Castle Cary to Longburton

by Administrator 14. May 2008 08:30

Castle Cary The Brook House Inn
Longburton (the far end and it is).

Tim got a good nights sleep in spite of the pneumatic drill someone was using in the tent next door! This may have been helped by 2 pints of cider (Olde Rosie Av 7.6% not spotted until second ordered honest).

A walk into Castle Cary passing near the centre this 17th century pound (for people not dogs) built by some local worthy to house the drunks and vagabonds in a fit of zero tolerance, we had not been incarcerated!

Another hot day through Somerset and Dorset fields, many already have taken the first crop of grass for silage (makes walking easier and drier in the morning). Lunch outside The Mitre Inn at Standford Orcas (so we could have a pint and eat our own sandwiches and the very good ginger cake by Betsy.

Arrive at B&B somewhat tired after 16 miles and Tim with a sore shin again.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


Holcombe to Castle Cary

by Administrator 12. May 2008 16:59
Set off from Holcombe at 8.30 by path known to Tony via the hidden valley to reach the Fosse Way (a major Roman road between Exeter & the north) first used over 2000 years ago.

So good was this route that even today it remains a good trunk road for much of its distance.

We joined it for 2 miles as a track through beech woods over the eastern end of the Mendips.

Lunch in Evercreech at the pub in conversation with an ex Saracens rugby player.

The afternoon progressed by field paths to CAstle Cary and a campsite behind the Brook House Inn, arriving at 4 pm, Tim's shin that was well behaved is now becoming uncomfortable.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


Off we go again!

by Administrator 12. May 2008 13:03


  Now about to set off for Weymouth - the 4 days rest has allowed the tenosynovitis of my shin to settle, I hope completely. Only yesterday did the classic crepitus on movement become obvious. As well as the oral diclofenac I had Ibuprofen gel rubbed into the area by my wife. Whether it was time, pharmaceuticals, or her loving touch, I don't know but it's much better this morning. We plan a very SLOW and GENTLE (remind self frequently) walk to Castle Cary. The south coast by Wednesday and Weymouth by Thursday evening to meet up with Penny Deel-Smith, Arthur and Cheryl, to set sail on Friday morning. Weather forecast currently good, we hope it remains so.


Last Stagger to Rivendell (Holcombe)

by Administrator 9. May 2008 14:54

Got up at first light and staggered from my hill down into Bath to be met by Tony outside Bath Abbey, the walk south to Holcombe was pretty painful and a hot day.

My right shin was treated with RICE on arrival, still somewhat sore now 9.05.08 but improving and should be ok for Monday 12th when we restart for Weymouth.

To my physio friends and colleagues - I have rested it and I am now stretching and massaging the anterior compartment and taking Diclofenac.

Link to where we are on Google Maps


A walk too far.

by Administrator 7. May 2008 22:14


A very good nights sleep in a bed ! A good breakfast and off feeling better than yesterday. Picked the Cotswold Way in Hillesley passed a very large monument to Lord General Somerset (whoever he was) they do like their monuments in this part of the world.

Path at one point passes through a sea of Oilseed Rape in full flower (?future diesel fuel) and more beech woods with wild garlic in bloom. Some good views off the Cotswold escarpment , with clear blue skies and a perfect walking temperature, unfortunately not up to rapid yomping yet, but improving.

Really kept on walking too far today ending on a hill overnight, overlooking Bath, 25 miles walked today is too far. Right shin is on fire.

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Slimbridge to the Cotswold Way.

by Administrator 7. May 2008 22:01


Woke this morning to the patter of rain on the tent, and sound of heavy duty birds flying overhead, presume on their way in to the Wild Fowl Trust next door, I didn’t leap out to see who they were! But soon enough got up, swallowed my last muesli, put the wet tent on top of the pack and set off. Not actually raining but very threatening. Felt better than yesterday but it didn’t last, now about 6 hours later in the Royal Oak in Wooton under Edge various aches are present but settling, will probably do a few miles this afternoon (must get some muesli). But hey the day is brightening up weather wise Well, it stopped raining anyway.

Earlier today left the Severn Way at Slimbridge and headed south inland to the Cotswolds about 7miles to Stinchcombe (nice churchyard full of blossom)

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and North Nibley(11:00 too soon for lunch) and then decided to go up Nibley Knoll (really should not have a K), at the top of which is a monument to William Tyndale who first translated the bible into English and had it printed! Heavy reformation stuff and the antithesis of the pilgrimage whose pilgrims attempted it in the hope of Indugences and an afterlife in Heaven not Hell (in those days high risk and high gain).

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Then along through the beech woods on top of Wooton Hill and joining the Cotswold Way.

