Today was my penultimate trip to complete this section of the coastal path. I was getting rather excited as I neared Bristol, it also meant less travel time as well. However, today also meant getting 2 buses to get back to my start point at Kewstoke.
I parked at the panoramic viewpoint at the Windmill Inn in Portishead. The sun had just risen and I was treated to a glorious view across the Severn Estuary from Cardiff through Newport to the Severn Bridges. I walked about half a mile through a housing estate to catch the first of my buses, a # X5 to Weston Super Mare. The bus journey was about an hour and I managed to pick out parts of my route that I would be travelling on later that morning. The bus went around Clevedon and Nailsea before hitting the M5 motorway for the final leg to Weston.
I had about 30 minutes to wait for a #100 bus to Kewstoke to arrive, so it was into Greggs for a nice takeaway coffee. By 8:05 the Bus had dropped my off on the beach road to Sand Bay. The weather was lovely and sunny, but with a biting breeze. I headed straight for the top of Middle Hope, a small promontory very similar to Brean Down, but much smaller. The view from the Middle Hope was brilliant, with great visibility across to Cardiff.
I walked towards Woodspring Priory, unfortunately I came to a locked gate , with the message keep out. I continued east for about 400m and then picked up a footpath, which led me back to the Priory and the road.
I had decided on my route,and had based this on the experiences of others, who had walked this way. I had to get over the River Banwell, Oldbridge River, Yeo and Blind Yeo; and to do this involved a detour in land criss-crossing the M5 and using minor roads and footpaths. After departing the Priory the road went past Culm farm, where I turned left and followed a bridleway east across fields to Ebdon farm. I emerged on the road and turned left and after 200m right. Ebdon Lane took me down a reasonably quiet lane to Bourton, a small collection of three farmhouses. I had joined the National cycle way #33 for a short section.
After Bourton I turned right at the next junction heading for the M5 motorway, which had got very noisy by now. I crossed the motorway and railway line to emerge on the A370. Fortunately, the road had a footpath, at least until the Pub The Last Quart. I followed a road alongside the pub and crossed over the railway line, this time by a level crossing. I came to the small hamlet of East Hewish. The footpath, at this point set off across fields towards the M5. My intention was to cross the River Yeo at Phipps Sluice. Just before I arrived at the sliuce I disturbed a heard of cows, who decided to get abit frisky. I waved and my walking stick in the air and shouted “hut-hut-hut” which dispersed them. I crossed Phipps Sluice and did not even bother to inspect the culvert under the M5. I just continued east along the footpath I was on, which ran parallel to the motorway. I emerged at a farm track after passing through a small orchard. I had to walk around a huge pile of manure, just as a farmer with a digger turned up, he gave me a cheery wave and I continued to cross over the motorway again.
The farm track lead onto Ham lane and then into the small village of Kingston Seymour with its small charming church, All Saints. The next 3 to 4 miles was spent walking along roads, which offered very little interest. After passing Lower Farm, a permissive path back to the coast was available and I must admit it was nice to get back walking along the coast. The path ran and crossed over, via a sluice, the artificial drainage ditch of Blind Yeo. I was then on the outskirts of Clevedon. I walked up the small hump called Wains Hill, which has a walk around its periphery called the Poets walk. I the passed St Andrews Church, but did not linger as a funeral service was under way. I dropped down to the Marine Lake and continued onto Clevedon Pier. Although John Betjamin praised Clevedon Pier, I cannot say I held it in any high regard. Although its entrance was being renovated I did not feel inclined to pay to walk towards the end of it.
Shortly after the Pier entrance a footpath called the Gordan Round becomes available, all the way back to my car parked at the Windmill Pub. Not a great deal to say about the last 6 miles. Certainly, it was great to be close to the sea and to have a proper footpath to walk, and to have great views towards the Severn bridges. I was intrigued when I studied the map of the Redcliffe Bay area of Portishead, a collection of underground storage tanks contained. When I walked past, I was none the wiser, until I got home and did abit of digging. Apparently these underground tanks store aviation fuel, from where it is pumped to a number of UK airports! Must admit, as a resident, I would not be too keen on having this lot stored next to my house!
Managed the 20 miles in 6.0 hrs.
Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance = 1636 miles