From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||19.4 miles (31.2 km)|
|Meets:||A39, A37, A38, A371|
|Now part of:||A39|
|Route outline (key)|
The A368 is a route which skirts the northern edge of the Mendip Hills, running past the reservoirs at Chew Valley and Blagdon. A more useful description might be 'Bath to Weston-super-Mare', though it doesn't quite make it at either end. In fact the original route of the A368 did start on the western outskirts of Bath, but that section was absorbed into the A39, along with the Marksbury-Glastonbury road (once the A369) in 1935.
As a result of this renumbering, the A368 now starts at a TOTSO just west of Marksbury. We pass through the village of Chelwood and on to the roundabout at Chelwood Bridge junction with the A37. This was once an appalling signal-controlled staggered junction over the top of a disused railway line - traffic arriving from any direction had great difficulty seeing traffic from any other direction. Fortunately all this has disappeared now and we proceed on via the villages of Stanton Wick and Bishop Sutton to the large reservoir at Chew Valley Lake. This is now a popular tourist spot and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where Bristol Water has created a haven for various species of birds and plants. The road actually passes along a causeway built across a small corner of the lake, with large laybys on either side. The popularity of these laybys as a picnic site, fishing spot, etc., has seen the best overtaking point on the whole road reduced to a 50 limit (at least).
At West Harptree we cross the B3114, which briefly multiplexes with us and then proceed via Compton Martin and Ubley. Ubley is perhaps better known these days as a brand of Yoghurt made by Yeo Valley, who are based in the footslopes of the Mendip Hills, with a factory on the A368 and another on the A371 to the south. We then pass another, smaller, reservoir called Blagdon Lake, which today ranks among the top trout fisheries of the world. In fact, we don't get that close to the lake itself, instead passing through the village of Blagdon. The busy, narrow main street is an appalling bottleneck on this route, with parked cars outside the village store frequently causing traffic to reverse or wait while oncoming traffic clears the road ahead.
At Burrington, we pass the turning for the B3134 which leads up through Burrington Combe - far less well-known than the nearby Cheddar Gorge, but well worth a visit and reportedly the inspiration for the hymn "Rock of Ages", written by the Reverend Augustus Toplady as he sheltered there during a storm. After another few miles, we cross the A38 at the Churchill Gate Crossroads, a busy junction which is controlled by traffic lights, just to the west of Churchill. We pick up primary status here, as it is the fork for the Bristol - Weston-super-Mare route via the A38. After coming through the small, pretty villages of Churchill and Sandford we end at Banwell on the A371, which takes up the primary baton and forms the last leg of our journey to Weston-super-Mare. Whilst the A368 into Banwell is S2 all the way, the A371 either side of the junction is little better than S1, which often makes it difficult to escape the A368 in either direction.
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