Hi all, here we are again – Friday!

This week, I didn’t have the opportunity to think in advance about where I would go today. Other things got in the way:

  • Bailey needed to be delivered to the vets for his surgery first thing this morning, leaving Harvey on his own. Last time Harv was left without Bailey, we were only gone for about 30 minutes, but as we drove back up the road to the house, we could hear him howling for his pal
  • I needed to get some attention for my hip, so had a doctor’s appointment booked for directly after droppping Bailey off
  • I was a bit late getting home from London last night, so I hadn’t had chance to send some documents over to a colleague who was waiting for them

When these 3 things had been sorted, I mulled it over – where to go? I had to be back to pick up Bailey. I couldn’t leave Harvey. There was no snow, unlike the rest of the country, but it was freezing in the wind. And my hip was aching. Plenty of excuses to stay home,  sit in front of the log fire and watch a film – or two.

Don’t be a wimp! I told myself.

harvey-in-car
Harvey has the car to himself for once

So I chose a place not too far away where I could safely take Harvey (I’d got the big car today to get Bailey to the vet, so could easily transport him).

The other half had suggested this place, as he could see it from the golf course. We’d never been there. The walk was about 3 miles in total, so enough to stretch out my hip, but not enough to make my leg drop off….

And it was National Trust – again!

Ok, decision made. I’d walk to Woodspring Priory.

I needed to equip myself for the cold. I dug out and filled an old flask with coffee, put on my thick, furry coat and woolly hat, grabbed the lovely new gloves my friend gave me for my birthday and headed for the door.

Harvey was delighted to be going outside – again! He recognised the word ‘walk’, saw me getting his lead and putting some doggie bags in my pocket. He ran up and down the steps as I was locking the front door, and I had to stop him trying to jump into the car before I’d opened the boot!

Which route?

I’d seen a sign pointing to Woodspring Priory next to the Old Manor pub on the border between Worle and Kewstoke. On the map, it showed a lane about 2 miles long leading to the priory. I turned down the lane to have a look, but I was a bit doubtful that there would be much to see. And it wouldn’t be entirely safe for Harv. There was no walkable path, so I turned round and we headed off to Sand Bay.

For those of you that don’t know the area, Sand Bay is a lovely wide sandy beach, with a beach road a couple of miles along its length, leading past a Pontins, and narrowing to a single track as it passes a caravan site to finish at Sand Point.

Last time the better half and I drove to Sand Point, we politely moved as far in to the left as possible to allow a car to pass, and, as a result, hit a huge pothole. There was a loud bang and a stream of unrepeatable words from the person in the driving seat! Luckily, there was no damage. Today, I was in the same car – and the potholes were full of water, so impossible to judge depth or size. Luckily, there was no traffic about, so we avoided them and arrived at the car park unscathed.

sand-point-map

We’d normally walk up the hill to the left and along Swallow Cliff to Sand Point. When I say ‘normally’, I mean maybe once every couple of years! sand-point-sign

Remember the Eclipse?

In August 1999, there was a total eclipse of the sun over Cornwall. My brother lives there, and had been offered huge sums of money to hire out his cottage for the week. Anyway, we knew that we’d see a near-total eclipse from here in Somerset, so we packed a picnic and walked along the cliff to Sand Point with our friends and all the children, to try and see as much of it as we could.It went quite cold and fairly dark, and all the birds stopped singing. We saw the shadow of the eclipse come towards us across the Bristol channel. It was quite memorable.

Today, we were intending to walk in the opposite direction, via what was labelled Middle Hope on the map.

middle-hope We found the path and we started walking. Well, when I say ‘we’…. Harvey ran up and down, and round in circles like a 10-year-old puppy. Hurry up, mum!!

All I can say is, good job I remembered the doggy bags……..

We arrived at a set of steps leading up the hill. Harvey was halfway up by the time I got there. Guessing that this was the footpath, I started my ascent. It was muddy, slippery and steep. Harv kept running up and down, urging me to hurry up.

Dunno about Middle Hope – it was more like Fat Chance!

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Finally we reached the top, opened the gate and negotiated some stones put there to avoid wet feet from the deep puddle in front of us.When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘me’ – Harv just sploshed through regardless!

Blown away

We must have been very sheltered up to now. A couple of steps up the hill and I was nearly blown over! And it was freezing. My face was numb within 30 seconds…..

Harvey didn’t seem to mind. He was behaving quite differently without Bailey. He’s normally a bit of a Scaredy Dog, following Bailey’s lead and running away if something startles him. Today, he was ………well, an average dog! Sniffing, greeting other dogs when we met them, doing as he was told, etc, etc.

We walked up and over the hill, and could see the priory in the distance. The views were great.

cardiff-in-the-sun
Cardiff across the Bristol Channel
view-from-middle-hope
Sand Bay from Middle Hope, with Brean Down in the far distance

 

 

I looked across the reens that created a grid across the fields. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, the monks at Woodspring Priory in the 14th century drained this part of the levels, and created the reens. I’m not sure if this is how you spell ‘reens’ – meaning the irrigation channels across and around fields in Somerset – but the spellchecker gives me only teens, greens or preens!

Worlebury golf course is along the top of the hill in the distance – a good couple of miles away .

worlebury-across-the-reens
Worlebury and reens

text-to-john

Remembering that it was the old fella’s suggestion to walk to Woodspring Priory, and that he was probably on the 10th hole by now, I texted him. Blame my bad typing on the windy conditions – seems like he did!

And another thing – his eyesight must be amazing!

Woodspring Priory

We found the priory – well, when I say ‘we’….. Harv was not really showing much interest!

harv-at-the-priory
I’m sure I smelt rabbit!

Unfortunately, the priory was surrounded by private land so we couldn’t get close. Maybe it’s get-at-able from the other route. Still, it was a good excuse for a walk.

woodspring-priory

We walked back over the hills, negotiated the mud and slithered back down the steps, stopping on the way for a coffee, and pulling the tatty old flask to bits in the process.

Well, when I say ‘we’, I mean ‘me; the last thing Mr ‘I’m still a puppy’ Harvey needs is caffeine! And 4 legs are much better than 2 in the mud-slithering stakes. But hopefully, the extra walk has taken his mind off missing his best buddy.

And finally………….

Here are my Fitbit steps for the walk.

fitbit-13-jan

 

Thanks for reading – I hope it made you smile. Please leave me any comments here.

See you next week. Where shall we go?