Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Monday, 31 May 2010

Kinross to Perth

Thought:- the Scottish right to roam seems to me to be a very clever way to stop people wandering, by law you can walk in most places in practice its just not possible what's the point of walking a field if its a battle to cross into the next with no garentee that you can get anywhere if you do !. Grrr
Rant over!
Out of Kinross and by main road (there do seem to be lots of paths along main roads very handy) to Milnathort and with views back over loch Leven and its surrounding hills we take B roads to Glenfarg , a notice board in town mentions that we are now as far north as Moscow ! Thankfully making better progress to this latitude than Napoleon managed!.
At this point it rains some more but really not bothered by rain anymore !
For a short two kilometers we get off road to take the Wallace road (path) over Dron hill to Bridge of Earn , arriving at lunch time alfie works his magic again and gets entry into s posh little restaurant called "The Roost" an excellent three course meal of a great vegetable soup , and shoulder of lamb presented better than I've seen and with good size portions ! Followed by a white chocolate cheese cake with mango and clementine topping , sublime! .
Amazingly this cost only 18 pounds with a pot of tea! I can't recommend this place enough!.
Spirits now on a high we walked the wide pavement along the A912 to Craigend where a footpath past fields of pigs and pigglets went over Kirkton hill and via a foot bridge over the M90 to present us with magnificent views of Perth and the snow capped cairngorm mountains which we will soon pass through.
Downhill through Buckie Braes a maze of twisting footpaths and into the suburbs of Perth and to Noahs ark caravan park for a pitch of two days with lots of rest ! Ahhhh!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

North Queensferry to Kinross

Up nice and promptly with only a slightly thick head from last nights wine, and we are off leaving the costal path, very quickly we get lost in the suburbs while looking lost a chap named Patrick and his son Jack gave us directions, following these we nearly get arrested by saying four words " does Gordon live here?" Yep we'd found the ex prime ministers house! The armed guards were quick to move us on! Oh and the big black cameras were sure to have filmed our little brush with politics!
As we left town a car screeched to a halt in front of us, thankfully not the police but Patrick and Jack again with some food and a 20 pound donation ! .
This next section of the walk was allways going to be a bit too practical rather than pleasant and apart from a good chin wag with my sis during morning break , it lived up to this this was until we reached Kings Seat , here the planned path was along an old railway then via a forest road to Kelty it didn't quite work out, the railway was almost impassable but stuborn me got through , then on the forest road we came to a no entry sign , now with Scottish rights to roam this normally means no entry to vehicles so we climbed over and carried on the path and the forest quickly vanished to become a working, open mine, with one kilometer to go I wasn't turning back thinking it would be shut on a Saturday ......wrong! Luckily not a day for explosions! And as we reached the exit (passing a supervised area sign and cctv camera oops!) we made good our exit passed workers leaving for the weekend! Some odd looks came in our direction understandably !
Going into Kelty you can really see that this is a mining town the place felt hard as nails ! So we got out quickly, in doing so we met a chap named Bill (i think, sorry if I'm wrong!)  really friendly and interesting conversation.
Carrying onwards towards Kinross once again the plan went awry where we hoped to walk an abandoned railway again this time it was impassable so we stayed on the road for a foot crunching 8 kilometres, along here Bill passed in his car beeping and waving hello! Cheered up a tough bit of walking thanks.
Camp for tonight is at Gallowhill farm just west of Kinross.

Carlops to North Queensferry 29/5

A late start of 8.45 was nice especially with a full fry up inside ,we left our refuge from the storm and set of in bright sunshine up into the pentland hills.
A nice easy stretch of hill walking through curvacious hills then down again into Buteland , quite heavily populated area this with our path heading into wilkieston we set of along the road to newbridge pleasantly there was a pavement all the way. Passing over the M8 we followed an abandoned railway (pleasently rural!) to Queensferry accross the maginficent Forth road bridge and into North Queensferry a pub meal later, we tried our luck with a not so wild camp 2 minutes walk out of town.
Luck was really on our side here wuth stunning views of the Forth rail bridge we set up camp, to be greated by a local Jeremy Hawkins who mentioned that our pitch was an old barrage ballon site used to protect the railbridge in WW2.
Now Jeremy is a really top chap he returned later with a bottle of wine which we sat and drank looking over the Firth of Forth, as Jeremy told of local places of interest.

