BE ACTIVE IN AND AROUND MELLS
Being active in and around Mells is easy. It is the perfect destination to get out into the fresh air and do something fun on your own, with your dog or with friends. There are a whole host of walking trails, the National Cycle Network is on our doorstep and you can even fresh water swim or get your PADI diving certificate at Vobster Quarry.
THE NATIONAL CYCLE NETWORK: ROUTE 24
The village of Mells is just off route 24 of the National Cycle Network. The route runs from Bath through Radstock, Frome, Warminster and Salisbury. and eventually join Route 23 at Eastleigh in Hampshire and is a mixture of quiet roads and traffic free paths. It is 75 miles from Bath to Eastleigh so a break for a cup of tea and a tasted tea cake in the Walled Garden is the perfect pit stop. We have a hose to wash your bike down with, space to do the odd repairs, racks and the occasional apple tree to lean your bikes against.
The route from Bath to Midford includes the Bath Two Tunnels which opened in 2013 and utilises the mile long Combe Down Tunnel which is Europe's longest cycling tunnel. The section of the route that passes by Mells from the Dundas Aquaduct through to Frome is known as Colliers Way. From before Radstock to just past Mells the route is traffic free and then joins traffic again on quiet rural roads to Frome. A local non profit organisation called Frome's Missing link has been working tirelessly to try and get a non traffic link opened from our area through to Frome.
The National Cycle Network website is a a great source of information on the routes and it is possible to buy maps directly from them.
There are a LOT of cycling clubs in the area. Here are just a few:
Bath CTC – independent national cycling charity which aims to inspire and help people to cycle and keep cycling
Bath Cycling Club – caters for a wide variety of cycling interests and a full range of ability and age
Colliers Way Cycling Club – encourages leisure cycling in the Radstock and Midsomer Norton areas of North East Somerset
CTC Frome-the CTC – Coffee and Tea-Cake Club rides each Sunday morning, 09:00 am returning by lunchtime or early afternoon.
Cycle Bath – casual rides involving beautiful scenery, cake, sometimes beer, and always great company
Frome and District Wheelers -based in Trowbridge, Wiltshire and Frome, Somerset there are regular club runs on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
Frome Ladies Cycling Club- welcomes anyone that would like to come and join us on a weekly cycle. We are not super fit but would like to get there one day!
Somer Valley Cycle Club – most Sunday mornings, group members gather outside Bike-It in Radstock to cycle at a gentle pace for between 30 and 60 miles
Timsbury Cycle Group – group for cyclists in and around Timsbury, Bath and North East Somerset, with regular weekly rides for fun and to get fit
30 Mile Thursday – a weekly social ride on quiet lanes and cycle paths.
OPEN WATER SWIMMING AND INLAND DIVING
A mile and half down the road from us is Vobster Quay - seriously if you love open water swimming or diving this is the place for you. They describe themselves as the UK's friendliest inland diving centre and they are, with 36-acres of fresh water diving, a cafe and hot showers what more could you want?
This is a great place if you are a certified diver or want to learn. Vobster Quay has diving depths from 6m to 36m, with a whole range of things to explore including the wreck of a large commercial aircraft, a 42ft motorcruiser, two metal wheelhouses, the Crushing Works - a towering structure the size of a 2-storey house - and even a concrete-lined tunnel for those that are a bit more adventurous. If you are training for a triathlon or just enjoy open water swimming activities like me-the temperatures get 'comfortable' from April and October when you can swim without a buddy.
AND FOR A BIT OF A WALK OR HIKE...
View Ranger lists a number of great walks in the area. A nice lengthy one called Ironworks- 3 Quarry circular takes you 11.1 miles on a circular route around Vobster, Halecombe & Whatley quarries, taking in much of the area's rich iron founding history along the Wadbury Valley, before returning to Great Elms via Murder Combe.
Here is a bit of history courtesy of ViewRanger....
In 1774 James Fussell the 3rd founded the dynasty of master iron workers that lasted 150 years, they produced the finest edge tools in the country, their products included scythes, sickles, spades, shovels & other agricultural implements. The 1880’s catalogue listed 111 products, by the turn of the century the company was exporting their tools to Europe & America. In it’s heyday they employed over 250 people.
The upper works was the first ironworks owned by the Fussell's, by the early 19th century the Fussell's where running 6 ironworks, 3 of which were along Mells river between Great Elm & Mells, the ruins of the lower works is probably the only example left of an edge tool ironworks in the country, little is known about the works as all records have been lost.
Water was the main source of power for the tilt hammers, grinding shops & various other machinery, there were 9 water wheels at the lower works site, the skeletal remains of one is still visible in one of the grinding shops, in the 1860 steam was finally used on site to compliment the water power, not to replace it as it was a cheap form of power. In the late 1800’s a large steam powered beam engine was installed in the lower works to power a steel rolling mill that spanned the river at the downstream end of the works, this was to try and bolster the failing company & compete with steel mills in the Midlands, but the dynasty came to an end when production finally ceased in 1895 because of financial difficulties.
There are also lots of smaller walks and if you want an Marshfields Icecream after your exertions then the Walled Garden is the perfect place for you to refuel.