Olly Writes

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Tag Archives: cows

Slad Valley

It’s officially less than two months to Christmas. In the UK and Europe, the clocks have already gone back one hour, meaning we lose 60 minutes of precious daylight from our evenings. With the turn in season, my walks will also continue to shorten as I fight the lure of hibernation. But walk on, I must. I will.

For the first time since May, I took a trip up to the Cotswolds on Sunday in an effort to discover the Slad Valley, not too far from Stroud.

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Solsbury Hill Survivors

So, today I made the awaited return trip to Little Solsbury Hill as leader of the local walking group. I was a little disappointed (and surprised) by the relatively low-number turnout compared to some of my previous walks. Then again, it was raining around 7am when I woke up this morning and the forecast was for at least a cloudy day…

“Forget the cud, they want blood!” – Apocalypse Cow

But, the forecasters didn’t get it quite right and we really enjoyed our walk, keeping up a great pace, too – we somehow completed the circuit in less time than my second pre-walk 8 days ago!

However, the real tale from this walk was in our latest bovine encounter…

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Murder-where?

Today’s walk is about a pre-Christmas stroll around a tiny Wiltshire village that I’d not previously heard of. Even now, I have trouble remembering its name and frequently have to remind myself with a psychological prompt of the word ‘murder’… That’s possibly because I walked through another area called Murder Combe last summer because today I’m going to take you on a tour of Slaughterford. I hope you bought a waterproof coat and wellies!

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High on Ny’

Last weekend, it seemed pretty clear that the summer of 2013 was behind us and with more grey clouds in the sky as I write this, it does seem as though the next summer is still very far away (even though we are still welcoming the mild temperatures). The fear of more rain and another soaking almost forced me to stay indoors on Saturday. I’d been wanting to get out in preparation for the big walk tomorrow… I needed to keep it going, if only for half-a-dozen miles. I also wanted to keep it local and to within the boundaries of my OS map collection and so, I decided to go on a walk up to Nyland Hill in Somerset.

Nyland Hill in Somerset, UK.

This route comes direct from Walk West 3, with thanks again to the author Geoff Mullett.

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Walk Wet

It’s about time I told you of the wet walk I endured last Sunday, in the hope that this coming weekend will bring, well… Let’s just say a lot less rain!

Severn Mud.

With a couple of print-outs from Walk West Again, I decided to headed out to Severn Beach, which is within walking distance of the Second Severn Crossing bridging England to Wales (via. a toll road). It was forecast to be a cloudy or rainy day, depending on where you looked for a forecast. It was almost noon by the time I finally left the house but, having not been on a walk for several weeks at this time; I felt obliged to make a real effort, as I am walking 20 miles this coming Sunday…

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Stone Circle Walk

This walk is another (like the one in Nunney) that I plucked from the pages of one of Geoff Mullett’s Walk West eBooks. Pensford is a small village just south of Bristol (down the A37) that I’m somewhat familiar with, as my sister has a friend that lives in the area and, over the last few years, I’ve played the roll of the taxi driver, long in to the night/early morning at times! But it’s not somewhere I’d previously explored beyond the usual road trips heading east through Chew Magna and so, with the promise to glimpse at nearby Stanton Drew’s own stone henges, I decided that this 6.5 mile walk would be worth of a Sunday afternoon.

Old railway viaduct in Pensford, just south of Bristol, UK.

My first walk along this route took place two weeks ago on the Sunday, while that heatwave was still around us (to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s officially gone or just hidden behind dark clouds of rain at the minute…). It turned out to be much better than I had expected. Along with the stone circles, there was a lot to take in with the surrounding views and a couple of other historic features. One day before this, I’d walked with one of the walk calendar organisers for the Brunel Walking Group and he was concerned by the number of ‘free’ weekends we had up as far as September… It wasn’t long after I go in that evening that I decided to sit down and send him an e-mail; submitting this as my second walk in as many months. 😉

So, the big day for my latest walk was in fact yesterday. Most of the photos you’ll see here were taken with my digital camera on the day that I ‘pre-walked’ it alone. I took a few extra with the group yesterday using my phone, but those were mainly to capture to larger stone circle that I didn’t fully explore on my own.

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Walking the Cotswold Way Skyline

There are a couple of more recent walks that I would like to write about today but I’ve realised that I still haven’t shared the experience of walking the Cotswold Way along the skyline route, near Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago. This was led by another member of the Brunel Walking Group. Apparently, it was also his first walk-leading experience and I for one think he did very well (I certainly wouldn’t have guessed it). Some of the details from that day are bound to have slipped my mind in the time that has since passed but, one thing I cannot forget is the heat from that day…

Cooper’s Hill – home of Cheese Rolling!

We started off (after meeting up in Bristol) at a lay-by car park on the western outskirts of the village of Cranham (apparently, it’s home to Lilly Allen among other celebrities, if you really wanted to know…). From there, we climbed up through the woods to reach the peak of Cooper’s Hill, which is perhaps best known as the site of Gloucestershire‘s annual Cheese Rolling event!

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