Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Down into the Quantocks, and a wonderful place!

We left Burnham-On-Sea on Tuesday morning shortly after 9 a.m., after a pleasant overnight stop at The Royal Clarence Hotel.
Not the greatest place, but it was ok.
We walked along the front, not sea front - it's an estuary, as I kept pointing out to a Swedish chap who said the sea in England was muddy!, then out of town to plod the 9 miles or so along the A38 to Bridgewater. Passing through Highbridge, then Huntspill, a nice path to keep away from the traffic was a bonus!

Passing over the River Parrett as it wends it's way through Somerset's gentle hills, with glimpses of morning sunshine bringing optimism for a day of warmth and dryness.

After a lengthy plod through the streets of Bridgewater, it was outy onto quiet lanes, and gentle climbing over the rolling hills of The Quantocks. Sadly, the hedgerows were high, the clouds got lower, and very little appeared in my eyeline that seemed worth photographing - unless you like 6 foot high stinging nettles...

The skies became darker, and a little drizzle began to fall, but strolling down a hill from Spaxton I caught sight of Hawkridge Reservoir.

A shame the sun was hiding, but a pleasant sight all the same.
Turning Westwards again, a few more gentle hills to go over, and around 5.30 we duly plodded into the splendid little village of Bishops Lydeard.
Long ago I had been told that village was very nice, so no hesitation in booking Pound Farm bnb for an overnight stop.

A fantastic welcome from Katie Hawthorne, with tea and home made coffee cake in the very comfortable and peaceful lounge. Her and hubby James run a very nice place indeed, as well as a livery farm and 300 head of sheep - Katie very kindly found me some fresh wool for my feet!
The rooms are superb, the beds very comfortable, the breakfast is as superb as Katie's cake, and all in all Pound Farm shoots right up there to joint leadership on my "Best places to stay" league.
James and Katie are a very nice couple, themselves completing the London Marathon together 3 years ago, and James going on to climb Kilimanjaro no less!!  Very charitable minded, Katie generously gave me a very nice donation to the charity fund, as well as more wonderful cake, just as we left this morning.
Thank you Katie and James, I will thoroughly recommend Pound Farm to all!!
The pub in the village, The Bird In Hand
was also very good, with two more donations from very friendly locals. They also provided detailed directions to Liz for today's plod, which is always very useful and helpful, while I was having a fascinating chat with a Russian lady whose Golden Retriever was called Stanley. Stanley is such a wonderful friendly dog, and he is rather partial to a Guiness, and he did not spill a drop. A very entertaining and pleasant evening in Bishops Lydeard.
Today was a very straightforward plod of 16 miles down quiet lanes to Whitnage, and I do apologise for no photos from today - we seemed to both be in a hurry to get to our destination to watch Andy Murray in his Wimbledon quarter final!
Alec Hawkes  03.07.13  on the plod in Devon.

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