I live in North Somerset, close to the Mendip Hills and I enjoy spending time outdoors. In particular, going on long walks and camping across the summer months. I also get around to explore other parts of the UK. In 2018, I hope to find a new workshop because I miss woodworking and no day-job will ever provide the same sense of satisfaction as making your own.
I have two blogs:
Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking)
Olly Outdoors (walking, hiking, camping)
You can also find me on YouTube and Facebook (where I have respective channels and pages for each blog). I'm also on Twitter and Instagram (@OllyPJ).
A few years ago, I walked the entire length of the West Somerset Coast Path (which also forms a completed portion of the England Coast Path) with my friend Anna. I’d been meaning to return and revisit a couple of areas but was mainly put off by the inability to plot an appealing circular route that would avoid the many roads.
Well, tarmac or not, I was prepared to revisit this lesser-travelled stretch of coast on a particularly windy day, one weekend at the beginning of 2019.
I like to think that a great proportion of the British public are already aware that the infamous toll charges for crossing the River Severn in to Wales have now been scrapped. Where a car would’ve recently had to pay £5.60 for the privilege of a day’s walk in the Brecon Beacons, we can all now make that journey without that added expense.
On the day before this significant event, I drove up to South Gloucestershire for a familiar walk along the Severn Way and above the active toll booths for one final time.
One of my final walks of 2018 concerned an overdue return to the Black Mountains of South Wales. With the tolls for both of the Severn Bridge crossings having been scrapped earlier in December, there was less of an excuse not to travel towards the Brecon Beacons.
I drove to Bristol and met up with my friend Dave, who I’m be car-sharing and walking with.
I’ve been saying this all year but, I had no intention of walking the full one-thousand miles this year. My aim was purely to walk as often as would seem reasonable and to see, out of curiosity, how many miles I could cover within an average year.
Well, that hunger probably took over – aided by several months of unemployment, lots of free time and the ambition to complete my first National Trail. I have many good memories from 2018 and I look forward to walking my way through 2019…
Again, I won’t be setting out to reach any target but I’ll probably complete this challenge for a third successive year!
I don’t do too many walks in the eastern half of Somerset. It’s really not that far from home but, each time I do head out that way, I either come home having lost something or find myself frustrated by a flurry of footpath obstructions.
Having just purchased a book at the time, titled Beyond Bristol Walks, I decided to head out and follow one of Robin Tetlow’s routes.