The other side of the Gorge

At the weekend we went for a walk around Leigh Woods. I went to Leigh Woods once, about twenty years ago, but have not been there since then. This I find quite surprising, as I do live in the area, and go regularly to Ashton Court, the Downs, which are all roughly in the same area.

Leigh Woods is quite small, a 2-square-kilometre (0.77 sq mi) area of woodland on the south-west side of the Avon Gorge, close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. 

We parked the car and looked at the map and thought about which route to take. We walked through the woods and down to the Avon Gorge.

There were a couple of streams which feed into the River Avon.

With some modifications to stop flooding of the paths I assume.

We went under the viaduct on the Bristol Portishead railway line.

As it was Saturday and only carries freight now and then, we didn’t see any trains.

We then walked along the Avon Trail in the Gorge. It was really nice to see the Gorge from the other side of the river.  

Generally I either see the Gorge from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, on the Portway or from the Downs.

We walked along the River Avon Trail and then as we reached the Clifton Suspension Bridge we took a right back into Leigh Woods.

We passed some grazing cows which looked out of place on what was quite a steep rocky footpath. Once back at the top we walked back to the car. It was a little further than we planned but was a lovely walk.

Cost of railway station parking

Can’t quite believe that the cost of parking at Weston-super-Mare station is rising from £2.50 a day to £6.00 a day from the 17th May.

WSM Railway Station cost of parking

That’s not quite an inflationary increase is it?

So there I was thinking that the was an increase effort to get people to use trains, this is a bit of a disincentive.

Even at Worle Station it’s rising from £2 a day now to £3.

Guess who will be walking to the station now….

Walking along Sand Bay

After a lovely sunny day and having spent most of it sitting in front of a computer I decided to go for an evening walk. First instinct was the seafront, but in the end drove over to Sand Bay. We parked at the bus stop car park, though I think it has a proper name. We walked towards Sand Point.

The sun was setting, but it was still very light.

We passed the world war two era bunker which is slipping into the sand.

We walked all the way to Sand Point.

We then walked along the bottom of Sand Point, something I haven’t done before. We reached the mud, so turned back.

It was a lovely evening walk.

Back along walking down the seafront

Living in Weston-super-Mare and not being allowed to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, we often make use of the seafront for our allowed exercise. It’s not as though we never walked there before, but now with limited choices, and only so many times you can walk around the area where we live, it’s nice to pop to the seafront. Its a short drive to the seafront from where we love and it was easy to park close to the seafront. This time we parked at Knightstone Island and popped some money in the meter.

I think for me one of the big changes over the last twelve months in the various lockdowns is how little I use cash now. Before the pandemic I would use cash for the parking at the station (though to be honest more often than not I would use phone parking). I would use cash for buying coffee or snacks. I would even use cash for larger purchases. However with the pandemic my use of cash declined dramatically as mainly I did less, bought less and moved much more to contactless payment.

It was a beautifully clear day, the sun was shining, and it wasn’t too cold. The tide was well in and even the ferry moored at the side of Knightstone Island was floating, something I don’t think I have ever seen happen before.

Generally we don’t see the sea, as the tidal range in Weston is so huge that for most of the day the sea is some distance away. Today as we walked along the seafront, it was high tide.

We walked all the way along the seafront to the old hospital and back again. When we turned back we had in the wind in our faces and it was hard going walking back and felt much much colder.

But soon we got back to the car and headed home for a coffee.

Sand Bay

A regular haunt of ours for a Sunday stroll is Sand Bay. I was surprised to find  this week that there was a bundle of new double yellow lines so we couldn’t park on the street. The first car park was full, but we managed to find a space in the other one. These car parks use to be free to use, but are now pay and display. Not too bad in some respects as it was £1 for two hours. So I say regular, but it had been June the last time we had been there! 

Though it was cold, it was still nice enough for a walk along the beach.

The tide was out and it was actually quite challenging to see where the sea was.

I think next time (with the right footwear) we might walk along Sand Point. The last time we did that was in 2016!

