Distance: 32,5 km (20,2 mi) for a total of 517,2 km (321,4 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 610 m (2000 ft)
Weather: Sunny and warm, especially in the afternoon, with only some fleecy clouds to make the sky look more interesting (yes, very similar to yesterday)
Although I assumed that this day wouldn’t be overly heavy walking I made sure I was away again early. The walk to Wells promised to be a boring trudging along dead straight lanes and so it was for most of the time. The only good thing about this was being in Wells just in time for elevenses. Everything vegetarian or possibly vegan is not my cup of tea as everybody who knows me will confirm. But the cafe was looking nice and a tea and a piece of blueberry-elderflower cake were most welcome.
Given my experiences with footpaths around here so far I considered the cycle route to be my best option to get out of town and to Wookey Hole. I discovered some interesting looking places and think Wells might be worth another visit. Wookey Hole would surely have made a good overnight stop with a tent-only, adults-only campsite and an idyllic collection of houses.
My original plans had been to head for Cheddar from here. Mainly of course to see the gorge but also because Cheddar cheese is the only one I eat on a regular basis. But walking west from Wells seems extremely counterproductive already yesterday evening. I thought that most likely I wouldn’t see too much of the gorge anyway, so I put it on my bucket list for a future visit. Instead I opted for the Monarch’s Way for today. According to the description the route is the one Charles II took on his escape after the battle of Worcester 1651. The first difficulty was identifying the correct way up. And then this fellow confused me so much that I nearly missed the way.
From then on the path was easy to follow, good signage, well used, so no need to think too much about how and where to proceed. For being just a relatively short distance on it the landscape was very varied, I had pastures, woodland, and something which more resembled heathland. If the other stretches of the Monarch’s Way are equally well set up I can definitely recommend it as a long distance walk. Near Priddy I came across this lovely wall decoration, thinking already if I could place something similar at home.
Along the whole way I met only one jogger otherwise I had the whole surroundings to myself for a pleasant and peaceful country walk. Finally, I got the first view of the Chew Valley Lake near to which I intended to spend the night. And not long afterwards I passed through Compton Martin which would be nice if the A368 would not spoil it completely. Tomorrow will be another long day but with the prospect of a rest day in Bath!