Welcome to the Avon & Limpley Stoke Valley
Home of the Valley Parishes Alliance
The Avon & Limpley Stoke Valley is an exceptional area. Protecting and conserving it, in the face of major regeneration and development in the wider Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) and Wiltshire area, is an ever increasing challenge. A cross-border Valley Parishes Alliance (VPA) has, therefore, been established to provide a unified voice on social, economic and environmental issues which could affect B&NES and Wiltshire communities in the valley.
The founding Civil Parishes are Batheaston, Bathampton, Bathford, Claverton, Monkton Combe, Freshford (all B&NES), Limpley Stoke, Winsley and Westwood (all Wiltshire). The combined population of the Parishes is some 10,900 and the VPA takes strength from comprising nine Parish Councils which represent 8,700 electors.
The VPA was launched in June 2010 on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Dundas Aqueduct (boundary between B&NES and Wiltshire). The launch was attended by the Chairmen of B&NES and Wiltshire Councils, who both enthusiastically endorsed its formation.
The beautiful and historic Avon & Limpley Stoke Valley, through which run both the River Avon and the 200 year old Kennet & Avon Canal, links the World Heritage City of Bath to the ancient and picturesque west Wiltshire town of Bradford on Avon.
The valley extends across the boundary of B&NES and Wiltshire unitary authorities and lies entirely within the southern extension of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in the heart of the Bristol/Bath Green Belt. These national designations are reflections of its world class rural landscape, which forms part of the setting of the City of Bath World Heritage Site.
The valley, which ranges from being broad and open to being dramatic and gorge like, is characterised by wooded sides. Its landscape has retained features from the Mesolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, the Romano-British period and through to Medieval, Georgian, and Victorian times. The valley has been settled by a number of ancient villages and hamlets which have histories dating back over 1,000 years, with Conservation Areas, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Historic Parks and Gardens and many historic buildings/churches. There are distinctive features associated with the River Avon, the Kennet & Avon Canal and the roads, including weirs, mills, canal and river bridges and the notable engineering landmarks of the aqueducts at Dundas and Avoncliff and the viaduct at Limpley Stoke.
Attractions for early residents in the valley included fordable crossings over the River Avon, good grazing pastures and accessible local limestone for house building. Today, in addition to the appeal of living close to the cosmopolitan City of Bath, attractions include the many recreational amenities afforded by the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal and numerous cycle tracks and footpaths which cover the area. Business activity in the valley centres around pastoral farming, stone mining, light manufacturing and construction, retail, computing software and financial consultancy, health and professional services, hospitality, restaurants/pubs and tourism.
This website provides easy access to information about the Avon & Limpley Stoke Valley and the activities of the VPA in representing its B&NES and Wiltshire Parish communities.