Innerleithen to Carlops 27/5

Setting of through the early morning activities of Innerleithen, we walk down to the river path along the tweed, after a bit of hair raising road walking we enter the golfing village of Cardrona where the old railway station has been converted into a shop/cafe never one to pass a feeding opportunity, tea and a cheese toastie boosted our breakfast, talking to Linda the owner it seems that J.P also stopped here.
Passed the ruin of Horsbrugh castle a stretch of woodland had been cleared and an odd youth art/village had been constructed.
Briefly into peebles for provisions then out again to Hamilton hill , with mountains around us we descend to an old drove road which takes us along Eddleston valley.
With huge banks of black cloud scudding towards us ,threatening and then delivering our first soaking of the entire walk we drag our soggy selves into the hotel at carlops where we were able to get a room (dog too ! ) and a meal to end the day .

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Melrose to Innerleithen 26/5

Out of Melrose we took a more direct route than planned avoiding Galashiels with a back road uphill through farmland to a path marked on the map sadly not marked on the ground! Out comes the gps and we follow as best we can till a barbed wire fence beats us and we divert around a section of woodland and on to a b road descending back into the Tweed valley , crossing the river via the A707 bridge we pick up a river walk not marked on the map saving 2 miles of road walking, over the bridge towards Yair we pass the high road of the southern upland way (walked this in 2000) to follow a combination of tracks and tiny b roads into Innerleithen campsite.

Jedburgh to Melrose 25/5

After a peaceful rest day in Jedburgh we are on our own again John (j.p) has carried on with his route and our best wishes go with him , has been great listening to johns knowledge of fauna and flora, see you on the east coast mate!.
Walking north out of town we take a route signed the Dere street dash, very handy as after 2 kilometres we're back on said Roman road ,sort of the path winds it way along the banks of the river teviot to an impressive looking suspension bridge think this needs some repair as it bounces and sways alarmingly! Both relieved to reach the other side!.
Still winding on the path goes through the wooded grounds of Monteviot house where the route finally straightens out on its proper NW bearing over Ancrum moor the site of English / Scottish battles and the Lilliard stone where both sides came to make peace at various times.
Walking into St Boswells we followed the river Tweed , up into newtown st boswells to Eildon and between the major peaks of the Eildon hills for a panoramic view to the rear back to the Cheviot and to front over Melrose where after a brief descent we stopped for the night .

Monday, 24 May 2010

Byrness to Jedburgh 23/5th

After getting a DIY breakfast from the Youth Hostels honesty shop (love this trust in folk) of macaroni cheese ,high carbohydrate start to the day we set off in persuit of the Aussies who had 15 minute headstart on us ,the path soon became serious with an at least 45 degree ascent up Houx hill to about 1100 feet, there it levels out to a more managable path over "ravens know" and around to Chew green an old Roman border camp, with the blue sky and gentle breeze the walking is ideal.
With Dere street (a Roman road) underfoot we said our farewells to the Aussies who sang there goodbye to us as we crossed the border, sweet people :)
The Roman road now a slight path ran precipitously round Blackhall hill to leave us with a breathtaking view of Watch know and in the valley an inapproprietly  named farm called street house.....no street in sight!.
Down hill and out of the cheviot proper we forded a shallow river , past another Roman camp which we couldn't see, the path then keeping to Dere street followed the top of more linked hills past the five stanes stone circle, an old iron age hill fort (plenty of these around here!) To then join with a country road to then leave Dere street at a farm named Shotheids (found this name funny with a liberal abuse of the Scottish accent!) Roads all the way to Jedburgh (with a scarecrow competition in evidence) and we followed a path into the middle of town with views of the imposing ruin of Jedburgh cathedral. With a pub meal inside us J.P. Alfie and I settled into the pretty little campsite at the north of town, where J.P. will carry on with his trek as Alfie and I take another rest day.

