My morning started with a short walk to the local coffee morning at Challicoms of Clevedon, they are a business who very kindly do a lot of fundraising on behalf of MacMillan and other charities. While I was there I was very well looked after by all the friendly staff, particularly Liz, Nicola and Val. The coffee and home-made cakes were delicious. I spoke to Trudi, a local newspaper reporter, and we all posed for pictures. As I left I was delighted to be given very generous donations for MacMillan.
Before leaving Clevedon I wanted to visit the lovely Victorian pier, so I headed back down to the seafront, still wearing my MacMillan t-shirt and with my pack on my back. As soon as the staff realised what I was doing they decided to waive the entry fee and let me go on for free. After having a good look around and enjoying the superb views I was astounded when pier manager Linda presented me with a goody bag. It's contents included pier souvenirs, chocolate and Kendal Mint Cake. I left Clevedon a very happy man after the people at Challicoms and the pier had been so kind to me.
The shortest official walking route from Clevedon to Weston-Super-Mare involves a huge detour inland to Congresbury before heading back to the coast. You can't simply just walk along the coast here because the way is blocked by unbridged rivers. However, after a close look at online satellite images I could see there were some sluice gates on private land over the Blind Yeo river that might let me avoid the detour. I headed south west through country lanes until I came in to the area in question and took my chance. I passed through a farmyard, along some tracks, went through a couple of unlocked gates, found the sluice gates and crossed over the river successfully. If there had been someone around I would have asked for permission to pass through, but I didn't see anybody and I wasn't challenged. The last gate I came to before reaching a proper road again was locked so I climbed over, on the other side a sign said 'Private Track, No Access'. Oh well, it was too late by then and I'd saved myself several extra miles of walking by skipping the inland route.
Soon after I came to the village of Wick St.Lawrence. By chance I stumbled across another MacMillan coffee morning event that was being held in Wick St. Lawrence Church. I found myself invited in and was soon enjoying more food including delicious sandwiches, cookies and coffee with a very friendly group of ladies. They were busy preparing for their flower festival that's being held this weekend. Everybody was amazed that a MacMillan end-to-end walker just happened to be passing by. I found myself the centre of attention for the third time in a day and left with yet another generous donation in my pocket.
An hour later I reached Weston-Super-Mare where I happily met my parents as planned, they have arranged a B&B where we are staying tonight. Tomorrow morning I will drop in at the local Milk & More depot before setting off on the 30+ mile trek to Taunton.
GPS data click here
Mileage today; 11.24 miles, walking time 2 hrs 47 mins, average walking speed 4.0 mph
Weather; overcast and windy, max 16C
Cumulative mileage; 759.12 miles
|Walking onto Clevedon Pier, a grade 1 listed building described by Sir John Betjeman as |
"the most beautiful pier in England"
|Wick St.Lawrence Church. I realised I'd stumbled across my second MacMillan 'Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning' venue of the day when I saw the balloons on the gate|