Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Combe Without a Castle

Today, against the ill feeling residing in the back of my throat, I forced myself out for a walk with the local Ramblers group. I often find that fresh air helps me when I’m feeling bunged up (unless it’s winter) and I’d much rather be outdoors than stuck inside a stuffy room with flies buzzing around. I also decided it would be better to risk infecting some people I may not know!


I’d been eyeing up the Castle Combe walk since I first noticed it on the program. It’s an area I’d not explored but had heard many positive things about. Yet it’s not at all far from some of the other locations I’ve previously explored on my own – just a little further east and north of the A420. I haven’t taken my usual plethora of photos for this so I’m comfortable to share them all with you this evening.


As I was late leaving home (for various reasons) and increasingly unlikely to reach the meeting point in time (one that I’d not started a walk from previously), I decided to head straight for Castle Combe, once I did arrive in Bristol.


Almost immediately after starting the walk and heading off down the road from the car park, we crossed a pleasant golf course, rather secluded by endless rows of towering trees.


I do appreciate the contrast where rushing flowing meets rocks, leaving the other side calm and without motion.


There was a pretty good turnout for a day where Bristol was hosting its annual Harbour Festival near the city centre. Not to mention the thunderstorms and rain we’d experienced 24 hours earlier.


There were several minor stoppages along the way. I was happy to kick back and let someone else lead for a change. In fact, I welcome it; the first group walk I’ve attended this year where someone else was in charge! It allowed me to play the role of the photographer and to try and capture landscapes like the one above.


I remember passing through the village of North Wraxall… I’d like to know what the word Wraxall means. Everywhere I go, I seem to come across a village with that name – there’s one a few miles west of my home, another down the A37 and I passed one more on my weekend down in Dorset!


After crossing the A420, we descended towards Slaugterford (an area I walked through back in November, I think) where we would stop for lunch beside a surprisingly well populated body of water on such a welcome summer’s day.


We were able to enjoy the calming sounds of crashing water as we ate.


From then on, I became reacquainted with the tail-end of my own Slaughterford walk as we made our northerly return.



This time, I was spotted by the walk leader!

We must’ve exceeded the halfway point by the time we’d stopped for lunch as we seemed to arrive back in Castle Combe for an inevitable pub stop in no time at all.


Everyone kept up a good pace, which is often essential when there’s more than a few of you and you’re looking to cover a bit more than 10 miles.


It was good to get out and to explore a new area under the guidance of someone else. It was also good to meet new faces and another previously-unknown walk leader who’s name I was aware of. With any luck, I might have also helped to encourage one member to begin leading their own walks – but only time will tell!

Along with an answer to the question of Wraxall (I’d guess it’s related to rivers?), I’d also like to know where Castle Combe gets its name as I didn’t becoming aware of any homes once befitting a king and/or queen…

Thanks for reading.


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