Sunday, 6 October 2013


Weston-super-Mare → Highbridge

beach-diggers.png Distance: 15.47 miles
Ascent: 40 metres
Duration: 5 hours 15 minutes

Another day, another detour
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Another day, another cycle path stymied by a sluice. We'll get to that in a minute. First, bikes of an altogether noisier variety.

There were JCBs on the beach as we started this morning, gathering up the sand to create artificial dunes and obstacles for next weekend's Beach Race. Thousands of spectators will pack into the area south of the pier to watch hundreds of motorcyclists battle each other on a lengthy course that runs along the sand and into the dunes. Photographs from previous years make the race seem chaotic, a world away from the genteel-looking houses on the hill to the north of the pier.

uphill-church.pngBeyond the circuit is the village of Uphill, and above the village is the disused St Nicholas' church, perched on top of a high cliff above the path.

uphill-ferry-landing.pngThe ferry that used to provide passage across the River Axe at Uphill sailed for the last time in the mid 1990s, so we joined a nearby cycle path to head upstream. Some maps show this route crossing the river at a sluice near Diamond Farm, but this no longer appears to be the case, so we continued another mile to cross at Wharf Farm.

em-nettles.pngWe then picked up the overgrown path to Wick Farm which was massively overgrown with nettles and dumped is in a huge field with some very skittish cattle. This wasn't the high-point of the day.

burnham-half-marathon.pngWe rejoined the roads as the Burnham Half Marathon was passing by. After yesterday's long walk the thought of only walking 13 miles seemed a luxury!

em-brean-beach.pngAt Brean village we turned left along the beach. We would have liked to turn right and circuit Brean Down, but that would've extended the walk by another five miles and brought us right past this same spot. We'll save it for another time.

burnham-lighthouse.pngThe rest of the day was on the wide, sandy beach fringed with tall dunes. Burnham provided plenty of sights, from the low, wooden lighthouse on the beach to the leaning church tower. In the distance, the twin profiles of Flat Holm and Steep Holm - small, rocky islands a few miles offshore in the Bristol channel - gradually converged; for the last two days we'd been measuring our progress along the coast by watching these two islands come into and out of view.

A short distance later we turned round the corner and were in Highbridge.

Posted by pab at 17:18 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!