The Local Area


Lying on the Severn estuary, Clevedon is an historic coastal town in North Somerset. Surrounded by gently sloping hills and some Sites of Special Scientific Interest, it features in the Domesday Book of 1086 and became established as a seaside resort in the Victorian period. In the 2011 census, it recorded a population of 21,281 and has established itself as a popular place to live, particularly with commuters from Bristol.

The attractive seafront with its ornamental gardens, bandstand and pier pay homage to the bygone Victorian era and on a clear day there are far-reaching views across the Severn estuary to Wales.

The busy town centre is home to many independent shops, pubs and eateries plus a regular Farmer’s Market and historic Street Market. All the large supermarkets are represented within the town, and Medical facilities are plentiful with numerous Doctors, Dentists, Opticians and other health practitioners. The Curzon cinema which opened in 1912 is the oldest, continuously operated cinema in the country and is still a popular venue for new film releases with at least one viewing daily.

There are six primary schools to choose from and a renowned comprehensive – Clevedon School – which serves the town and surrounding rural areas. Several churches of various denominations can be found including the Grade ll listed Christ Church on Chapel Hill, an important landmark in Clevedon, with its 14th Century stained glass window.

Sport features strongly and includes Clevedon Cricket Club, two football clubs – Clevedon Town and Clevedon United, Clevedon Bowling Club, Canoe Club and Sailing Club. Other facilities include Clevedon Golf Club, Riding Centre and a Rugby Club.

Transport links are good with the nearest railway station being at Yatton, 4 miles away, on the Bristol to Exeter line. Regular bus services travel to Weston Super Mare, Bristol, Portishead and Nailsea whilst the town is close to the M5 motorway and Bristol International Airport – only 9 miles away.


Portishead is a coastal town on the Severn Estuary, close to Bristol, but within the unitary district of North Somerset.  It has a population of around 25,000 making it one of the largest towns in the county. Much of its growth can be attributed to the development of the former docks into a modern marina with 250 pontoon berths. This popular waterfront development is known as Port Marine and has varied types of houses and apartments including an area built in the style of a fishing village, which is modelled on the Cornish seaside town of Polperro with narrow streets and multi-coloured properties. There are also several new waterside bars and restaurants.

Portishead’s busy High Street has a number of independent shops and national chains, banks, pubs and coffee shops whilst some larger DIY chains and supermarkets have also moved into the town. There are several Doctors Surgeries and Dental Practices in the town and many alternative health practitioners.  Excellent hospital facilities exist a short distance away in Bristol and are easily accessed by road or bus.

Sports facilities are good with a large sports and leisure complex, open-air tennis courts, outdoor swimming-pool, boating lake, cricket ground, football and hockey pitches as well as many cycle lanes. The local football team, Portishead Town play in the Western League.

Infant and primary schools abound in Portishead, there are five in total, and secondary education is provided by Gordano School which was awarded Specialist Schools Technology College status in 1999. The Norman Church of St Peter was built in 1320  and there is also a thriving URC church which dates from 1840.

Transport links are good with the main A369 road linking the town to the nearby M5. There are several bus routes to Bristol, Yatton, Nailsea, Weston-super-Mare and Cribbs Causeway – dubbed the premier shopping and leisure destination in the South West. The nearest train station is only 3 miles away at Avonmouth which is on the Great Western Railway line and provides a regular service to Bristol Temple Meads.


Weston-super-Mare, also known as Weston, is a seaside town in Somerset located on the Bristol Channel, 18 miles south west of Bristol.  Its population, at the 2011 census, was 76,143 making it the largest town in North Somerset. Although there is evidence in the local area of occupation since the Iron Age, it was still a small village until the 19th century when it became a seaside resort.  Well known for its Grand Pier which has been destroyed by fire on two occasions, the current pavilion opened in 2010 and is a source of entertainment and delight amongst residents and visitors alike.

Much of the character of the buildings in the town derives from the use of local stone and there are many historic buildings still in existence such as the Town Hall, the Mercury Office, the Constitutional Club, villas and numerous other domestic dwellings. The Odeon Cinema by Thomas Cecil Howitt is notable for fully retaining many Art Deco features both internally and externally.

Weston has a large town centre with the usual national chains, banks, opticians, hairdressers etc. There are several independent shopping districts including Orchard Meadows where you will find an eclectic collection of independent shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues. All the large supermarkets are represented and there are a also a few out-of-town retail parks to choose from. The town contains several arts venues including The Playhouse and The Winter Gardens, on the seafront, which hosts shows, exhibitions and conferences. Each year, during September and October, The Weston Arts Festival takes place offering a wide range of cultural events.

