COLERIDGE WAY 5
It is half term and we have the Sussex grandchildren, soon to be followed by the French. As a result this week’s posting may be spasmodic. But here is one I prepared earlier. Actually we did Part 5 of the walk, the day after Part 4. We were on a roll and the beauty of walking with Son 1 is that I can switch off and leave all planning and decisions to him. Bliss! The walk was from Monksilver to Roadwater – just less than five miles and we would be entering the Exmoor National Park so our drives from home were getting shorter. We were going to park the car by the roadside, but some villagers were about to cut their hedge and asked if we would mind using the village car park which we hadn’t known existed. My son agreed, willingly and then they said to my grand-daughter they hoped he wouldn’t be cross as the car park was quite a way. I was glad I had decided to wait by the church as it was some time before he returned – not cross – just amused.
We went through Monksilver church yard up past the Old Rectory and were on the footpath. It was a muggy, overcast day and we were plagued by flies as we sweated up the hill. At the top we turned right along Bird’s Hill bridleway. After about a mile we came to the road at Colton Cross. We were told to look out for a gate which the landowner allowed you to use for access to an excellent viewpoint – somewhat hindered by the low cloud. Back on the road we continued to a bridleway sign posted Chidgley with views across the Bristol Channel to Wales There were lots of pheasants around and Son 1 told me the large blue plastic barrel was a feeder for the pheasants. We went through woodland and admired the Rowan trees ablaze with berries.
The weather brightened a little and I was touched when the children quoted their great grandma – my mother - who would always say ‘There’s enough blue sky to patch a Dutchman’s trousers!’ I wondered if they would remember me when I’m gone. Probably for the lullaby I used to sing to them.
Cowpats are free tra la, tra la,
But don’t throw one at me tra la, tra la,
Or you may get hit tra la, tra la
And they’re full of s…tra la, tra la!
We were cautioned to walk carefully down the stretch of the ’busy B road’ but we must have missed the rush hour as we saw no traffic. We were pleased to return to the track which took us past Chidgley Hill Farm. Then we headed to an old bank of beech trees and with them on our right, followed the track to Pitt Wood. Through more woodland and we were walking parallel to the Old Mineral Railway Line . The West Somerset Mineral Line was built during the 1860s to convey ore from the iron mines on the Brendon Hills to the coast at Watchet. From there it was transported to South Wales. It was abandoned at the beginning of the 20thC
We crossed over a stream and entered Erridge Wood. At the end of the wood we came to open fields and thence the road to Roadwater and our lunch destination the Valiant Soldier. Now we had completed 18.7 miles of the Coleridge Way and were just past the half way mark. My grandson had been nervously awaiting his GCSE results and I they were excellent. Well done Tom!