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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Wyke to Sherborne

Day 19. Sunday 7th June

I had a good breakfast (minus bacon) at my eccentric B and B. With a bit of prompting from me I learned that they are not farmers, there are two elderly ladies who run an animal rescue centre which relates to the veggie thing. My impression was that their enterprise takes up one hundred and one percent of their concentration and other humans are of little consequence. Anyway everything was acceptable at a modest price so I am not complaining.

It was 8:45 before I was away, and then three hundred yards up the road found I'd left my route guide and had to go back.

It has been hot and hard work and a day of contrast between appalling footpath conditions and breathtaking views.

A small ridge between Cole and Ansford looked inviting on the map. The path never went onto the ridge and I thrashed my way through chest high nettles and other revolting vegetation with my feet having to follow the ankle twisting gradients of the slope. Progress was slow.

Castle Cary was an attractive little town and immediately followed by Lodge Hill and its accompanying ridge. The views were as good as anywhere I have been - Glastonbury Tor, the huge expanse of the Somerset Levels, and I reckon distant Exmoor and possibly Dartmoor - wonderful.

Here I met an inspiring group of Bronze Duke of Edinburgh girls toiling but happy and surprisingly confident. It is a joy to see them, but I wonder why somebody doesn't show them how to pack a rucksack properly.

Quite a few crop fields followed where no proper path provision was made, and then green lanes which were literally green to chest and head height, and then more horse trodden quagmire. Despite all that it has been a good day's walking.

At one stage I was worrying, unreasonably, due to the heat I think, about how much liquid I was not carrying. I saw two guys joining my road from a footpath on the way to a hidden car park a few yards further and I quizzed, jokingly " is there a café down there?" They asked if I needed liquid and said they had an unopened bottle of fruit flavoured water in the car which they gave me.

Not far from the end of the day was Corton Ridge contrasting with the fiasco earlier. Here is all a ridge should be: path on the crest, views extensive to both sides and cropped grass to walk on.

Descent into Sherborne seemed to drag but I am now installed in The Half Moon Inn, a Marstons pub. The price is modest, the room good with the largest, quickest filling bath in a pub I have ever experienced.

Down in the bar for dinner a crowd of half a dozen young men were making a lot of noise and using abusive language obviously having had more than enough, and when they started ordering wine by the bottle I moved down the other end of the pub. The waitress has now told me she refused them the wine and I am glad to say they have departed.

The inviting ridge early in the day

On that "ridge"

Castle Cary

I had to take my rucksack off to get through this badly designed gate

D of E ers. Note the views. Even more extensive and detailed in real life

More horse trodden track

Perfect ridge walking

Sherborne Abbey

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Anonymous said...

Shame the last few days were spoiled by poor footpath maintenance. That's Somerset for you! In my experience it was the worst county for footpath maintenance.

gimmer said...

those chaps sound like sixth-formers from the very strict local boys public school let out after A levels - anybody else would have trashed the joint on being refused wine, of course.
vast views - as extensive as from Cross Fell - you must have had very clear air, unlike the stormy northern skies recently.

Sir Hugh said...

Coastal walker - hi Ruth. I think the vegetation grows so quickly at this time of year it would take too much time and money to keep on top of it, especially with "the cuts", pun not intended.


Gimmer - they were older than that 30 plus laddish lads.