Priddy is an area of the Mendip Hills that I know quite well. I’ll often refer to it as one of my favourite sections and visit it in preference to some of the more frequently-populated areas, like Black Down.
This was a group walk that I decided to attend, having not been out with other members for several weeks and knowing that it was likely to be a good experience, whichever routes we would follow.
I hadn’t been out walking for a few days, despite having a lot of time to myself. I may refer to this time as ‘chilling out’, when in fact I was probably binge-watching Dartmoor-themed videos on YouTube!
Here I was though, standing at the close of 2017. Not willing to join the walking group on a windswept, snow-beaten trek up Pen Y Fan that evening… I decided to stay close to home and rediscover the Mendip Hills.
There was a time when I would walk up to Crook Peak on a regular basis. Since those days, my desire to explore further afield has grown and I’ve often come close to taking the local hills for granted.
It was Boxing Day. I didn’t fancy travelling far and I knew that, wherever I would decide to walk, there were likely to be others around. Sticking close to home but with a physical challenge in mind, I drove down to Axbridge.
Each year, the longest day comes and goes. It’s rare that I ever do anything to celebrate or embrace the occasion. In fact, I think I’ve put more effort in to experiencing the shortest day, every twelve months.
But this year, I wanted it to be different. I wanted to do something. Naturally, walking came to mind; being outdoors. With work to continue the next morning, I didn’t driving far and so travelled up Burrington Combe to begin a brief expedition on to my local Mendip Hills.
For the fourth consecutive year, I’ve completed the thirty-mile route of the Mendip Challenge, which is an annual fundraising and challenge event organised by and in support of Weston Hospicecare.
These days, I mostly do it for the challenge and for the feeling or participation. A couple of friends also take part each year. A well organised event that always justifies taking the Monday off work!