Month in Review: April 2021

With the passing of April comes the imminent arrival of summer… Right?

02/04 – 10.75 miles – Nyland Hill from Wedmore
05/04 – 3.5 mile run – Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset
06/04 – 15 miles – Mendip Hills, Somerset
11/04 – 7 miles – Blaise Castle, Bristol
13/04 – 3 mile run – Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset
14/04 – 3 miles – Home from Milton, Weston-super-Mare
18/04 – 9.25 miles – 2 Warrens Walk (Weston-super-Walkers)
25/04 – 9.5 miles – Axbridge to Crook Peak (W-s-W)

Total for April 2021 = 61 miles

Nicolle enjoying a swing near Rodney Stoke.

It started well with an arranged walk to meet up with a friend I’d not seen since 2020. We met part-way at Wedmore, followed route I did on my own last summer and extended it to include the heights of Draycott Sleights, before returning to flatland.

On our way back, this car drove past us as we approached Nyland Hill. Behind us, the car stops and turns around. Then the driver pulls up near to us and the lady in the passenger’s seat calls out through the window…

‘Do you make YouTube videos???’

One of several caves around Draycott Sleights.

I was completely perplexed! I didn’t know what to say or how to respond. I’ve had people recognise me from this blog before but never through YouTube. But it was great to hear from someone, at the same time. I think her story was that she’d grown up near Rodney Stoke, had recently watched a Draycott Sleights video I’d made some time ago and just happened to be visiting the area.

Gateway on to Black Down (from Rowberrow).

My habit of running has almost died off as spring arrives. This is largely because I am now cycling to and from work most days. I’ve already pedalled more than two-hundred miles, since starting this in March. I miss my running; I just don’t always have the same energy to burn on after travelling to and from work. But I do enjoy different pace of this take on a commute.

(I’ve probably said this before but I’ll have to sit down and write about my biking experiences, soon…)

A walk with friends in Bristol.

I made it back on to the Mendip Hills for a good day-long outing – partly in preparation for the 30 mile Mendip Challenge in June. Then, with some restrictions having been relaxed, I drove in to Bristol for a socially-distanced walk with five friends. From a very busy Blaise Castle and around the local area for seven miles. Again, good to get out and meet with unseen others.

Trees felled due to ash dieback disease. Black Rock near Cheddar Gorge.

While trekking across and around the Mendip Hills, I was able to see sites where many ash trees had been cut down due to the dieback disease.

Crook Peak. No ‘s’. Ever!!

After an absence of more than three months, I also returned to the forefront of my Weston walking group. As written elsewhere, I had some important personal changes and decisions to enforce this year… But it was still good to get up, out and walk with these people. Familiar and new.

Bluebell season.

Not a bad month at all. Perhaps not as ‘busy’ or quite as active as March turned out to be. But with spring comes more promise and a growing number of opportunities.

Things to look forward to in May include walking the Yeo Valley Way – a brand-new ‘Way’ created locally on the Mendip Hills. It wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to follow the full loop. But if you live within driving distance, it’s definitely worth exploring and offers fine views over the Yeo and Chew Valley. Following many new permissive paths across land that was strictly private beforehand.

Batcombe Hollow, Draycott.

I’ll also be continuing my training for the Mendip Challenge – my first attempt since 2019. Knowing that the sight above will be waiting for me around the ten mile mark!

Current total for 2021 = 301 miles

Thanks for watching.

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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