The Boarder crossing into Scotland


Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bellingham to Byrness 22/5th

With Alfie getting free breakfast from a group of squadies of sausage and Bacon (lucky chap) we and J.P hit the local bakery for breakfast before heading off north out of town for an uphill route to allow us to sit on the hill and watch the Aussies walk up hill to join us on our moorland ridgeway walk to paddon hill then down to the boggy vale below it , catching our breath we had another walker pass us with a quick hello , this chap turned out to be another lejoger named Tommy Allan walking for help for heroes (pic).
The walk today then went downhill through forestry commission roads into Byrness valley then following the pretty river walk passed the church to the now closed "last cafe in England" now no more sadly, but as the Aussies were booked into the youth hostel we followed along, now this hostel is no longer in the Yha but it certainly benefits from this with a much greater understanding of walkers needs, with a two course meal for 8 quid and amazingly an honesty shop with everything you need . A supurb stop called "Forest view"

Friday, 21 May 2010

Twice brewed to Bellingham

Up today for a fryup at 8.00am with a surprise visitor, J.P. of lejogplod fame!  
Finally got too meet after walking 40 days ! J.P started the day after us and our paths never crossed till now!
Breakfast inside from the campsite cafe we went via road through Hadrians wall and with more great views we followed farm tracks through the hilly land north of the wall, then into forestry land for about 5 miles were we met a group of Aussies that J.P had met before, lovely group who donated to our cause! Walked all day with them and I could repay there generosity by route finding.
Regular pennine way route to Bellingham and now off for dinner with the gang!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Alston to Twice brewed 20/5th

A day of relative ease walking along the South tyne way a semi abandoned railway all the way to Haltwhistle, as flat as you could want , just shut down the brain and leave the feet too it!
Pretty views all the way until we reach the Lambley viaduct which along with the old railway enabled mines further up in the pennines to deliver ore to Newcastle and carlisle until it was shut down in 1976, the viaduct is spectacular with beautiful views over the valley as you pass above .
Not long after this I meet Pat and her two dogs going in the direction of the viaduct. after lunch we meet again and walk together to Haltwhistle the center of Great Britain (see pic)(tho some might argue that) I must thank Pat here as she offered a cup of tea, if we had time, after a trip for provisions. Sadly time forced us to push on to twice brewed to set up camp at Windhield campsite near Hadrians wall.

Dufton to Alston 19/5th

Once again today we dodge the pennine way route and save a few miles of walking and ascent , a valley walk through Knock , Milburn and Kirkland past the seemingly none existant "hanging walls of mark Anthony" and up the fell following the Roman road the maiden way don't think the Romans would be too impressed by the state of it seems to have been used as a mining track most recently with a small gauge rail track now rusting away (pic to follow).
after the end of the three kilometer ascent to 1800 feet and Megs cairn on the shoulder of Melmerby Fell, we are just below the clouds with a cool windy descent over moor land to the Alston road where dodging cars for a few miles we take the longer but safer B road to Alston. ( pic of Alston cross and church)
After setting up the tent at the local site we go for dinner at the Cumberland pub for dinner along with two ladies Lynda and Karen who are walking the pennine way (pic to follow) and also camping at the same site.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Kirkby Stephen to Dufton 18/5

My original idea was to regain energy on rest days but after mondays horizontal day with book I was unable to sleep properly! Come morning I was shattered, walked into town got provisions and stumbled on my way had to have my first rest after one hour!
Still the weather was beautiful and going along the Eden Valley was easy enough.
My route has changed from plan to miss Appleby and head to Coupland where I bought new boots at the Penrith outdoor and survival center ( see pic) the old ones heels had worn badly and were causing knee and ligament pain, sad to just bin the old ones but I'm sure not carrying them too!
Just before the boot stop we stopped at a little chef for the Knicker bocker glory of the previous blog!.
The route change sent us through some pretty almost park land with stunning views of the snow capped cross fell with woodland and a carpet of blue bells just in full bloom.
Further on followed a track into Dufton via Dufton gill wood very pretty with the low sun making the fresh spring leaves glow while glinting off of the stream.
With the tent up (with the help of a little lad named Andrew who must have been really short of things to do!) we went to the Stag(ger(I know its a bad pun ok!)) Inn where during dinner lejogers Peter and Chris walked in (last seen in Launceston) sadly I was too tired to hang around for much of chat and hope to see them tomorrow in Alston. Funny how you meet up with people who take very different routes.

