail north west past the impressive Pensford Viaduct. The trail then heads north through the countryside to Norton Malreward before climbing up to Maes Knoll. The hill stands at a height of 197 metres and includes a 20 acre hillfort. From the summit there are great views to east toBathand theCotswold Hills, north to Bristol, south overStanton Drewstone circles toChew Valley Lakeand theMendip Hills.
After taking in the views you head north and then west towards East Dundry where you have the option of climbing Dundry Hill. This route heads south to North Wick and Chew Magna where you cross the River Chew. Here you pick up the Two Rivers Way and follow the path east to Stanton Drew, passing the stone circles on the way. Shortly after you pick up a riverside path taking you back into Pensford.

Maes Knoll OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Maes Knoll Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


Back in Pensford you could head to The Rising Sun for some post walk refreshment. The pub has a particularly lovely garden area with views of the river and the viaduct. You can find them on Church Street with a postcode of BS39 4AQ for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

The country trails and hill climbs are great for fit dogs. The Rising Sun mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

For more walking ideas in the area see the Mendip Hills Walks page.


Pensford railway viaduct - - 717278

Pensford railway viaduct. This well preserved, elegant, railway viaduct at Pensford reminds us that public transport via railways was better provided at the local level than today. The cast iron agricultural item in the foreground may be a hand pump over a well.

Maes Knoll - - 837080

Maes Knoll. This is the end of the western part of Wansdyke, and is also on the site of a Iron age hillfort, which was about 20 acres in size. As with all hill forts the views are amazing, although in the picture you can see in the distance Chew Valley Lake, which Iron Age man did not see.

South of west on Maes Knoll - - 1393400

South of west on the Knoll. Farmland stretches across North Somerset toward Chew Magna, which is well hidden. We are on the approach for aircraft landing at Bristol International Airport, unusual not to see one on the run-in.

On Maes Knoll - - 1389069

Maes Knoll is an Iron Age hillfort, triangular or rather more Africa-shaped when viewed from the air. It occupies the Oolite ridge that commands the hills south of Bristol. This ridge, which stretches from Dundry Hill to Maes Knoll, steeply descends down to the north and the Avon Valley, creating a fine view over the Lower Avon Valley from Clifton Gorge to the Cotswold escarpment. The two white towers in the distance are about all that can be seen in this image of the Severn Suspension Bridge between Aust and Beachley.

South on Maes Knoll - - 1384630

South on the Knoll. Viewed from within the "Fort." Looking toward Stanton Drew. Look on the horizon to the right of the tree, if your eyes are sharp enough you will be able to see the Mendip TV transmitter on Pen Hill

Due south on Maes Knoll - - 1389145

Due south on the Knoll. Part of the western slope can be seen. Beyond the lane is a large hedgerow, beyond the hedgerow is a field with small lumps in that look like cattle. This is the neolithic stone circle at Stanton Drew. The village itself is to the right if you look very closely you may see the parish church.

East from the edge of Maes Knoll - - 1360980

East from the edge of the Knoll. On the southern slopes, the valley below is north of Pensford. Newton St.Loe and Bath are hidden beyond the next hill. Beckford's Tower on Lansdown is to the far left on the skyline

Remains of Bye Mill - - 1171672

Remains of Bye Mill west of Pensford. Bye Mill was a large mill used for hammering and manufacturing tools. It later became a paper mill. The type of paper it made was used in those days for paper bags in grocer shops to wrap goods. The material used is reputed to be re-cycled paper and rags from Bristol.


GPS Files

GPX File

Maes Knoll.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Maes Knoll.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)