It’s taken me a while to get around to sharing these photos with you, as this walk actually took place last Thursday afternoon, when I had a few hours to spare with the day off work, following my late-morning appointment with Positive Step.
My ankle had been hurting for around two weeks up until and including this day. In fact, it’s been giving more grief still throughout this week. I was unsure about doing a walk but then, I decided it was too cold to stay indoors without putting the heating on and not warm enough to get involved with another hobby so, I ventured out for one of the shorter walks from the book titled 8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills.
I believe this is walk No.6 for me from this book, leaving just the two to go before I’ve completed all eight!
I love that first photo because, in my eyes, this lake could be anywhere… Maybe even Alaska! I wouldn’t expect anyone to guess that it was Chew Valley Lake (which I’ve visited previously), let alone the correct answer of Blagdon Lake!
I tried to come here once before – I think it was the same day I walked through West Harptree and past the other lake. But, the free car park near the centre of the village was full and overcrowded. Recognising a former work colleague stood outside a nearby pub deterred me from the thought of finding another place to park and walking past.
That was a Saturday morning though and, on this Thursday afternoon (shortly after lunch) there were only half-a-dozen other cars in behind the fire station. It’s like the difference between going shopping on a weekend and taking a day off in the week (or, going in an evening at any time of the year that isn’t Christmas).
I fear that this post is going to be short on words and that I’ll have to direct you elsewhere to view the vast majority of the 50 photos I took.
This walk starts at the car park and you descend down a steep hill before turning right down a footpath/bridleway named Dark Lane. It gets a bit boggy down the main stretch but the alternative route is to climb up a short flight of steps on to a grass verge that borders private land. This walk takes you back along this path on the return journey and, as I didn’t fancy an alternative route of trekking up tarmac, I went down through the mud and came back up along the grass.
Roads surrounding this lake are surprisingly serene and quiet. It’s not like the south-end of Chew Valley, where cars race past at 50mph on their way to or from the direction of Bath. There was a bit of noise from Bristol Water nearby but, they’re only fulfilling their regular duties to maintain the lake, which is private (no swimming or launching of craft, etc.).
As I closed in on the dam near the woodland footpath that takes you towards the northern point of the lake, I noticed one car parked here and realised that I could easily have done the same, during my first attempt.
This was another location where I began to wish as though I’d bought a loaf or at least a few slices of bread with me. Having been sick the previous weekend, I was in fact left with a small backlog that was quickly going stale.
Those ducks didn’t bother me much but, as I walked further along the riverbank beside the woodland, I noticed two swans trailing me, almost as if they were expecting or asking for food…
They weren’t posing for photographs, that’s for sure. I mean, as soon as I got my camera out, ready to shoot, one decided to take evasive action!
A few scenes towards the north reminded me of my group walk through Keynsham back in November.
There was a bridge that interested me because, where I would’ve expected an all-timber construction, this one had solid slab stones for you to walk on. Stepping on to that felt quite surreal in itself. There was no rocking or swaying at all.
One of my favourite shots from the day.
I was also impressed with this ‘mirror image’, which I didn’t at all notice when I first took it.
Not forgetting the ripples above.
Another view towards the village of Blagdon, on a cold and cloudy mid-afternoon.
That’s what my head feels like when I don’t go walking for a few weeks! 😉
The return walk led me up and across a few fields before joining a country lane (a little busier than the rest) that would lead me back to the dam, where I was able to take further photos of the birds.
I was already feeling positive after my appointment that morning but it did me a lot of good to get out after missing one walk with my injury and sickness. Also, it was nice to be out and walking alone again. I found it easier to ‘listen’ and tune-in to nature, without the usual anxieties around talking and not talking to other people. I managed to mumble a ‘hi’ to two woman who I happened to pass, each pushing along a child in a pram but, that was my only social interaction during the walk.
There were 50 photos in total. To see the rest, please click here.