Now finishing the day at the appropriately named Folly Farm, where according to the map there was a camp site "We haven’t had camping for 14 years" (Map published date 1986), Oh well the B&B is £30. A Hot bath was fantastic, Of such small ecstasies is a pilgrims life!


Gloucester to Sharpness Canal.

by Administrator 7. May 2008 21:47

Dry night, all kit washed dry and packed, so strolled down to Gloucester cathedral to just miss the 08:30 service. Unfortunately no stamp available, have an info piece of paper with a logo to make something with. Saw the Denny window - the verger seemed to think his best work is at Chepstow in a small parish church, must find out more about him.

.PICT0018 Now I notice that the Gloucester – Sharpness Canal goes to Slimbridge by a much more direct path than the winding River Severn so follow it from Gloucester docks (greasy spoon breakfast at 09:00). Rather damp day but cape working well; once over the pack it can be adjusted to cope with heat or rain in various ways. I’m sure I look ridiculous but who cares..

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The water way obviously dates to Victorian times and the bridge keepers' cottages have incongruous Greek/Roman pillars around their front doors. The swing bridges are manually operated providing much needed exercise for the bridge keepers who would otherwise just sit there all day.

Arrive Slimbridge, Tudor caravan park at 15:30 £7 per night (yesterday was £11 but the loos were cleaner) but quite busy.



by Administrator 7. May 2008 21:11


Saturday, Woke up to the sound of ducks and curlews, very heavy dew, tent, grass and all soaking wet. I was about 2 miles down stream of Upton on Severn. Had breakfast and packed rather damply, and walked around 5 miles into Tewksbury.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA         Passing under the M50 on the way.

Thought I would get the Pilgrim Passport stamped at Tewesbury Abbey. Beautiful old building. In active use morning service had just finished and the rather envious elderly vicar was happy to sign me off. A most beautiful MODERN yellow stained glass window by a chap called Denny, apparently he made one in


Glouster Cathedral must look tomorrow, also one in Malvern Priory. I didn’t know anyone did that anymore, very glad they do.

Feet blistered but blisters not broke so very slow down the bank, passed by a very large cruise ship!!!!!!!!! Oliver Cromwell! No comment. Dryed out the tenton the way

Now stopped early at a nice camp site by The Red Lion at Bishops Norton right on the Severn Way, a bit busy because it is Bank holiday. Have done my washing, had a shower and plugged in the laptop in the pub. Feeling much better now.


To be a Pilgrim!

by Administrator 7. May 2008 20:47


Well what a day got up with dawn , eat muesli, and walked down into Worcester, into cathedral where a pleasant visitor guide showed me the exhibit in the crypt of the pilgrims boots and staff with an account of his discovery and the site of his reinterment after the archeology was done.

PICT0003 His boots!

I then wandered over to the cathedral office to get the pilgrim passport stamped, they were expecting me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They proceeded to tell me all about the blessing from the Dean, when they got to the press coverage I had to own up, I think you have the wrong pilgrim, and so it proved . A very pleasant chap called Gareth Thomas is walking the Camino for many reasons including “Whizz-kids charity” and to take a replica of the Pilgrims staff to Santiago , still I got to join the blessing though I slid away before the press call. He later caught me up and walked the legs off me while imparting much useful information. I also got from the Dean provided Katherine Lack provided Gareths staff and did much research on the pilgrim  thanks very much a blessed scallop shell (the emblem of the Pilgrims of St James.

I staggered on down the river arriving in Upton on Severn about1700hrs to find the town gearing up for a folk festival, Fish and chips and a pint of liquid pain killer later I slipped off down the river to camp miles from nowhere in my little home.


First Day down to the Severn.

by Administrator 7. May 2008 20:10


Started at last a very good start , a good breakfast at home then down to Derek and Suzy who had the misfortune to be right on the canal, where I joined it, another coffee and a joyous greeting by the herd of Bernese Mountain Dogs they breed.. Then Mark the dive shop arrived also to wish me well.

Walking rapidly down the canal system passed relics of the past, the via duct outside Kidderminster where the railway is poised victorious over the defeated canal, only to fall in turn to the car and the internal combustion engine, is particularly appropriate for a walk that eschews all motorized transport to hark back to medieval times.

 PICT0001The marks on the hand rail are from the tow ropes from the horse drawn barges of the past.

The tow path goes past the base of one of the carpet mill towers, beautifully made in different bricks from the local blackcountry clays.


Finally on to the River Severn at Stourport where a new development is taking place on the riverside. Don’t they know it floods? After a bit of worry the level of the Severn is not to high except at one point forcing me to climb a steep gulley full of nettles and burrs!

Hardly a drop of rain all day (thank you Mark for your intercession), and I write this in the last of the sun in a camp field overlooking the Severn near Holt Fleet, a very good first day if a little weary.