Kirkby Stephen to Dufton 18/5

My original idea was to regain energy on rest days but after mondays horizontal day with book I was unable to sleep properly! Come morning I was shattered, walked into town got provisions and stumbled on my way had to have my first rest after one hour!
Still the weather was beautiful and going along the Eden Valley was easy enough.
My route has changed from plan to miss Appleby and head to Coupland where I bought new boots at the Penrith outdoor and survival center ( see pic) the old ones heels had worn badly and were causing knee and ligament pain, sad to just bin the old ones but I'm sure not carrying them too!
Just before the boot stop we stopped at a little chef for the Knicker bocker glory of the previous blog!.
The route change sent us through some pretty almost park land with stunning views of the snow capped cross fell with woodland and a carpet of blue bells just in full bloom.
Further on followed a track into Dufton via Dufton gill wood very pretty with the low sun making the fresh spring leaves glow while glinting off of the stream.
With the tent up (with the help of a little lad named Andrew who must have been really short of things to do!) we went to the Stag(ger(I know its a bad pun ok!)) Inn where during dinner lejogers Peter and Chris walked in (last seen in Launceston) sadly I was too tired to hang around for much of chat and hope to see them tomorrow in Alston. Funny how you meet up with people who take very different routes.

Mini blog. For family

For this one I didn't need extra cusions!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Garsdale head to Kirkby Stephen

After the luxuries of my B&B stop and a great full English breakfast we had the additional luxury of a short 10 mile down hill route to kirkby Stephen , starting off staying on the road we made good time following the railway and crossing over a few times then diverting from the easier road to avoid a cycle road race we followed a path promising two castles enroute the first Pendragon castle I think would have disappointed its name sake as it is far from in its days of glory! But still worth a visit with more time to stop, the second (see pic) Lammerside castle seems to be abandoned with more sheep (sorry lamb pun) visiting than people.
From here it was a simple stroll past Wharton hall (also half ruined!) Into our campsite and an early finish with a day off on Monday to follow.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Horton to Garsdale head 15 th May

After having fallen asleep to a noisy bustling campsite the noise started again at 5.30am now I'm an early riser but this commotion meant something big was about to happen, looking out the tent the half full site of last night was packed, with no spare room anywhere , the penny dropped as hoards of walkers streamed by the site to Pen y Ghent a peak towering over us to the east, we were in the midst of a three peaks challenge ! As we headed off, the flow of walkers still hadn't diminished and coaches were bringing more folk in, feel sorry for the locals if this is a regular Saturday ! 
Our path lay north so we didn't see the flood of walkers for a while.
As we had left about the same time and as the Ribble and Pennine ways shared the same path we walked out of the village with Steve the Aussie lejoger ,2 kilometers out of town we parted company and Alfie and I had the valley side walk to ourselves (and the sheep) the path wobbled up and down to gearstones outdoors center (named after a rock formation nearby) at this point I really regretted missing a fryup at the Horton cafe as my energy levels plummeted , thank god I bought a pack of jelly babies to munch on! Up over gale moor and down into the next valley we were treated to stunning views of the railway with huge viaducts spanning the undulating hillside (pic to follow).
We made the right decision to go into the valley as at the bottom the Sportsman pub was open for lunch! Another lovely person , the landlady, donated 10 pounds (thankyou) .
Now with every down comes an up and the road out of the valley was STEEP! 4 miles of steep gradients up and down and we reached garsdale head and the moorcock pub , sitting next to the pub was a B&B with vacancies......say no more but the shower was great and the bed soft (eh Alfie!)

Friday, 14 May 2010

near Holton West to Horton in Ribblesdale

After a successful wild camp ( ie the farmer didn't find us! ) we headed for our first section of the Ribble way a pleasingly flat ten miles along the river valley the trail takes its name from quite uneventful , we then reached Settle for a rations restock where as we packed the rucksack an anonymous lady donated 10 pounds to the charity!
Then into the talbot inn for a pint and a jacket spud for lunch.
With cracking views of the local fells we arrived early at our campsite and to reach our official half way point !
On arrival at my favourite eccentric campsite we are invited into the reception marquee, and given a fine single malt whisky and offer of soup.....very nice too! Also in the marquee was another lejoger named Steve this one from Australia ( see pic ) another friend for Alfie :) 