Lovely Lynmouth

I didn’t think it had been that long since I last visited Lynmouth, as we walked around the town, but checking my photographs (which is always a good indicator of when things happened for me) I realised that the last time we had visited Lynmouth was in 2011. Was it really nine years ago we had driven along the A39 along the coast to this pretty North Devon town? I felt we had been there more recently.

So it was a sunny Sunday in September when we thought it would be nice to visit Lynton and Lynmouth again. Once we were all ready we set off, Waze gave us directions via Tiverton and then up the A361, which in theory, though longer in distance, would be quicker than travelling along the A39. I am not quite sure it was. However I thought I would give this route a chance and it would be different. If we didn’t like it, I would drive back along the A39 past Minehead (which in the end is exactly what we did do). Driving this route I was reminded of our journey home once from the Barnstaple area many years ago where we got delayed by some trucks loaded with the huge blades of a wind turbine. The turbines always look small, but that’s because they are far away. Driving next to one reminds you how big these things are.

It wasn’t too long before we were directed by Waze off the A361 and onto the A399 and we headed towards Lynmouth.

What was nice, was as we passed Woody Bay Station we saw the Lynton & Barnstaple steam train. I had read about how the heritage railway now had a replica of the trains that use to run there in the 1920s before it closed and along with original coaches, looked very much the way it did when it was operating as a commercial railway. I would certainly like to visit there again in the future. Though we hadn’t been to Lynmouth since 2011, we had been to Woody Bay in 2014, but even that doesn’t feel like six years ago!

The road into Lynmouth is quite steep and narrow, but with care we got through the traffic and parked cars. Arriving at around lunchtime it was a little challenging to find somewhere to park, as the car park was not only quite full, but our car is quite big and the spaces didn’t seem big enough. We eventually found a space right at the end of the car park (typical).

You could tell how thing have changed since we last came, as I paid for our parking using an app on the phone! We grabbed our packed lunch and headed to the beach. Continue reading “Lovely Lynmouth”

The Low Lighthouse

It’s been a while since I last went to Burnham-on-Sea. We walked along the seafront before walking on the beach itself towards the Low Lighthouse.

Burnham-on-Sea was busier than I thought it might be, but the weather was lovely for September.

We walked along the seafront, past the short pier, it’s so short!

Having reached the end of the promenade we walked down onto the beach and started walking on the sand. On the beach we could see the Low Lighthouse. The Low Lighthouse is one of three lighthouses in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England and the only one which is still active. It is a Grade II listed building and stands on the foreshore.

First lit in 1832, the Low Lighthouse was run in conjunction with the onshore High Lighthouse for then next 137 years. Following improvements to the High Light, the Low Light was then deactivated in 1969; but it was then re-established in 1993 (when the High Lighthouse lights were permanently discontinued). The Low Lighthouse has long been known as ‘the Lighthouse on Legs’.

It was a lovely walk, in the sun and on the beach. In the end we had to turn around and walk back otherwise we would run out of time on our parking.

Walking along Brean Down

The last time I had been down to Brean was literally the day before lockdown. We had gone for a walk along the beach and were maintaining our distance from people, but from the news it was apparent that this wasn’t the case on Weston beach.

During lockdown, during our government sanctioned exercise we would cycle down to the beach at Weston and we could see Brean Down in the distance. At the end of May I cycled to Brean, passing The Great Bird Screen of Brean, but didn’t cycle as far as Brean Down.

So as it was a sunny, but windy, day we drove down to Brean to walk along Brean Down. We parked the car in the National Trust car park, and did think that at £5 for the day it was a bit expensive, maybe a reason to become a National Trust member again.

We walked up the steps, which was hard work, I should try and get fitter I think.

On the beach someone was doing some art, a star of somekind we thought. You could only really see it from the top of Brean Down.

It was quite busy, even though it was mid-afternoon and the car parks were quite full.

The tide was out and going out.

As we got to the headland we could see the old fort. Brean Down Fort was constructed in the 1860s as one of the Palmerston Forts to provide protection to the ports of the Bristol Channel, and was decommissioned in 1901. During World War II it was rearmed and used for experimental weapons testing.

The walk was really nice.