As you would expect, there are several medical practices within the town and its environs which are also served by Weston General Hospital. This NHS district general hospital has around 260 beds and operates a part-time Accident & Emergency department, an intensive care unit, an oncology and haematology day unit, and a day-case unit.

There are numerous primary and secondary schools including the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) which specialises in the STEM fields; science, technology, engineering and maths. Most of the town’s churches and chapels are neo-Gothic 19th century structures and include All Saints Church and Holy Trinity Church. There is also a Greek Orthodox Church and a Methodist Church.

Sporting facilities abound with several Sports & Leisure centres offering a range of facilities including swimming. The local football team, Weston-super-Mare A.F.C., play at the purpose-built Woodspring Stadium and there are two rugby clubs plus a Cricket Club which plays at Devonshire Park Ground. The town is also well known amongst motocross enthusiasts for staging the Weston beach race every autumn.

Transport links are good with Weston being close to junction 21 of the M5 motorway and only 15 miles away from Bristol Airport. Its main railway station is situated close to the town centre and has direct services to London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton and Cardiff Central.  Other stations are located at Weston Milton and Worle. Local bus services to Sand Bay, Wells, Burnham-on-Sea and Bristol Airport start from or run via the main railway station. The service to Sand Bay is sometimes operated by an open top bus.


Nailsea is a town in North Somerset, 8 miles South West of Bristol, with a population of 15,630 (2011 census). The town’s early economy relied on coal mining, which began as early as the 16th century. This, in turn, attracted glass manufacturer John Robert Lucas, who in 1788, established the Nailsea Glassworks that became the fourth-largest of its kind in the United Kingdom. The works closed down in 1873, but ‘Nailsea’ glass is still sought after by collectors around the world.

Shopping is well provided for within Nailsea’s busy town centre. The High St provides a variety of shops from pet stores to hairdressers plus a good choice of pubs and restaurants. There is a Tesco Superstore and 24-hour petrol station and several different types of markets including the very popular Farmers Market and Craft Market.   There are many groups and organisations that are on offer for everyone to join such as 1st Nailsea Scouts and Girl Guides, Choral & Music societies, Walking groups, Keep Fit, Art and Environmental groups.

The town has several nurseries, pre-schools and primary schools as well as being home to one of the best performing secondary schools and sixth forms in North Somerset.  Nailsea also has a music school while Ravenswood School caters for children with special needs and learning difficulties.

Churches are numerous and include the 14th-century Holy Trinity Church and Christ Church, which was built in 1843, Nailsea Methodist Church, Nailsea Baptist Church, the Catholic Church of St Francis of Assisi and the United Reformed Church.

Nailsea has four football clubs, and a Cricket Club which was formed in the mid-1850s. There is a ladies hockey club and a rugby team. The Scotch Horn Centre provides both an aerobic exercise and a free weights gym, as well as squash courts, and room for other indoor sports. Other leisure facilities in the area include a swimming pool in nearby Backwell and a golf club in Tickenham.

Road links are good as the town is only 10 minutes from Junction 20 of the M5, 10 miles from Bristol and only 5 miles to Bristol Airport. Bus services run regularly to Bristol, Clevedon, Portishead and Weston-Super-Mare via Bristol Airport. Nailsea and Backwell railway station is on the edge of neighbouring Backwell from where trains run to Taunton, Cardiff,  Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Parkway (only 34 minutes away). Mornings and evenings see some direct services to and from London Paddington.


Yatton is a large village in North Somerset situated 11 miles south-west of Bristol. Its population in 2011 was 7,552. It has a close-knit community that offers a delightful semi-rural home life with easy access by both rail and road to Bristol for work. The parish includes Claverham, a small village which was originally a farming hamlet and farming remains an important activity in the area. The village is located on the North Somerset Levels, where the low-lying land, is crossed by a myriad of watercourses, providing a habitat for several rare species.

Amenities include Page’s Court, the village’s shopping precinct, where there is a supermarket and several local shops. There are a number of public houses within the village and several takeaways. A village market selling a good selection of local produce and handicrafts is held once a month on the second Saturday of the month, apart from in August – when it is replaced by the Village Horticultural Society Summer Show.

Yatton has a pre-school, infant and junior schools. The nearby village of Backwell has a secondary school which is also a specialist Arts College, and includes a sixth form. There is a large medical practice with both GP and nursing services, a dental practice and veterinary practice all based in the town.

St Mary’s Church (C of E) in central Yatton, was built around 1400 and is often called the “Cathedral of the Moors” since it is so large compared to the village. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.  Yatton also has Methodist, Catholic and independent places of worship.

