It’s been a long absence but here I am again, joining a few dots from last year.
The rather overdeveloped Marina is very quiet as I set out from my BnB without breakfast. Walking past the Co-op I vaguely wonder if I should get some provisions but decide that I am bound to find a cafe or corner shop on the way – big mistake.
From the end of the Marina I walk through residential streets up to Battery Point a local beauty spot where people go to watch ships sailing past and I just miss a photo of a huge container ship sliding its way along the coast. Turning left towards the lighthouse I come across a small concrete building with a strange Banksyesque image. I have tried to Google it with no success so is it or isn’t it? I somehow don’t think so, it’s not well drawn and I’m not sure what it’s saying.
On the other side of the building I see steam rising and wonder idly if this could mean food, as I am by now very hungry. But no, what I am faced with is a wonderful heated lido with people enjoying an early morning swim. I ask the lady at the ticket office if I can go in and take a few photos and after a short consultation I am allowed in.
Chatting with the woman from the ticket office I mention that I also live near a lido which is unfortunately not heated and it transpires that she used to live just round the corner from us and used to swim in Brockwell Lido – a small world.
There is also a Lido cafe but it doesn’t open til 9 am, a 30 minute wait. I decide to walk on despite the fact that the two locals I meet are adamant that I will not find any cafes or shops until I hit Clevedon which is a two hour walk away.
I head for the ugly lighthouse and down onto the road, passing another closed cafe.
Forcing myself to forget my hunger I plough on across a wide expanse of grass, following a path which eventually leads me to Portishead Sailing Club.
And then I give up, unlike London there are no handy corner shops and I know I cannot walk any further on an empty stomach. Cursing my lack of foresight/assumptions I walk up to the main road and catch a bus back a couple of miles to a Tescos. I am then lucky enough to get a bus back after a 10 minute wait – Take 2.
From the sailing club the path follows the coast along a narrow sandy track and then through stretches of woodland. This is pleasant.
I pass a different kind of lido.
A little later on I come to Black Nore lighthouse and later Redcliffe Bay. It is easy walking and the sun is out – I settle into an easy rhythm which allows my mind to wander.
………at one point I think my mind may be wandering too much as I catch sight of this off to the left. This concrete toadstool must have been a garden ornament for the mansion on the hill that I can just about see through the trees.
Soon I can see the delicate supports of Clevedon Pier in the distance.
I decide to go on the pier which has been described by Sir John Betjeman as “the most beautiful pier in England”. And he’s right, it is lovely.
Brass plaques adorn the weathered wooden boards, celebrating weddings, births and deaths.
There is no accessible coast path from Clevedon to Weston-Super-Mare and from reading various blogs which describe crawling through overgrown sluices and through fields of mad cattle I decide to head inland. My route is on a minor road leading south from Clevedon to a hamlet called Kingston Seymour. It’s not exciting walking especially in the heat of the early afternoon but there’s not a lot of traffic. I walk past Dowlais, Seawall and Riverside Farm without being challenged by barking dogs and take a rest at the crossroads in sleepy Kingston Seymour.
From here it is more hot tarmac and a wobbly walk over the M5 – so noisy!
until I reach Yatton.
My plan is to take the train from Yatton to Weston-Super-Mare, spend the night there and come back tomorrow. For my first walk in a year (I have been ill) I am quite pleased with myself.
Distance: 15 miles
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