Monthly Miles: March 2020

Three months complete and we find ourselves in a state of Lockdown… With plenty of time to spare, my aim is still to keep active as and when I can, while complying with the government’s rules and guidelines.

02/03 – 15.25 miles – River Parrett, Somerset
08/03 – 10 miles – Blagdon (Weston-super-Walkers)
15/03 – 10 miles – Langridge and Lansdown (Brunel)
23/03 – 10 miles – Stinchcombe Hill and North Nibley
29/03 – 3.75 miles – Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset
30/03 – 3.25 miles – Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset
31/03 – 3.25 miles – Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset
Total for March 2020 = 55.5 miles
River Parrett north of Bridgwater, Somerset.

I remember that first walk alongside the River Parrett; a route I know well and one for which I recorded a YouTube video at the same time. It was as windy as every weekend previously, but somehow sunny and bright! It was a walk I’d planned to do with the group in April but, the world-ending virus had others ideas.

View of Hinkley Point.

There wasn’t a lot of planning put in to that idea. I wanted to reccy the route and survey the land to see how muddy it might be, after a number of successive storms. I guess it would be 10-11 miles long… I didn’t stop for lunch because it was too windy and exposed… An extra four miles later and I got back to my car before somehow managing to tread in dog shit with both my walking boots and clean car shoes!

Heading up with Weston-super-Walkers, my Meetup group.

Then there was my first walk of the month with my Weston group. It’s been working so well and, aside from a few last-minute dropouts (possibly due to the forecast), we had a good day. I was umming and ahhing over whether to host our next walk on the 22nd or 29th… And then, COVID-19 kicked it up a gear, the government started telling people to stay indoors and I followed the Ramblers’ decision to cancel all of their own events, at least until the end of May.

Out on the Mendips.

Weston-super-Walkers is only four months old and, like a new business, it’s sad that this has hit us so hard and so soon. I have faith that we will endure, survive and live to walk another day.

Down a slippery slope with Brunel, somewhere near Cold Ashton.

One week later and I joined a walk with Brunel Walking Group, just north of Bath at Cold Ashton. This would become one of the wettest walks I’d done in recent years! Mud, glorious mud! An enjoyable day. A test of the waterproofs that revealed concerning results and a good first outing for my brand-new (and as yet, not blogged about) leather boots.

Spring is coming. It is…

But as I mentioned; the Ramblers have shut everything down for the foreseeable future. We’ll walk again, we just don’t know when.

Taking precautions.

Another week passes and I enter a week of pre-booked annual leave. My original hopes had been to spend this time up in the Lake District… But that didn’t happen for a number of reasons. A friend had seen her own plans of travelling abroad culled by the Coronavirus and so, each driving to the start point in the Cotswolds, we met up for a walk.

Tyndale Monument on the Cotswold Way.

This was the sunniest day that either of us had seen in a long time. A very gentle cool breeze. We followed a few miles of the Cotswold Way that I hadn’t experienced before (I wrote about this recently) and, while we did make initial plans to meet again that week, the government tightened the strings on our rights to freedom, only a few hours later.

A local walk near Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset.

Since then, I have only been walking from home. Alone and not travelling nearly as far in a single outing. I haven’t seen a hill up close for almost a fortnight! Is hill-withdrawal symptom a thing? I have a slightly-more-ambitious doorstep walk planned for very soon. But living alone, not being able to see people and, well, living in Lockdown… It’s tough.

But I’m sure many of you can relate! Walking ‘only’ three miles each day is more than enough to cover one-thousand miles over the course of a year…!

Current total for 2020 = 144.75 miles

Thanks for reading.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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