There are active cricket, football and rugby clubs, two parks and many other leisure and sporting activities, including the Cleeve Claverham and Yatton Scout Group. Yatton Rugby Club was founded in 1968 and runs three senior sides with an extensive junior set-up. Claverham (Yatton) Cricket Club provides cricket to all playing levels and ages. The senior teams play in the ECB West of England Premier League.

In the 1840s, the Bristol & Exeter Railway was opened. The station was originally called Clevedon Road and renamed Yatton Junction when the Clevedon branch was built in 1847. The classically Victorian station designed by Brunel is still in use and daily train services run to Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, and Bristol Temple Meads. Local buses provide a regular service to Clevedon, Weston super Mare and Bristol whilst the village is situated close to the A370 which runs to the M5 in the South West and Bristol in the North East.


Congresbury is a village in Somerset, England, which lies 13 miles south of Bristol and has a population of 3,497 (2011 census).  It is named after St Congar, who is said to have performed three miracles in the area while the second part of its name is thought to come from burh meaning fortified place. The Congresbury Yeo river flows through the village.

Congresbury is a large village served well by its amenities. It has a wide variety of shops, takeaways, and public houses.  There is also a local nursery and garden centre nearby. Each year, the village fete is held at the local primary school and there is also a pre-school. For Secondary education, however, children can commute daily to the nearby village of Churchill to attend Churchill Academy and Sixth Form. Medical facilities can be found at the Congresbury GP surgery which is provided by the Mendip Vale Medical Group.

The Anglican Church of St Andrew in Congresbury dates from the 13th century and is designated a Grade I listed building as has the Vicarage which includes an early 19th-century vicarage and former Priest’s House from around 1446. There is also a Methodist chapel.

Congresbury has a football club, tennis club, and cricket club. There are also several skittles and darts teams. The village has many recreational groups including Cubs, Scouts and Brownies, a bell-ringing club, a youth club and the Congresbury Youth Partnership. Congresbury lies next to the Strawberry Line, an old railway line now converted to a pathway for walkers and cyclists to enjoy the countryside with views over the North Somerset Levels and reserves on the Congresbury Moors.

Transport links are good as the village lies on the A370 between Junction 21 of the M5 and Bristol Airport, 13 miles  south of Bristol city centre and 7 miles east of Weston-super-Mare. The nearest railway station is Yatton with daily train services running to Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, and Bristol Temple Meads.  A regular bus service running through the village provides a service to Weston and Bristol and also Clevedon.


Backwell is a village in North Somerset and lies about 7 miles southwest of Bristol. The parish includes the hamlets of Backwell Common, Backwell Green, Backwell Farleigh and Lulsgate Bottom and appears in the Domesday Book in 1086 with the name ‘Bacoile’ meaning ‘The well back on the hill’. Backwell lake is next to the road between Nailsea and Backwell at Buckland’s Batch and is a wildlife haven for birds, bats and dragonflies.

Facilities in the village include several pubs, a general shop, post office and chemist and there is also a Doctor’s surgery and Dentist. There are many clubs and societies and a busy social calendar. The village magazine is a great source of Information and details of ‘What’s On’.

There are schools for every age in the village. Backwell C of E Junior School provides education to around 240 children aged between 7 and 11 and has been highly praised by Ofsted. It performs consistently well in the league tables as does West Leigh Infant School which covers reception and Key Stage 1. A private primary school, Fairfield PNEU, is also located in the village. The secondary school, Backwell School, is recognised as one of the best state schools in North Somerset and consistently features high in the league tables for GCSE results.

There are churches of various denominations in the village and include the Anglican parish church of St. Andrew which dates from the 12th century and is a Grade I listed building, West Town Methodist Church and a modern Baptist church on Chapel Hill.

Sporting facilities include a Tennis Club, Bowling Club and Judo Club which are all based at Backwell Playing Fields. This venue is also the home of Ashton & Backwell United FC.  A youth club and 1st Backwell Scouts are also based nearby. Backwell Karate, also known as Backwell Shotokan Karate Club, was established in the village in 1978 and is a member club of the Karate Union of Great Britain governing body.

Transport links are good with many residents commuting daily to Bristol by car via the A370 or public transport. Local busses run between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, stopping at Backwell on route. There is also a service to Nailsea. The M5 is only a few miles away and is accessible from Clevedon or Portbury.  Nailsea and Backwell railway station is at the north end of the village and has services between Taunton, Weston-super-Mare and Cardiff, as well as some peak services directly to and from London Paddington. Bristol Airport is nearby (3 miles) offering domestic and international routes.

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