Three days in, we have 160 miles under our belts having reached the charming city of Gloucester, with its glorious Cathedral and regenerated docklands. Our entry to Gloucester was simply lovely and so easy along quiet lanes and sections of the Gloucester-Sharpness canal tow path; Sustrans Route 41. Odd sections of the tow path required a cycling equivalent of a trapeze walker, so narrow and rutted was the path.
Having set out from Radstock, North Somerset we took a combination of lanes bypassing Bath on our west. A very bumpy section along the Kennet and Avon Canal, exiting at Bathampton, cost me my mirror which had worked loose and fell off. Not knowing quite when it went and given the long distance to go, returning to look for it was not an option.
There are so many lovely villages, Marshfield and Wickwar, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch on a bench in the playing field, to name just two. Progress was marked when we passed over the M4 and, heading West, the M5 at Thornbury, junction 14. The countryside sandwiched between the A38 and river Severn is relatively flat, a joy to roll along. The grassy fields are abundant with glossy beef cattle who look up as we pedal by and cows whose milk make Cadbury’s chocolate according to the farm signs. Altogether a great day blessed with warm, dry weather with frequent sunny spells, a stark contrast to day two…
Waking to light rain at the Piddle Inn, the dye was cast from Piddletrenthiden; three very soggy bottoms made the distance to Radstock on day two. Despite the persistent heavy drizzle, it was an enjoyable ride, if somewhat hilly at times. Heading largely north-west the route took us through the delightful village of Milbourne Port (miles from the sea)?? Wincanton and Bruton. At the little village of Nunney we stopped for a wander around the ruins of a 1300’s Castle. A Sustrans route along a disused railway line was an easy and pleasant run in to Radstock, a Somerset town which celebrates a coal mining heritage – who knew?