Ponden to near Halton West

After a night kept awake by the freezing temperature we had the additional pleasure of the only other camper on site insisting on coming over to chat in just his underwear.........thanks......
After a hasty exit, we headed up onto Icornshaw moor in quite sunny conditions that we both seemed to tired to appreciate, a long slog on b roads to Earby for food and we headed out to West Marton where a little tea shop ( shock not beer! ) fullfilled a growing need for a good cuppa, another donation wad received here, thanks Margret and Ruth.
Finally the route took us through poorly way marked but picturesque rolling farmland to our wild camp for the night.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

white house Inn to Ponden

After a breezey night next to the Inn we walked in a northerly direction past three reservoir presumably for the Rotherham area which had been casting a sodium glare over the tent all night, why do we need so many lights at three in the morning? Grr!.
The path curved eastwards passed the stoodley pike monument to head downhill into the verticle town of Hebden Bridge built on the nearly sheer sides of the Calder valley, I wasn't aware as I descended that this place is the Glastonbury of the north! Tho with a far more sensible and less trashy northern approach (Nora Batty may have approved!).
the path north out of town led through a place called Midgehole which happily didn't live up too its name, along the crimson dean valley we met Dan who had started his own lejog almost 24 years earlier than our start and was still easily keeping pace with us! , we parted company near Drop farm and within half a mile our path disapeared and we were officially lost, our path turned up about a quarter mile east of where we wanted it ! But at least the upside of getting lost was we turned up at the Silent Inn just as they started to serve an early bird menu, very much recommend this place all oak beams and dog friendly to boot!.
This is being typed in the pub so our next stop at ponden house campsite is still ahead......hope its not closed down!

Crowden to The White House Inn 11,5th

An eventful day kicked off at 8.45 with the pretty walk up hill under laddaw rocks to the path up to the top of Black hill. at the top the view was the best I've had from this point on any of my earlier walks a good ten miles and perhaps as far as Newcastle, the descent was painful for darrell as he seems to have jarred his knees badly obviously slowed by this when we descended into Marsden he made the brave decision to catch a train home rather than push on and slow our progress, don't know if I could have made such s tough decision , cheers mate!.
Now on our own Alfie and I headed uphill to Denshaw moor and rejoined the pennine way to pass over the M62 JP to the top of blackstone edge, passed the Aiggin stone ( a medieval sign post! ) and down to the White house Inn sadly another dog unfriendly pub so we set up camp nearby and supplied our own dinner pilau rice and ham ......yummy......

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Edale to Crowden 10th of may (sis)

Todays route is one I don't need the maps for. its day one of the pennine way , a route I've walked twice now  a grand and still quite challenging walk, but now I have company my old mate of 29 years darrell, daz, monkey (he has many names!) Has joined the walk for a week and is trying out his new marquee oops sorry Tarp ! To sleep under, think we prefere the tent!.
Anyway back to the walk a brisk gentle climb out of Edale takes us to the foot of Jacobs ladder on a cold morning and the steep climb up to Kinder scout's top with threatening clouds around us.... the threat didn't last long as it became a full scale snow storm ! With temperatures dropping to -7 degrees celcius and a strong winds blowing in from the northeast we flew around the top of the plateau past the wind blasted granite formations and down then up to Mill hill to head into the storm towards snake pass and then as we ascended Bleaklow head the snow stopped and we found a dry peat hag to sit against for lunch, topping the hill we took the old western route from the summit to curve around the precipitous Clough edge and down to the Crowden campsite for the night.

Coopers cafe

Another thankyou blog to Coopers cafe at Edale who gave me free rolls when they were told what we're up to, the cafes under new management and best of luck to them and again thanks!

Hello chicken!

Just a quick thankyou blog for Natalie , Jocelyn,Peter and Gareth who I met at the Nags Head and had a very silly afternoon with, thanks for the drinks peeps.
Some more people I class as lovely!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bushy heath to Edale

A short day today just 7 miles of walking to join up with the start of the pennine way which we will be using and abusing as suites us for the next 12 days cutting out unneeded sections and adding bits as suits us.
But today was a simple hike to castleton via the impressive gorge passed the ruined castle into the town for a good fryup and to restock Alfie's food for the next three days ( seems to like bakers complete ! ).
Headed out of town and over the hills via hollins cross in cold wind with grey skies and threats of rain, entering Edale the skys were black with the threat but held off till they'd left the valley (unlike last night when the tent had been put thru its paces (unintentional pun)).
Now warm and snug in the nags head pub , with food to order and all rest day chores done, may go for a relaxing walk tomorrow .............right !

