Includes bonus of my shadow! Taken from St. Catherine's Hill on 1st February 2018 during a walk with Brian, Sue and Matthew. At usual you can click on image to see a bigger version.
I'm quite pleased with how this panorama of Bristol's floating harbour turned out, I perhaps should have been further along to the east so that perhaps SS Great Britain would have been included - but then I'd have had to contend with the black pipe visible on the right edge of this image and would probably have lost the tower of Clifton Suspension Bridge that this one includes. I might play with GIMP to see if I can tone down the brightness of all the white houses, but I'm liking this one.
(You may wish to click on the image to get the full resolution, this 900x322 version doesn't do this image justice.)
The walk took about 8 miles and just over three hours (part of the reason for the slow speed was the 500 feet climb onto the ridgeway!)
Yesterday I did a walk from Severn Beach to Chepstow via the old Severn Bridge (the newer one (M4) doesn't have a walkway/cycleway on it). This is a walk that is only recommended on days without much wind as you're quite exposed once on the Severn bridge crossing. Also worth noting that you're actually not in Wales until halfway across the Wye Bridge (which crosses the River Wye).
Yesterday I upgraded my castle visit by taking a day trip out to Blaise Castle. This kind of trip is very possible to do when there's no trouble on the trains (I need to change at Bristol Temple Meads onto the Severn Beach line, so if there's a long delay on the line between Romsey and Bristol, I end up having to change plans).
Blaise Castle is another folly - in this case a three sided castle like folly on a hill that overlooks both Bristol and with views, allegedly, out to South Wales (with the haze around Bristol yesterday there was no chance of that). The grounds of the Blaise Estate are managed by Bristol City Centre and, while overrun with dog walkers, is very much worth the trip.
Today I did a walk from Bath to Bradford on Avon via Bath Castle. I had originally planned to do a circular walk from the book On Foot in Bath by Andrew Swift, but changed course halfway through. The first part of the route, following the book takes you up to the hills east of the city and you arrive at:
This is a nice view of the front - but you should be a bit suspicious as this more side view reveals:
This is actually Sham Castle, built in the late 1700s and apparently by the builder of Prior Park 1, even if it's not actually visible from Prior Park! (It is visible from Bath itself if you know where to look (the city is, of course, much more built up than it would have been when Sham Castle was built)).
After visiting the castle, I continued on the walk as described in the book until reaching Combe Down. There, since it was close to Monkton Combe, I decided to divert off of the described route and headed off in the direction of Dundas Aqueduct and the Kennet and Avon Canal.
- which is somewhere else around Bath that I'd definitely recommend visiting, though it wasn't on my route today ↩
Yesterday myself, Sue, Matthew and Brian arranged to take a walk from Emsworth to Langstone Harbour attempting to do a figure of eight so that we got two stretches along the shore line while still stopping for coffee and lunch along the way. The day started overcast but, as can be seen from the picture above, the weather steadily improved.
As can be seen from the outline of the route we took below, some sections were repeated. Partially that's my fault (in my youth I used live close to the western end of this map and hence just repeated the walking route I was used to) and partially because there wasn't a particularly interesting alternative!
According to my pedometer, my step count for yesterday was 23389 steps for a (corrected) distance of 10⅓ miles.
I keep a track of what my pedometer says I've walked (actually I first multiply its claim by 5/6 - Walking 80 chains in the Combe Down tunnel gives a distance of 1.2 miles according to the pedometer, but 80 chains is only one mile...). I then keep a 100 day running total so that I can see how well I'm doing against the 10,000 step target (which, for me seems to be about 4.4 adjusted miles). Over the last few weeks that total has been hovering at around 590 miles, but on Friday the total reached 600.2 miles!
Today, though, it will drop significantly back below that level (101 days ago was a 16 mile walk, and today is a quiet day at home) and given my seasonal trends it's likely to be on a steadily falling total until the spring. Since breaking 600 miles in a hundred days is a significant psychological milestone.
One of my minor goals has been to successfully walk all the way from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads. My previous attempts have usually involved the Bristol to Bath cycle route (which follows the old Midland Railway from Bath Green Park via Bitton). This route, while flat like most routes that use old railway lines, is a bit long. The SUSTRANS web site claims it's 13 miles, but I think a more reasonable estimate is 14-15 miles based on my experience - though to be fair I've always been forced to break it in the middle at Bitton and detour to Keynsham station (which is a significant-ish detour).
Today, though, I decided to walk along the River Avon to Keysham using initially the towpath (which I would note would actually now be hard to use for towing barges since there are plenty of trees along the actual river's edge once you're outside of Bath). This does meet up with the cycle route, which I used only to cross the river from the North Bank to the South Bank and then followed footpaths along the South Bank (and hence largely following GWR's railway from Bath Spa).
Once at Keynsham though, I checked my phone's map (I use the maps.me app which is based on the data from openstreetmap) and discovered that from there it was less than five miles to Bristol Temple Meads as the crow flies. The computed pedestrian route was six miles (which, as I'm not a crow or a car, is the route I wanted to follow).
It turned out to be pretty straight forward and followed footpaths in the main rather than roads. Usefully Bristol City have recently given most of their paths a hair cut recently, so the paths were only muddy and not completely overgrown!
I didn't stop for food - big meal was planned (and eaten) for the evening - total journey time about four hours and twenty minutes - which probably equates to about 14-15 miles (so I could have just followed the cycle path!).
I've been enjoying my books giving city walks, and while the author sometimes concentrates too much on the architecture (and not quite enough on history in my opinion), it has lead me to this gem:
(As this image is a stitch together of a bunch of pictures I took (and have then scaled down in GIMP), I'm quite impressed with how the image has come out - the weird concrete curtains in the middle of the balcony wall is NOT an artefact of the stitching process!)
The building definitely reminds me of some of Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona - but this isn't Barcelona, it's actually Bristol!