SUNDAY 29 SEPTEMBER - FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER 2019

Sunday 29 September 

Arrival at the Limpley Stoke Hotel during the afternoon.  We were soon all comfortably settled into our rooms.  At dinner we were introduced to our walk leaders, Sue and Graham Robinson.  They gave us a warm welcome and introduction

Monday 30 September - Avon & Kennet canal

The day was cloudy, but dry.  Our first walk started from the hotel.  There was a longer walk and a shorter walk.  4 to 7  miles along the Avon and Kennet canal into the city of Bath.  We all started together descending into the village of Limpley Stoke and taking the footpath along the canal.  Houseboats lined the banks of the canal, each one so individual.  At one point a few of our members assisted a family whose barge had run into a fallen tree over the canal.  The shorter walkers carried on along the canal walking right into Bath.  

The longer walkers broke off and ascended up Brassknocker Hill Wood, a very long and steep wooded incline to the top of the hill known as Claven Down.  The path took us over fields where we had a group photo taken.  We came out at Sham Castle, built in the 1700s as a building project designed to keep the stonemasons in work.   This viewpoint overlooks the most breathtaking view of the city of Bath.  What a lovely spot to have some lunch.  We continued the walk down a very steep slope and onto one of the roads on the outskirts of Bath.  We rejoined the canal and the River Avon right into the middle of the city.  Our walk ended here and we all peeled off here for a well earned cup of tea.  We took the bus back to Limpley Stoke.   

Tuesday 1 October

This was our free day.  The day started extremely wet, but the weather was kind to us and cleared up later in the morning with a few heavy thundery downpours for the rest of the day.  Many of our members spent the day in the city of Bath exploring this very beautiful and historic city.  Here are some pictures of some of the points of interest.

Wednesday 2 October - Freshford & Avoncliffe

The day was bright and sunny.  Our walk started from the hotel.  Again there was a shorter and a longer walk.  This describes the longer walk.  We descended into the village of Limpley Stoke.  Under the railway bridge and following the footpath along the River Avon.  The water was very high and fast flowing after the heavy rain of the previous day.  The walk took us through the beautiful villages of Freshford, Westwood and Iford.  We stopped on the bridge at Iford for our apple stop.  Then ascended a footpath from the river valley on to the lovely village of Avoncliffe where we stopped to have our lunch by the bridge.  We continued the return journey along the Avon and Kennet canal.  The last rays of sunshine were fading fast as we arrived back at the hotel.

Thursday 3 October - Longleat House, Heavens Gate, Shearwater

The day was cloudy and dull and much colder with some rain forecast for mid afternoon.  Again there was a shorter walk and a longer walk.  The longer walk is described here.  We all drove to a car park just behind the entrance to Longleat Safari Park. We walked through Heavens Gate arbotorium to the brown of the hill overlooking Longleat House and Safari Park.  Strange modern stone sculptures littered the hilltop and we had a group photo taken here.  We walked down through the pine woods and into Horsingham Village which belongs to Lord Bath.  We took the footpath beyond the village and over many fields of lush long grass with grazing cattle who remained unperturbed by such a large group of humans invading their peaceful pursuit. The upward path took us through a stud farm and out on to the wilds of the downs.  Our climb was steep, but short and the views at the top were most spectacular.  Looking over Stourhead on one side and Longleat to the other side.  The brisk wind made it impossible to sit and have lunch at this point as was planned so we continued on and descended back into pasture land once more.  In a sheltered spot we sat and had our lunch.   We walked back through Horsingham village and ascended a long pathway back to the car park.  We all took our cars to the cafe at Sheringham Lake to meet the short walkers who arrived some 30 mins after us.  At this point the rain started.

It was our last dinner and Larry presented Sylvia with a collection we had all made and a thank you card.  Another wonderful holiday, thank you Sylvia.

Friday 4 October

After a hearty breakfast we all say our farewells and left the hotel.  Some were homeward bound and some decided to explore more of the area.  Here are some pictures of the American Museum and gardens which some of our members chose to visit during their stay at Limpley Stoke.  The museum is packed with American history from the first settlers up to the present day.  The gardens have their own beauty even in winter.