Alstonefield to Bushyheath farm

The start for today was a brisk walk down a short lane followed by an abrupt and steep descent into Wolfscote dale and Biggin dale not as impressive as dovedale but very pleasing to pass thru, onto heathcote where I had a brief chat with some locals about geese and moorhens in a protected pond which they fed regularly.
Hopping down an embankment we walked along a converted railway track in freezing north easterly winds to the cafe adjacent to the road to Monyash mid Bacon roll we met Steve Clifford of end to end in 2010 fame (pic to follow) nice chap hope to meet up again!
Bit of road walking which I seem to like these days ?!!! To monyash then overlooking Taddington we descended sharply into Millers dale and just as sharply back out the other side! Now enjoying some sunshine we walked pleasant lanes and cross country to tideswell for a provisions stop and then up hill to our campsite at Bushyheath farm, all alone on this windy night but a very pleasing site with very green credentials.

Doveridge to Alstonefield

After leaving the campsite without paying ! No one there not our problem really.... we had a mornings walk very much looking to the horizon , with initial scenery quite normal to home we kept our beadey eyes on the hills ahead and the peak district , passing Rocester we picked up the route of the Limestone way and followed paths and roads to Thorpe and the start of Dovedale having not walked Thu here before I was impressed by the dramatic changes of view along the dale from charming river views to impressive caves at Dove holes (pic), too soon we reached Milldale and followed a steep road to Alstonefield settling into our campsite modestly priced at 4 pounds with reasonable facilities , we headed for dinner to the George Inn , very cosy and friendy to dogs and all. dinner was expensive but excellent duck shared with Alfie !

Cannock Chase to Doveridge

After a comfy night spent on the Chase where the rabbits had done a wonderful job of keeping a soft base for the tent ! We walked the forestry paths to Rugeley, for a cracking full English breakfast and to pick up more supplies, friendly folk in town very accepting of this smelly pair of wanderers, after we said what we were up too!.
Headed thru Colton and the unsignposted Stockwell Heath to stumble thru cattle fields fast becoming my worst underfoot surface! Better footing took us over the Blithfield reservoir dam to be assailed by a blizzard of mosquitos, I've never seen so many had to cover my mouth to prevent overdosing on protein and who knows what else!.
Into Abbots Bromley and dinner at the Baggot pub great place nice cheap food and entertainment from two locals ( mark and len) both pensioners who'd known each other for 20 years and had yet to settle their political differences, one Tory one labour but great friends despite the antagonism they relished !.
Some standard and uneventful walking thru fields bought us to Uttoxeter and a supply stop at Tesco only to find our path out of town obstructed by the industrial estate the path appeared to go through, a little imaginative trail blazing (ahem!) saw us taking a path over a much underused but pretty little suspension bridge into Doveridge and our abandoned campsite.....
For once Alfie's charms failed to get us both entry into the Cavendish pub so a quick pint and back to the tent to sleep.

Wombourne to Cannock Chase

The last section of canal walking today so farewell to level walking!
The route through wolverhampton i'd anticipated as being very industrial and to my great satisfaction it was'nt, other than the bridges overhead being busy with traffic and some major railway bridges with some great graffiti (pic to follow) you wouldn't have known you were in a major city! Well done to the local council for keeping it clean! .
Coming into the small canal intersection (?) Of cross green we met Adrian and sue who donated to our charity and also offered a place to stay near hebdon bridge , sadly a mid day point for us.
At Calf heath we an old chap looking to see the state of the local rabbits, plans for dinner I think !
Roads saw us to Huntington where I finally got my first stamp for the transit verification form the end to end club issue!.
Into the woods of the Chase we headed and made our first major mistake en route by simply turning right as the path hit the road than seeing that the route was right at a road junction slightly to our left ! Nearly a kilometer later as we saw a town ahead rather than the anticipated pub re routing was inorder (after a little swearing!) . A zigzaging route through more woodland took us to the pub and a major dissapointment as the pub was now a Baptist bible college ..... I had to walk right around the building before I could fully believe it! Baptists in a pub whatever next!
Thankfully we had enough food so pitched tent at our planned spot and slipped into sleep.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Bewdley to Wombourne

