Field Trip: Clevedon and Portishead

Leader: Professor Maurice Tucker, University of Bristol & BGS

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £3.00

Date and Time



Pier Rd, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 7HG

Field Trip Description

On this excursion to the Somerset coast we will look at Devonian, Carboniferous and Triassic sedimentary rocks and the structure. Travel by car; car-sharing should be possible.

Itinerary: 10.30 am Portishead: Meet at the end of Pier Road near the Royal Inn (BS20 7HG), parking in the road there or in Woodlands Road close by. In the small bay below the Inn, by the new lifeboat station, the Carboniferous Black Rock Dolomite and Pennant Sandstone are exposed, overlain by the Triassic Dolomitic Conglomerate and dolomitic sandstones. There are many sedimentary and tectonic structures here.

After this locality (around 11.30/12), we shall drive 2 km to the coast at Woodhill Bay and park along the Esplanade Road near the lake (BS20 7JA). Parking is free there along the seafront. Lower Carboniferous limestones and dolomites around Battery Point and at the north end of Woodhill Bay near the swimming pool will be visited. The locally fossiliferous limestones show well-developed folds.

After lunch, we will walk along the cliff section in Kilkenny Bay to the south where there are spectacular exposures of the Old Red Sandstone. We will see the Woodhill Bay Fish Bed (but I cannot promise any fish – maybe scales though), and fluvial sandstones and conglomerates.

Depending on the time, we could visit Ladye Bay at Clevedon, 6 km to the south. From Portishead drive south on the B3124 and near to Clevedon turn right into Holly Lane (brown sign to Golf Course); after I km turn right into Bay Road and park (free) in the lay-by or road, near post-code BS21 7BT. Ladye Bay is a delightful secluded beach with good exposures of oolite deposited around a Triassic lake, resting on Devonian sandstones.

Safety: we will be walking along the beach where there may be slippery stones, so walking boots best. There are ~50 steps down to Ladye Bay. Sign the sheet at the Sept or Oct meeting or send an email to [email protected]

Here’s hoping for a sunny day.

Location Map

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