My End to End walk: Leg 6: Days 22 to 25: Wells to Cold Ashton via Bath, June 27-30 2017, 56.14 miles (90 km). Total walked so far: 329.14 miles (517 km)
Alex and Maria from Poland and John from everywhere… on the bus to Wells. They were going to join 700 volunteers to cleanup the remains of Glastonbury festival’s 1/4 million fans, in hope of free food, new friends, discarded rubber boots, tents and a fun time. I hope they found what they were looking for, as the next couple days were pouring rain. Really amazing and inspiring young people. I am tempted to join them next year.
Green and pleasant land of England…
Trail is ever changing and always beautiful
Harptree Court in East Harptree: I stay in all kinds of places on this walk, from 12-bed hostel rooms to people’s homes to backyard sheds but this place took the cake! (and I ate it too!) and wasn’t very expensive either. Charles, Linda and their daughter Emily were amazing hosts and spoiled me as their only guest in a 20+ bedroom mansion that has been in Charles’ family for hundreds of years. They plan on closing down, selling and retiring to a small place soon. I need to bring ‘my walking ladies’ here!
A bathroom with a sofa chair, as one does….
A View From the Room.
Same view painted from an armchair! That’s a first for me.. Ahh painting in the rain and in style with tea and gluten free chocolate cake no less!
The trail to Combe Hay
Attacked by a dog. My heart is still crying for this guy.
Somebody’s little dream..
Pesticide-free meadow. Buzzing with bees, butterflies, dragonflies, electric blue damselflies…
Someone else’s little English dream…
Turn a bad thing on it’s head and it’s all good!
Followed the Limestone Link for a couple of days..in the rain… Disused coal canals, and mysterious places. Also an incredible ridge trail.
This guy in Camerton village greeted me at a turn in the woods and stands tribute to Harry Kendall and all the miners who worked in the coal mines in the 19th and 20th century.
How the world would look after humans disappear. This is an old stone bridge.
The Dundas Aqueduct blew my mind, but then again I find all aqueducts to be awesome.
Most beautiful canal boat
My philosophy 100%.
Kennet and Avon canal, getting closer to Bath…
But before getting to Bath you have to go by Bathhampton, Batheaston, Bathwick. They don’t mess about in Bath.
These guys are almost teenagers now. Santa Claus guy on left was trying to get his head around the fact that I’ve walked here from Land’s End, but for some reason I didn’t feel like chatting with him. I prefer the company of this family of eight.
Arnold and Trina were going about the same speed as me, slower actually, so we ended up chatting a long time as we progressed our way into Bath with it’s lovely entry and wrought iron bridges. I should have thrown my pack on their boat!
Their share ownership of Ophelia with another couple. A great way to spend 10 days from time to time.
Rebecca was working hard cranking sluices at Deep Lock in Bath. So she gave me a winch and I gave her a hand. She and her partner have been living on their boat for over two years and love it. Hmmm.. there’s an idea!
Have wood. Will travel.
The Mikron theatre group lives on a canal boat as well and travels the country giving really good comedy! Our evening entertainment at the YHA Bath was the history of YHAs through their eyes. I think I was the youngest guest there at this really wonderful youth hostel and I don’t think I ever laughed so hard. Interesting to see that a lot of seniors use youth hostels. Mikron are a great group of four, had a nice chat with them later.
“We all need space. Unless we have it we cannot reach the sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently”
– Octavia Hill, founder of the National Trust, the Green Belt, the Red Cross Garden and one of my heroes.
Good morning Bath, where I have memories of my father and from where some of my ancestors left for America some 400 years ago… I’m back! Everybody in this town seems happy, good-looking and above average. I think I will move here some day when and if I finally stop walking. And naturally, I’ll fit right in!
Celebrating 200 years since Jane Austen left us. I agree: “Oh who can ever be tired of Bath?”
Well….goodbye Bath and hello Cotswold Way!
Once in July 1643, two childhood friends, having shared many adventures fighting as volunteers in the Thirty Years War , Sir William Waller (Parliamentarian) and Sir Ralph Hopton (Royalist) battled it out against each other on this Tog Hill and much blood was spilled. Waller wrote a few days before the battle: “That great God, which is the searcher of my heart knows with what a sad sense I go upon this service and with what perfect hatred I detest this war without an enemy, but I look upon it as the work of the Lord…We are both upon the stage and must act those parts that are assigned to us in this tragedy… Whatsoever the issue may be, I shall never willingly relinquish the dear title of your affectionate friend…” We’ve always known the insanity and futility and waste of war and yet…. we should really just listen to the cows.
Jason woke me up with the clatter of a metal kissing gate as I had fallen into a deep sleep on the side of the trail, as I do sometimes, and he wanted to make sure I was still alive by asking me…. He is a professional soldier from Oxford who shares my love of walking the world. He was off-track though, if he wanted to get to Bath, I was able to send him back the right way. Lovely moment together though.
Tog Hill and raindrops adding to the foreground…
Awesome red, white and blue wildflower meadow.
Cold Ashton on the horizon and the end of this 4-day 60-mile walk…