Archive for January, 2009

Another version of the Somerset 3 Peaks

January 18, 2009

Here’s a proposed route for the alternative Three Peaks of Somerset by Tim Down:

 Porlock-Stoke Pero-Dunkery-Brockwell-Wootton Courtenay-Timberscombe-Slowley Farm-Druids Combe Farm-Roadwater-Nettlecombe-Monksilver-Stogumber-Rowcombe Farm-Crowcombe-MacMillan Way West-Wills Neck-Bishpool Farm-Great Holwell-Smocombe Farm-Goathurst-Chantry Cottage-Bridgwater (exit via A372)-Bower Farm-Summerway Cottage-Chedzoy-Stawell-Edington-Catcott Burtle-Westhay-Westhay Moor-Mudgley-Latcham-Rodney Stoke-West Mendip Way-Beacon Batch.
There is the beguiling prospect of continuing the route to Dundry and beyond to the Green Man.
Have taken an alternative route across the levels – am open to any suggestions but this way takes in a couple of the most remote parts of the levels, it avoids the complexities of the coastal route and also avoids the noisy intrusion of the M5.
What in Old English would someone be named who undertakes such a journey

Three Peaks of Somerset

January 16, 2009

On Sunday, 15th February, a group of us are having a go at the Three Peaks Route that starts in Chew Magna. I made the mistake of calling it the Three Peaks of Somerset to differentiate it form other Three Peaks challenges involving Ben Nevis etc. It was promptly pointed out that the Three Peaks of Somerset ought to be Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, Wills Neck in the Quantocks and Beacon Batch on the Mendips.

Various point of view have been bandied about as to the best way of accomplishing such a challenge.

Originally, I though that it would be best to start at Porlock to attack Dunkery Beacon, but on reflection, it would be easier to start at Exford, in the heart of Exmoor, which has a car park, a hostel and two pubs.

From Exford, you could follow the Samaritans Way Southwest up onto Exford Common and then switch onto the Macmillan Way West to Dunkery Beacon and on to Dunster – why reinvent the wheeel? The Macmillan Way from here to Wills Neck looks very complicated, so I think it would be easier to cut down through Marsh Street to the coast and follow the coast path to Watchet. Then you could follow the road through Doniford and on up to Beacon Hill and Wills Neck.

From Wills Neck, the Samaritan’s Way provides the quickest route through Goathurst and Bridgwater to Chedzoy and the brisge over the King’s Sedgemoor Drain at Parchey

The next obstacles are the Huntspill River and the River Brue. There is rather a lot of tarmac on the next stretch, but I thik the best route goes through Stawell and Chilton Polden then across Chilton Moor to River House Farm, where there is a crossing over the Brue. Then there are roads and paths to take you through Westham and Blackford onto a bridle path that goes round West Stoughton to Ashton, Chapel Allerton and Stone Allerton, where there is a path down to Weare.

From here, the easiest option is the more easterly of the pairs of bridges over the Axe and the Cheddar Yeo. and then Stubbington Drove and Middle Moor will take you into the outsj=kirts of Cheddar. There is then a route through Barrows that leads to the bridle path round Batts Combe Quarry that leads to Warrens Hill Road and Tynings Farm – well known to all who have done the Mendip Muddle.

From Tynings Farm, there is an obvious route to Beacon Batch, from which there are several routes Down to Blagdon.

It’s about 60 miles if anybody’s interested!

It’ all a blur

January 15, 2009

Just read the following in Alex James’ Column in yesterday’s Independent:

No distance to run in the country

Run! Run! alone over open fields, all through the wooded hillsides, in secret along the narrowest trails, badger roads and deer tracks, half-dodging wet, scratching brambles, ducking branches. Leaping and swerving over dead tree trunks, with startled squirrels and scattering rabbits springing from nowhere. Dawn, dusk, noon, under the Moon and stars, run as far as you can. Run like the wind, run when it’s raining, run in the sun. Run, run, run – pnanting, blowing, steaming through the cool, soft greys and greens. Run for an hour, run for miles, without seeing anybody, heart pounding, flying weightless downhill, feet crashing through puddles, splattering the fluffy, caressing mud, careless and carefree. Free at last, exhilarated by body whirring at capacity, on limits, singing. There is nothing else: no distractions, just the steady rhythms, absolutes, of breath, heart and hypnotic footfall beating, one two, one, two…

There are no fat bass players of any significance.


January 9, 2009

Boxing Day, 2008 brought us our thirteenth Woodwose when Tim Down of Bad Tri and TRA completed the Green Man Challenge in 11 hours.

He was seen off by the Gaveller in Clifton beside the Suspension Bridge and was met in Dundry by Pete deBoer, who kept him company until he reached Pensford, when family commitments took him back to Dundry.

At 12-10 he texted in from Shortwood Hill, with 22.9 miles and 5hr 10mins on his Garmin. He reported: “Still some energy tho a little stiff!”

At 13-54 he reported: “Hambrook 29.5m, 6h 54m. In urgent need of zimmer frame.

At 15 04: Patchway C[ommunity] C[ollege] 8h 04mn 34.5m Think I might do it!

16: 51 He reported “Leaving Blaise now.”

The Gaveller met Tim and with Liz who met him at Blaise on Avon way and saw them back to the start .

He looked in good condition after his ordeal.

On New Year’s Eve he emailed:

Managed to pick up a cold somewhere en route but nevertheless I’d like to say how much I have gained from researching and completing the route, in spite of having lived in and around Bristol for most of my life I have learned a great deal about my own environment. I quite fancy giving it another go once the ground is firmer under foot and the days a little longer.