Big River

LETJOG – Day 16: Wednesday 2 June – GLOUCESTER to TEWKESBURY (16 miles)

Joined now for two days by my friend Mark, we had a pleasant start to the day with a leisurely cooked breakfast at Bill’s in Gloucester Docks, awaiting the 10.00 am opening of Gloucester Brewery. Once there, we were made very welcome by Harry and Pietro, who gave us an impromptu tour of their brewhouse and of the Brewery’s expansion space, primed for imminent conversion to a bar and events space – we shall be excited to return, hopefully sometime next year, to see it up and running. Good luck guys, and many thanks for your time and hospitality!

A thank you to Harry, at Gloucester Brewery . . .
. . . and to Pietro!

A slightly shorter walking day had been in prospect today, along the Severn Way, following a section of the east bank of Great Britain’s longest river. But our walk did not start well, with three arduous attempts to reach the riverside path proving abortive due to a combination of flooding, overgrown nettle- and bramble-strewn walkways, and a collapsed concrete footbridge, all coming together to frustrate our efforts to get out of Gloucester for around an hour, and adding somewhat to our mileage and discomfort in the late morning heat and humidity. Eventually, though, we joined the path, well outside of the city, and had a fine walk for the remainder of the day along the water meadows, now mostly baked dry by the recent late spring sunshine. Arriving in Tewkesbury towards the end of the afternoon we found a tearoom for a well-deserved ‘cuppa and cake’ before checking into the Abbey Hotel.

On the Severn Way – eventually!
Looking across the river, north-westwards, towards the distant Malvern Hills
The narrow boats on the Severn move at around the same pace as a walker!

Thank you for your company for these two days, Mark – the miles fly by when in such great conversation. I guess we have broadly similar interests in such topics as business, politics, sport, music and beer, and what our conversation may lack in terms of diversity of opinion it gains from in-depth critique of these subjects, and of many, many more besides!

And so to this evening, when Mark and I were joined for a lovely outside dinner by my sister Jo, husband Max, and daughter Daisy. How super to see each other ‘for real’ after so many, many weeks and months of Zoom calls! Thank you all for making your arrangements work to coincide with my walk through this lovely area, and to Jo for supplying me with the inspirational quotes on walking (and being) ahead of each early morning of my trek!

Great to be together at last – Jo, Daisy, Max (behind the camera), myself and Mark (with the aftermath of our evening repast)

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