Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Walking the Severn Way - Stage 29

Monday, 6th June, 2011
Oldbury-on-Severn - Severn Beach…   HOORAY!!!
Only 7.5 miles
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In this issue…
  • The end of an era… 
  • Large Skippers abound
  • Stile challenges
Hello and welcome along again to the FINAL stage of our meandering stroll alongside the River Severn, through some of the most beautiful countryside of Wales and England tracing the whole of its length right from the source at Plynlimon high up in the Mid Wales mountains to its end at the Bristol Channel. Join us now for 210 miles of the stunning River Severn Way with its wonderfully diverse scenery, its fabulous flora and fascinating fauna.

Click here to see how far we've travelled to date 

Thanks for joining Pam and me on our FINAL STAGE of our walk alongside the ever-changing River Severn with its diverse abundance of flora & fauna. We’re very glad you made it!
Severn Way Stage 29 060611 034 And what’s in your sandwich box today - anything interesting? Flask of tea done? All sorted and booted?

OK… Let’s go!!!
Our final day of our long distance walk starts with grey clouds but at least it’s not raining! As we leave Oldbury-on-Severn the views are great but after a while it can become a little monotonous as there’s little change. We just seem to walking along a raised man-made dyke that stretches for miles ahead. It’s pleasant enough walking with soft grass underfoot but a tad tedious. But the cows seem happy - and somewhat curious…
Severn Way Stage 29 060611 003
The timing and scheduling of these last few stages has been more relaxing as there have been no buses available to get us back to the start, so the need for timing has been far less critical. Today is a taxi ride back to Oldbury-on-Severn for the car and our return to Slimbridge for our final night’s sleep under the stars at our campsite.
Our last lunch together on our Severn Way is greeted with a little sadness but there’ll be other adventures to share in the future so don’t stray too far will you?
Aha.. and here comes the sun to uplift the spirit and bring a welcoming cheer! And the immediate warmth in the air brings out a few butterflies… mainly Large Skippers…
Severn Way Stage 29 060611 023
Always a delight to see.
OK - let’s get cracking for the last 3 miles.
When my legs start to ache I often stop to do a bit of gentle yoga-style stretching which causes Pam some amusement as bending over, my rucksack slips over my head, and I end up doing an odd forward-roll ending in an ungainly lump! Must remember to take the sack off first in future!
Our last stretch gives us a challenge or two with a couple of stiles:-
 Severn Way Stage 29 060611 037 Severn Way Stage 29 060611 040
Ad did someone lose a finger I wonder on this one!
Severn Way Stage 29 060611 046
The Second Severn Bridge, connecting England to Wales across the river, draws closer and marks almost the end of our walk.
Second Severn BridgeThis  is the last bridge we’ll pass and carries the busy M4 at the head of the estuary - The Bristol Channel. This is one of two Severn Bridges within close proximity but this one is the latest one - opened in 1996. The other, carrying the M48 is just a couple of miles north of this one and was opened 30 years earlier in 1966. There is also a railway tunnel which crosses under the river close to this handsome suspension bridge.
Our path crosses right over the bridge itself and quite high so we look down on the traffic.
Severn Way Stage 29 060611 028
A short mile later and we’re walking on a sort of promenade which is quite pleasant and then…
we’re here! This is it! The end of a 2-year project. We’ve arrived at Severn Beach and the finish of our 210 mile walk together.
I don’t know about you but I feel this is a bit of an anti-climax. First of all there’s no sign anywhere to say this is the end of the Severn Way and although this is the recognised end there’s an optional extra 14.5 miles which would take us into the heart of Bristol city. We never intended to do this extra stretch. This is the official end. But there’s nothing here that trumpets that. There’s not even a pub nearby for a celebratory drink. Oh well… would one of you care to take a photo of us to mark it?
Severn Way Stage 29 060611 052  
Both Pam and I would like to thank you all for joining us on this lovely walk.  We’ve shared a little fun, we’ve seen some wonderful flora & fauna and we’ve certainly enjoyed your company. We hope you’ve enjoyed ours.

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We'll make them most welcome. The more the merrier! I know I've said before that I quite like walking on my own but you're so quiet I hardly notice you're there! Walking The Severn Way together it's really only at the end of each stage you tend to make a comment, and talking of comments... Don't forget to leave one below; help, advice, silly banter, words of encouragement are all very much welcomed and I know then you're definitely following us!
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Bye for now

Paul and Pam


Haris Thaleechal said...

Hi sir,

Congratulations for your achievements.

God bless
thanking you


Paul e Watts said...

Thanks Harris - glad you enjoyed the walk!


Malc Stevenson said...

Hi Paul,

Great to hear your walking exploits are going well

Kind regards


Paul e Watts said...

Cheers Malc!

Jake Bennett said...

Hi Paul,

I've really enjoyed following your journey along the Severn Way. I came to it late, stumbling across it via your Wrekin Forest Volunteers blog; and I've gone back over the journey (randomly dipping into it sections out of sequence).

I stuck the RSS feed into my reader and after a while subscribed by email as I didn't want to miss an episode :)

The enthusiasm that comes across, of enjoying the outdoors - is really infectious!

As with your own early blog posts on WFV (more please!); your style of writing engages me and others with far lesser knowledge of the subjects you touch on. I know you confess to being just the "blogger" but that enthusiasm and willingness to share permeates through the blogs and is very much appreciated by those on the sidelines hoping to learn just a little more and to enjoy the personal successes that are shared by Liz and the others.

Hope to meet you one day. In the meantime, thanks for sharing!

ps. at the moment, I can't put down the Forager Handbook; again something I came across through the WFV blog.

Staying tuned for more adventures...

Paul e Watts said...

Thanks Jake - glad you enjoyed the trip - it was great to have you on board and thank you also for your feedback and enthusiasm.
Get the boots waxed up and your coat proofed ready for the next adventure!


Joy Healey said...

Hi Paul

What fabulous photos!! Well done for all that walking.

Joy Healey

Isabel said...

Hi Paul - Heard your brilliant talk today in Church Stretton but didn't get a chance to tell you how much I enjoyed it because I was helping with the teas. You are very knowledgeable and amazingly skilled at giving not quite enough information about a wide variety of what you see on your walks. The effect is to get the curiosity juices flowing so that your listeners want to know more; this listener definitely wants to walk the Severn Way, spot as many pretty beetles as possible, and see those wonderful sights before she pops her clogs! Terrific photography too. Is there no end to your talents? You inspire me to get some walking boots, leave my 4 wheels behind, and just DO IT!! Thank you so much. Isabel

Paul e Watts said...

Thank you Isabel for your kind comments re my Church Stretton talk. It's always great to get feedback - sometimes it's the only way that I know people are listening to me! Thank you again for taking the trouble to write.