Today, in spite of the advice from every local weather forecast I could find, I headed on out to Marshfield, just south of the Cotswolds, to go on a 10.5 mile hike down to Bath‘s Little Solsbury Hill and back up again. Next Sunday, I’ll be leading a group along this same route. But for a failed MOT and absence of a car last weekend, I’d have done this already.
From the top of Little Solsbury Hill, looking over Bath.
I’m not going to drone on about a walk I’ve already covered – and, of course, one I’ll be covering for the third time in 4 months come next Sunday evening. But I have selected a handful of photographs from the day and I’m going to share those with you, along with some of the things I noticed on this return outing.
It was raining, just as forecast, from the moment I opened my car boot and began to prepare for my walk. These cows were surprisingly curious of me. Halfway down the hill, I heard the sudden thunder of their footsteps behind me, above the constant pattering of rain drops on my hood.
We played a game of ‘non-contact tag’ for a bit and, just as one of the youngsters appeared to be running right for me, a great crack and boom from the heavens about sent the youthful herd away and to seek the shelter of the nearest trees they could find… Nature can be a saviour!
What’s really worth noting about these shots is that a bit of overcast cloud really seems to allow this camera (a reasonably-affordable compact, point-and-shoot digital) capture at its very best.
Not to mention how the rain clouds suddenly dispelled after the first hour, not to be seen again until the final mile.
Charmy Down, former airfield site.
My waterproof trousers stayed in place as they’re a pain to throw on quickly. They proved to be a necessity though, given that my legs were otherwise bare beneath the knee and that there was a lot of overgrowth to encounter, three months on.
As I began the final descent in preparation for the lunchtime-climb up to the top of Solsbury Hill, I spotted a gathering of pigs in the adjacent field. Pigs are becoming less of a rarity on my walks… It’s almost as if everyone is looking to own one (or five, as in this case).
From the top, I was then able to look west to the beech treeline of Lansdown:
To the west, albeit very faintly on the horizon, I caught sight of the Westbury White Horse:
Beyond the city to the south, I managed to pinpoint the mansion of Prior Park as well, which I visited on another walk in April last year:
On my return to the western edge of the hillfort and after my lunch stop, I took in a clearer view than on my March visit of the ‘magical protest’ circles that adorn one of the flatlands of this landscape:
There wasn’t much to tell about the return stretch towards Marshfield. I didn’t get lost in any of the same places as last time but my body was as exhausted as that first excursion – I’m partly blaming the sweaty waterproofs though!
Just as I prepared to re-enter the town, I had to cross the field above, which was littered with audible cows chanting some kind of bovine apocalyptic chorus… Actually, it was feeding time and they clearly herd the farmer’s engine rumbling along the drive long before I did! It was quite a spectacle though, to have to stand perfectly still as this stampede of cows, an army of dozens, accelerated down the hill beside me!
Thanks for reading and don’t ever let the weather dampen your enjoyment of the outdoors!