After a lovely 2 days off with Ruth  (sporty forties) and a fortifing fried breakfast we left our little bit of heaven and walked down into a quiet bank holiday Bewdley and once more onto the Severn way for the last time,

some lovely graffiti under a bridge on the severn
 quickly finishing this stretch we headed into Eymore wood and picked up the Worcester way through some hilly farm land to drakelow and then up onto Kinver edge, good views to left and right with plenty of dogs for the rejuvenated alfie to have a go at ....! A good viewpoint at the end of the edge over Kinver and down we went to look at St Austins rock this turned out to be St Austins rock houses all cut into the sandstone rock in true troglodyte fashion.
St Austins Rock houses and gardens

Walked into Kinver and food bought for a quick picnic on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. pleasant plod along here with heron robins and a multitude of unidentified birds and the now normal odour of wild garlic coming into flower ,past Stourton we passed what is called on my map "Devils den" sadly unenlightened as to quite what this is other than seeing a door set into a cliff face at canal water level ......?.
Stopped for a drink at the pub at greensforge ,we had been passed by a family of cyclists with 2 more border terriers earlier  and met them again here where they ( the Mc Arthies) very kindly donated 20 pounds to the charity.

A push along the canal and we reached our Target wild camp for the night where the new tent was erected thanks to Ruth for sorting out our new tent! Which if JP of lejogplod ever see's it will find very familiar minus the cow hoof prints tho eh JP !     

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Worcester to Bewdley

Today was a great day, at the start all of yesterdays problems were behind us (sorry!) And as the sun shone down we headed into Worcester, we lost our way slightly navigating the docks but as it had all been modernised sympathetically it was a pleasant maze to fathom.

Stopping near the catherdral a cappuccino and baguette was purchased at a posh cafe where I mentioned what we were doing (to explain our less than normal appearance) to a waitress who explained that she had just completed the Three peaks challenge of snowden,Ben Nevis and Scafell pike , she seemed impressed that I mentioned that I thought it was beyond my capability, nice to leave a smile on a strangers face !.
Back on the banks of the river we left Worcester behind on what is my favourite part of the Severn way I'm sure the sunshine had a lot to do with it but the whole section was untainted by constructions and even had a field set aside as a retreat for contemplation and rest , following this we walked through the grounds of the Camp house pub with its collection of chickens of various breeds and peacocks and peahens, a most charmingly eclectic pub which if I had known of its existence I would have enjoyed stopping at !

Further on we past an archeological survey taking place on an island in the middle of the river, other advocates of time team would've also recognized a geo phys survey. sadly didn't find out what they were looking for as the survey was at too early a stage.
Away from the river at Grimley and cross country for refreshment at the Holt Fleet pub, the river here and for sometime onwards has cute little wooden homes/shacks which I found charming in an isolated way, the path enters Stourport through more dockyards and small fairground.

Our way headed out of town towards Ribbesford woods where we met two fellow  lejogers this time cyclists Paul and Dan nice to add a pair of new faces to the nutters gallery.

The path into the woods had been obliterated by a motorcross course luckily shut down for the day, then on into the woods over steep hill and finally to Hoppleys campsite for a two day stop to meet up with Ruth my better half.
Back on the blog Monday.

Wainlode hill to worcestor

A nice early 7.30 start and we were away before the lads from London stired, would have been nice to say farewell as they were a great bunch of lads.
We kept to the Severn way on the east bank,(tho my map shows it on the west?)  Had breakfast of a pastie from my pack and plodded through the fields to tewksbury, pretty town worth another visit one day , had a great value/quality all day breakfast at a cafe where we were both allowed in, nice to eat without worrying about alfie.

 The route out of town took us past st johns castle tho we were to busy clambering over the small landslide on the path to notice it!
The way threaded through thick grass with clouds of mozzies at every step as we reached the M50 things went wrong, either the breakfast or the pastie was to blame but drastic action was required.

M50 another under bridge view!
As things continued to grumble away we hit a section of path zigzaging through a farm and sand/gravel pit which in my state was confusing and irritating to say the least and as the rain also started to fall we hit the A38 at Severn stoke all the way to our campsite on the ringroad of worcester.   
Still after a day such as it was we had completed our 20 miles planned and continued to keep to plan, seems to take a lot to stop us in our tracks.