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Written by Glen Batten - 18 Apr 2008
last update by Matt Prosser - 17 Apr 2013
and by Glen Batten - 10 Jan 2015
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Location notes
A scenic, rural, location just west of Bath and only a short walk from the Newton St Loe. This is the main line from Bristol to Bath onto London Paddington or Weymouth.
Great views of the open embankment all along the Bath A4 dual carriageway, as well as views of the opposite side from the river Avon footpath. The track passes under the A4 so there are views either side and over the bridge. Kelston House and Park make an elegant backdrop to any photos.
Railway type and traffic
This busy main line carries FGW HSTs on the Bristol-Paddington route plus the same company's Class 143, 150, 153 and 158 diesel units plying between Bristol and Westbury and points further south. There are also some SWT services between Waterloo and Bristol using Class 159 units.
Freight traffic comprises a couple of weekday Freightliners from Bristol to Tilbury and Felixstowe and occasional DBS stone trains from Avonmouth to Westbury and the London area. Weekends often see engineering trains from and to Westbury, variously worked by DBS, Freightliner and Colas. The line also sees weekend diversions when the 'Badminton' route via Bristol Parkway is closed, bringing Welsh steel traffic and, occasonally, Cross Country 'Voyagers' and HSTs.
Finally, the route carries a good number of charters visiting Bath and Bristol, including the occasional steam or diesel-hauled VSOE Pullman.
Environment
Alongside a dual carriageway, which has a newly laid cyclepath and path. Just past the rail bridge heading West there is a cut into the hedge to enter the edge of a wooded area for a closer view from the field's edge.
The river footpath can be accessed from the Bristol to Bath cycle path, a disused line running parallel to the main line. 20-30min walk from the Newbridge Park & Ride.
Road directions
Head West out of Bath on either the A36 or the A4. The location is close to where the two roads merge, just west of where the road passes over the railway on a concrete skew bridge. If you go too far, just turn back at the Globe roundabout at the Bristol end of the dual carriageway.

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Newton Meadows map co-ordinates
Parking
Use the lay-by on the west bound A4 dual carriageway. Remove valuables from the car, and then follow the field down to the underpass which will bring you out in the meadow.
Parking is also available at the Newbridge Park & Ride, just follow the signposts. There is a bit of waste ground just opposite the P&R entrance which can be used for parking. Look for the advertising lorry with a lady in a bath on the back!
At the Saltford end of the dual carriageway on the way to Saltford you can park in the Saltford Rugby Club. This parking place has been used numerous occasions with no objections, but if you are asked to move please do so.
Public transport
The Bristol to Bath bus, service number 338, passes the location and the nearest bus stop is Newbridge Park & Ride. Alternatively, the location is about 2 miles from Oldfield Park railway station. You can also use the Bristol Bath Cycle Path.

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Amenities
There is a McDonalds along the Lower Bristol Road in Twerton, and decent pubs, which serve food, at both Newbridge and Newton St Loe. Best of all, however, is the reasonably-priced 'Panahar' Indian restaurant on Moorlands Road, Oldfield Park. There is a nice large family pub on the riverside called the boathouse at the Newbridge Park & Ride. At the other end of the dual carriageway is the Globe at Newton-St-Loe, another large family pub.
Accommodation
There are obviously loads of places to stay in Bath but they tend to be on the pricey side, and parking is often a form of gambling. Cheaper B&Bs can be found in Oldfield Park, a respectable suburb with its own station about 2 miles from the location.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Newton Meadows

Googly map
Streetmap links
Newton Meadows general view map
Newton Meadows close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Newton Meadows



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Photographic notes
The shot, for up trains, is perfectly-lit around mid-morning but is quite acceptable between breakfast and teatime, and beyond if you like an arty 'glint'. A wide-ish lens allows inclusion of Kelston Hall in the background. There is also a shot for down trains from the nearby A4 road bridge.
Newton Meadows is good for video as well as still shots. The drawback for steam is the possibility of a signal check for Oldfield Park station. And a badly-timed down train can muck things up quite nicely.
The location can be quite stunning when the fields are full of flowering oilseed rape although hayfever sufferers may disagree.


General views - All photographs © Glen Batten unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north west


Fig 1 - Looking north west


Fig 2 - Looking south east


Fig 2 - Looking south east


Fig 3 - Looking north west - Image Matt Prosser


Fig 3 - Looking north west - <i>Image  Matt Prosser</i>


Fig 4 - Looking north west - Image Matt Prosser


Fig 4 - Looking north west - <i>Image  Matt Prosser</i>


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