Back On The Chain Gang

LETJOG – Day 14: Monday 31 May – BRISTOL to WOTTON-UNDER-EDGE (23 miles)

Up early, and goodbyes all round, for the train from Cardiff back to Bristol: feeling really good today, suitably rested, and raring to go! Some of the ‘End to End’ (aka Land’s End to John O’Groats) routes include parts of the beautiful Welsh Border Country, leading walkers over one of the Severn Bridges (which must be quite an experience in itself), and up the first half of the Offa’s Dyke Path to Knighton. I’ve done this long-distance walk – it’s wonderful and comes highly recommended! But my involvement in Wales this time around has been limited to just the 36 hours, or so, socialising with family in Cardiff, and my walk today re-commenced from Bristol Temple Meads Station in the city centre.

In the cool of the morning, and being Bank Holiday, the Bristol streets were very quiet. The shuttered shops and litter-strewn parts of Newtown, Easton and Eastville that I passed through had a feeling somewhere between ‘morning after’ and post-apocalypse, and it was strange indeed to experience a city so quiet that I couldn’t even find a mid-morning cup of coffee! But what alternative gems the city had in store! I’ve come to know Bristol, both socially and professionally, quite well over the years, but I had never before been aware of the wonders of Eastville Park and the Frome Valley, that, today, led me northwards out of the urban area and under the M4.

This place, believe it or not, is in the Broomhill area of Bristol . . .
. . . and this picture, of the River Frome, is actually taken, looking northwards, from under the bridge deck of the M4 – a stretch of motorway I have driven along literally hundreds of times, never knowing of the beauty beneath!

North of the motorway, most of the remainder of today’s walk traversed some very pleasant undulating farmland, on tracks between rich hedgerows, across pastures of long grass and buttercups, and around recently ploughed fields just starting to sprout with various crops.

In mid-afternoon I met up with my old Buckhurst Hill school-friend Jeff, his wife Tina and their dog Maisie. After a much needed cold beer, together Jeff and I completed the last five miles of today’s walk, before we all met up again for dinner at my destination, The Swan Hotel at Wotton-Under-Edge. A great way indeed to complete a super day, in such wonderful company, as ever – it was great to see you both, and thank you so much for including me, and this lovely part of LETJOG, in your bank holiday break!

Meeting up with Jeff, in Wickwar
Dinner, with Jeff and Tina, in Wotton-Under-Edge

Being a Bank Holiday, no breweries were open as I passed through Bristol early this morning, but I did manage this shot just outside of Cardiff Central Station . . .

. . . in front of Brain’s Brewery tower!

3 thoughts on “Back On The Chain Gang

  1. Really terrific to catch up with you yesterday Nick and be a small part of the legendary LETJOG journey! Jeff and Tina

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  2. What a great day that was for you Nick. I’m sure that beautiful picture of the river, running under the M4, should inspire a really good poem from someone. Perhaps a Japanese style one, Tim?

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