The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Most Exciting Local Walk Since I Got Chased Over A Barbed Wire Fence By A Cow

You would be forgiven thinking that this Blog has been abandoned, but it’s more that there hasn’t been anything to blog about (except for all those PCT related things that I intended to write about, but never got around to…). Between reaching Yosemite on 3 July and yesterday, I have been for four walks. Three of those were when I took my sister to Tittesworth in August, the other was when Mick & I popped up Ingleborough with Martin in September. I would have been for a Curry Walk two weeks ago (a walk that took place at my request), except that I managed to double book myself and couldn’t make it (JJ’s account of that walk is here, Martin’s account here, and Alan’s account here).

Needless to say that my walking stat graphs are looking a bit sorry this year!

Today, however, I awoke with a sudden enthusiasm for stretching my legs and we decided that as we haven’t surveyed our local paths for over half a year, we would see what changes have occurred.

For 99% of the walk there was nothing much to report. The remains of last night’s bonfire/fireworks event were just being removed from the first field we entered, and then we noted that the National Forest plantation which had just been planted when we started walking that path, about seven years ago, is now looking more like a collection of trees than of planted dead twigs. A new clasp has been put on the gate as you enter the plantation, but even I can’t get excited about new clasps.

The exciting bit came a mile or so later.

Just up the road from our old house is a little green lane, one section of which was always a bit problematic. Running for about 100 yards, between two gates which didn’t open (in fact one gate wasn’t even attached to anything, which made it perilous even for clambering), the lane had became increasingly overgrown until, by early 2009, it had become impassable. I cut it back in the January that year (interesting walk, that one, I wrote about it here), but by summer I was fighting a losing battle, the not-attached-to-anything gate was deteriorating so much that it was dangerous, and so since then I have been trespassing through a couple of fields to avoid that section of lane entirely.

Today we found that my usual trespassing route through the adjacent field had been scuppered by the replacement of a missing bit of fence, but that only held my attention for a moment, for something else had just caught my eye:

A Stile Where A Stile Hasn't Been BeforeI was perhaps, a little too excited to see that a stile has appeared, along with the re-instatement of the way-marker post at the entrance to the lane. We’ll gloss over the fact that it’s a bridleway and that the gate still isn’t functional – there’s a stile! Even better, the lane has been cleared such that it is completely passable. It will undoubtedly be overgrown again by the end of next summer, but for this winter at least we will be able to use this lane again. 

This walk is a lovely little circuit and I am disproportionately pleased that it’s now walkable without any trespassing and with only one gate-clamber needed. Might go and walk it again next weekend!


  1. Welcome back!

    That picture reminds me of the stile I rated as one of the worst ever near Cheddar on my LEJOG. You and Mick caught me up just after the stile and that was where we first met.