Day 20: 12 Apr 2014; Glastonbury to Westbury
|Date||Sat 12 Apr 2014||Start to end time||06h 20m|
|Start point||Glastonbury||End point||Westbury|
|Miles today||15.77||Cu miles||372.53|
|Ft today||1,503||Cu ft||64,669|
|Route miles left||1,098.09||Route ft left||133,525|
|Today’s weather||Dry and overcast all day. Some sun in evening. Cool westerly wind. Appx 11 C|
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
|GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)
Today’s walk from Glastonbury to Westbury was relatively short, at less than 16 miles, and not too hilly, either, with “only” 1500 ft of climbing. But it took in several points of interest, so was a bit of a “Tourists’ Trail”. And I also realised that today I crossed the quarter-way mark on the hike – so it feels like I am at last beginning to make some perceptible progress!
I had a relatively leisurely start, and didn’t get away till around 9 am. I had a quick look round Glastonbury – another town I’d never visited before and the first stop on my Tourist Trail – and then set off across the fields in the general direction of Wells. I didn’t have long enough to form anything more than a general impression of the town, but with shops like “Elestial” and “Man Myth and Magik” packed into the town centre, I got the impression this would probably be a good spot to pick up expanding water crystals, if you needed to.
The path I’d chosen to Wells followed public rights of way marked on my map, but I’ve come to learn that in less visited areas, they are often not very well maintained. And that was the case today, with several of the paths either being non-existent or blocked by electric fences. Eventually, though, I reached the more major route of the Monarchs’ Way, and then the West Mendip Way, which were much better maintained and easier to follow. I passed through Wells, the second highlight of my Tourists Trail, and discovered that it has not only a Bishops Palace, surrounded by an impressive moat, but also a large cathedral with associated private Cathedral School. It was an attractive city, with a bustling market in the centre, and lots of interesting history.
After a quick look round I walked on to the next destination on my Tourist Trail – Wookey Hole caves, in the foothills of the Mendip Hills. Wookey Hole itself leads into an extensive cave system – nearly 4 km of tunnels have been explored – but the entrance has been converted into a theme park which seemed rather incongruous in this site of special scientific interest. So I wasn’t tempted to hang around.
From there I climbed up the Ebbor Gorge through the village of Priddy, onto the Mendip plateau. I’d heard something making rather eerie cries as I approached the village then identified the source when quite unannounced a large peacock crossed the road in front of me. Beautiful to look at but not to listen to. It was cold up on the plateau, and I was beginning to regret wearing shorts for the first time on the hike today.
The campsite I’m staying in tonight is the excellent Bucklegrove Holiday Park where, because this is a charity hike, the proprietors have not only given me a free night’s camping, but have also offered me a free dinner and pint of cider! What stars!!
A very long walk all the way to Bristol tomorrow, so need to do some urgent route-planning now, to see if there are any obvious corners I can cut!