For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Monday, 6 May 2019

Day 13

Cameley to Shepton Mallet

Monday 6th May 2019

Limestone walking from Cameley was reminiscent of the Yorkshire Dales - cropped turf underfoot with the bonus of good stiles and gates and visible paths, . What joy. Yesterday my walking was leaden, today sprightly. Frequently there were huge areas of dandelion seed heads making unusual and attractive displays. Down one country track a tractor came towards me pulling a huge slurry trailer - I was glad I’d covered the ground before he got there.

A problem on these walks is need for a lavvy and sometimes emergency measures come into play but  Farrington Gurney boasted one of the best stocked farm shops I’ve ever seen and also a café bang on coffee time, and the coffee was nine out of ten. I sat at a low table that was actually a working fish tank - quite odd.

I crossed Farrington golf course on  paths shown on the map but not recognised by the club. Perhaps my maps are out of date, anyway after a couple of terse conversations with golfers I came out the other side.

Further on a path ccrossing about ten field boundaries had me anticipating the worst but all was good walking and easy to follow.

At Manor Farm I stopped to look at Emborough church. The farmer’s wife had seen me and came to make sure I was not “champing” a pastime I had not heard about but it seems there are folk who delight in bunking in down in old churches like this. We chatted and then I was invited into the farm house for a cuppa with her and the farmer husband. She gave me a graphic account of her experiences on a hot air balloon trip.

A long climb from the attractive village of Oakhill took me to Beacon Hill. One section of the descent afterwards was perilous down a very steep solidified mud banking for about thirty feet. A couple below watched my tentative and geriatric descent t with some concern which was well justified.

I was booked into the Dusthole in Shepton, so called because in latter days there was a quarry and a flour mill next door. The building is ancient and more or less untouched  I had a good meal of lamb shank and then sticky toffee pudding with a good conversation with the host. He had climbed and walked in his younger days and worked and lived in many parts of the world. His dog Tyson waited on anxiously for the bone from my lamb.

This has been one of the best days walking in the trip with much interest and good going.

I have booked a train ticket back home for Wednesday. It took me an hour and a half signing up for the  app, creating passwords and all the rest but evtuslly only psi £46 compared with the first attempt at well kver £100.

I took abou forty photos today - here are one or two.


  1. I've found churches to be oases of peace, quiet, toilets, coffee mornings, and water taps. All important to the long distance walker. But champing? Never heard of it!

    I now have mixed feelings: delighted to see you've saved a load of dosh with your train ticket, but sad that your walk is almost done - I've thoroughly enjoyed following your adventures.

    I'd be interested to hear which app you use for train tickets. I've used Tickety Split in the past.

  2. The 'random acts of unsolicited hospitality' count seems to have been good on this trip. Bets are now on: will you manage one more offer of a cup of tea before that train back home tomorrow?

  3. This is the best post (about a walk) you've ever done. Best of all the quality is sustained. Specifics rather than generalities, no more "the going was pleasing", an eye for minor - but true and newish - detail which can be woven rewardingly into the larger tapestry, dashes of self-interrogation, a sense of place which doesn't depend on guidebook-ese. Almost a different mindset, but not too different. Perhaps each long walk should be divided into series of final days if this is the net result.

    When you're back print this post out, enlarged, attach it to the wall of your study. Read it every day until the surprise you got from this non-surly, non-plaintive observation of mine fades. Two days should do it.

  4. Rr. I seemed to have alternate days of being in good physical form and days of niggles and lassitude-this was one of the best - that must have some relevance.


  5. JJ and Gayle - I think I replied to you both maybe on another day but can’t find it now. I agree about the churches JJ - very useful, especially when itc’s Raining.

    Gayle - tea must prevail . Who needs a bridal suite, especially at my age of 79!

  6. I hesitate to undermine what was intended to be a paean but I should add that what I was applauding was a technical matter, something you have learnt and recognised. This makes for a far-from-happy future: if you can do it once you can do it again.

    And just to get you started that was a badly missed opportunity, the hopelessly feeble second reference to bridal suite. Such things should be regarded as writer's gifts, not to be squandered.

  7. i had tried to make a comment from my phone the previous day, suggesting that now the land would rise into the Mendips and your spirits with it - seems to have been so: perhaps therefore this post was light and sunny because of that - and that brighter mood led to more frequent sensings of matters of interest - instead of 'suburban plodding' which is almost always dull as one feels so out of place and an object of disdainful curiosity rather than being at one with the world - i remember driving across the US Mid-west - 'endlessly dull' - and then the spirits rose as, almost imperceptibly, the landform began to rise and take shape as Wyoming and the mountains were sensed beyond the far horizon - as ever, it is the hills that call, lift the mood and revive the flagging spirit:
    i'm glad it all worked out and you did it 'your way' !