Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Day 4: Bampton to Glastonbury

(NB: Sorry for the lack of update yesterday - I couldn't get a reliable internet connection.)

The route for today was simply to follow NCN 3 all the way to Glastonbury, and it started directly outside the pub at which I'd been staying. The first hill out of Bampton was the longest and steepest of the day, but even so not too difficult. I followed quiet country lanes for the first 15 miles or so, with a few occasional small climbs.

After this, the route gradually dropped down to the Somerset levels, and entered Taunton at about the 20 mile mark. This time, NCN 3 was well signposted through the town, and despite a short section being closed due to some construction works, I managed to avoid losing the route. Near the centre of town, the route joined the towpath running alongside the Bridgwater to Taunton canal, and stayed with it almost all the way to the outskirts of Bridgwater, with just a couple occasional diversions off onto country lanes. I ate lunch midway along the canal at a peaceful spot, occasionally interrupted by surprisingly-frequent high-speed trains on the railway running nearby.

I got slightly lost at Bridgwater, as my GPS route disagreed with the NCN 3 signs. I decided to follow the GPS, which turned out to be a mistake as I ended up at a dead end! After backtracking I found a way back onto the 3, and continued on my way. This soon left the riverside, going down country lanes. At this point, the Somerset levels spread out in all directions, with the only hills far off in the distance - a very strange experience!

The road rose slightly again at about the 43-mile mark, and skirted around the edge of the levels. This gave great views over them, and also across to Glastonbury and its Tor in the distance. Towards the end of the day, the route dropped back down to the levels and finally entered Glastonbury, going through the town centre and round the base of the Tor to my B&B, which was about a mile-and-a-half out of town. My room was basic and small (with a shared bathroom) but had a great view of the top of the Tor and its tower.

After a quick shower, I walked up the Tor for the most amazing views of the levels. I then investigated the town and had something to eat before returning to the B&B. With all the walking involved, my legs were now in far worse shape than when I'd arrived, so I decided to give them a well-earned rest and had an early night.

Distance: 56.4 miles
Total ascent: 949 m
Cumulative distance: 222.0 miles
Interactive houte map and profile:

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