I may have suffered some anxiety and disappointment issues earlier today when I missed the group walk but, as I said I would, I made it out on my own a little bit later, on another chapter in my adventure across the Mendip Hills.
Today, it was off towards the village of East Harptree for a four-mile trek through the local woodland and combe. You may remember that I went to West Harptree a few weeks ago, which is closer to Chew Valley Lake.
You don’t have to travel far before finding yourself face-to-face with one of the major attractions in this area. That is, perhaps, if nature and the great outdoors don’t do it all for you…
It’s known as Smitham Chimney although, I lack any historical facts to share with you:
Next to this is a rather pleasant pond area. It seemed to be a popular space for dog walking.
From here, my route headed away and out from the woodland and off towards some fields:
I became ‘stuck’ at this point, where the path lead to a stile which then appeared to lead in to and either across or through a farmyard. It’s perfectly acceptable in most parts but, with my social anxiety, I hate passing through someone else’s land alone (even when following a permissive path). Out in a field, it’s not too bad. But, where there are buildings and agricultural vehicles about; in my mind, there is always the chance of people. I went up and down a couple of times and partially followed an adjacent route, even though it was clearly on a tangent from the one I was trying to follow. My GPS on my new phone let me down a bit – although, given the area, that could’ve been the signal.
Eventually and, after a little back-tracking to the chimney to double-check my steps, I found the courage to march on in through that yard, where path only lead me away from the farm and out through the main gate! On the way though, I was able to capture the timid calf you can see above. I just told myself that, if I was questioned, I was within my rights to follow the market path. I had a map. I did know what I was doing. At worst, someone would probably help me to find the correct route, if ever I was confronted.
Chew Valley Lake soon came in to my sights up here and, it was visible from several locations today.
After crossing the final field at this point, I was on to a narrow road or lane, where flood water was still persistent.
The next field on my walk contained this horses that didn’t cause me any bother.
One of my favourite shots from the day, as I headed towards Harptree Combe.
I almost found myself rooted to the spot at this point when I became uncertain of where to turn next. Fortunately, there was a map places on one of the gates, which helped me to see that I wasn’t actually on the path I thought I’d been following. Instead, I need to make a very slight detour back on myself to head in to the combe and back on the right path.
As soon as I entered, it became clear that water was again present throughout. A stream flowing down the centre had also spread to the marked footpath on one side.
This area supposedly plays host to the remains of an old castle. I searched around but I’m not convinced that I found what I was looking for. These walls and pillars are the only structures I could see and, as tough as they may look, I can’t help but to look at them now and feel that they were built for the purpose of which they appear to be intended for today…
Looking closely at this photo, I can’t explain what that is up on the hill or cliff… At first glance, it looks (to me) like a gun or weapon of some sort! It could be something else entirely. It could even be a fallen tree! Sadly, I don’t believe it’s an alien or a ghostly apparition!! 😛
On the return route, passing the farm I passed earlier (with the calf), I was able to capture a more mature cow enjoying a meal.
Up in the skies above, I was able to save this image of an ascending plane to my camera’s SD card. Bristol Airport is only a few miles from this site so, sights like this are frequent, especially on a day with clear blue skies. This was with the camera set to full zoom (not digital).
So, I have another day off tomorrow and it’s quite possible I’ll be off on at least one other short walk. I think that only leaves two walks from the Mendip Hills book that I haven’t yet covered… There is one that I may revisit simply because the route varies slightly to the unplanned path I took when I went there a few months ago.
Oh, and because I forgot to include it before publishing this post, here’s the link to my Flickr album with the rest of the photos from the day. 🙂