Monday, 20 April 2009

Day 16 Monday - Butcombe to Saltford

Walking 10.00am to 4.30pm
Distance walked 12 miles
Distance left 835 miles

The weather today was as forecast - bright and sunny and quite hot at times. I was sent on my way with a full English and plenty of good coffee. Margaret walked with me for the first mile or so but then her short little legs thought they should be returning home.

I diverted from my planned road route to Chew Magna and took field paths instead, a good decision. In fact, the whole day's walking was well signposted. I hadn't been to Chew Magna for years. It's a large village that shouts, "prosperous"; a good number of large village houses and well-restored cottages. It even boasts a full-time NatWest bank and two estate agents.

I then went through Stanton Drew and visited briefly the famous stone circle.

I recall that the story behind this is that locals were dancing there on a Sunday and were turned to stone by the Devil. I stopped for lunch just before reaching Stanton Drew and then realised that I'd got a good mileage to do to get me to day's end at Saltford so I spent the whole afternoon really charging along, mainly along well signed field paths, which made for very enjoyable walking. The countryside around here is very beautiful. The path took me through some really beautiful woodland carpeted with bluebells.

I then passed through Pensford, Publow, Woollard and Compton Dando before steaming into Saltford. I found John and Philippa's home relatively easily; I haven't seen them for many years (this trip is proving a great opportunity to catch up with old friends). John and I shared a flat in Bristol for a while in another lifetime.

John and I adjourned to the Jolly Sailor for a couple of pints of Butcombe and reminiscences while Philippa slaved in the kitchen (nothing changes!) and a superb meal awaited us - the chocolate and ginger slump cake was memorable.


  1. Hi Geoff - you are certainly moving on well. I had hoped to walk with you as you got nearer to Gloucester but its the AGM weekend. I assume you have sent your apologies (pretty good reason not to go !)Will try and catch up with you further up country on one of my 'turn up weekends' a good read and quite happy with the detail.
    Bill W Backpackers Club

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Bill. yes, do waylay me - try emailing me at but try and do it a few days in advance and maybe make contact by phone - my number is 07794 453633.