Mark Walks LEJOG Day 13 – Wellington to Bridgwater

Hullo. How are you? I hope you are having a good day. I’m Mark and I’m walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats…

Today’s walk started with a necessary bit of road walking to take me from Wellington to Taunton. Knowing the full walk would be around 20 miles, I was keen to avoid any big diversions, which meant the noisy but direct route of the A38 was the way to go.

5 miles of road walking isn’t that interesting, so I put my headphones on, queued up a Queen playlist and let Freddie Mercury encourage me along the way.

At Taunton, I immediately broke my ‘no diversions today’ rule and wandered off to visit the Minster (I have excluded this diversion from route map, but if you are following my route and want to do the same diversion, it only adds on an extra mile and a bit).

I then circumnavigated Somerset Cricket Club and made my way back on to my original route to join the footpath along the river Tone.

A little way through town, a lock creates a spur off from the river to create the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, which formed my route for the majority of the day.

The river was flowing fast with flood water from connecting streams and surrounding fields as a result of the persistent rain in recent weeks. Mud, silt, broken branches and other detritus made the canal an uncharacteristic chocolate brown. It remained this colour for many miles, showing just how much run off had entered the river.

The tow path alongside the canal in and near Taunton is a level, dry and easy tarmac walkway, which thronged with locals walking, cycling, fishing, pushing prams and carrying shopping.

As the path wound further away from Taunton, it became more peaceful, with far fewer pedestrians, and less urban – the perfect footpath giving way to a mix of stone, gravel and dirt.

At North Newton, I left the path for a while to explore the little village and have a quick pit stop for a drink.

It is a lovely place with a palpable sense of community pride. Neighbours everywhere were tending to their gardens, repairing fences, playing with their children or attending the (very loud) dance aerobics in the village hall.

Walking back towards the canal gave me the chance to see the pretty village church and to speak to a woman with a dog named Eric. She was curious about my journey, I was curious about what on earth made her call her dog Eric.

A little further along the canal, I thought I would try to capture some footage for the vlog with me walking onto a bridge. As I was filming this, a young man, who was jogging along the tow path in shorts and t-shirt, slipped on the wet stones and fell hard on the ground.

He was clearly quite hurt and was sitting on the floor wiping his leg with some dock leaves he had torn from the embankment.

I carried my backpack over to him and pulled out my first aid kit, offering him some sterile wipes, savlon and a bandage.

I then retuned to the bridge to finish the shot I had been attempting.

Today was the first day of my LEJOG walk to remain dry throughout. At many points, the weather was truly spring-like and the sun was beating.

This made the long stroll to Bridgwater all the more pleasant and was the nudge I needed to stop at a canalside cafe for a treat.

Passing under the M5 motorway meant I had nearly reached town, but the canal goes straight through the centre of Bridgwater, so even in the heart of the built up area, the walk remained beautiful.

I reached the hotel ready for a rest. The walk turned out to be around 21 miles with the visit to Taunton Minster, which leaves one’s feet knowing all about it. I have already walked some fairly long days and have several more to do in the days ahead. I wouldn’t normally recommend this and would personally prefer to stick to an average of 15 miles, but I have to be in Gloucester on a set date, so am having to fit in some longer walks. Luckily, the hotel has a good room service menu, so feet up tonight.

The Day 13 Vlog

Fundraising for MacMillan Cancer Support

As I walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, I am hoping to raise £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support, who do such a wonderful job of supporting families through the most difficult times. If you are able to spare any amount and would like to donate to MacMillan, please do so through my Just Giving Page.






One response to “Mark Walks LEJOG Day 13 – Wellington to Bridgwater”

  1. Dee Atkins-Greig avatar
    Dee Atkins-Greig


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