Mark Walks LEJOG Day 16 – Yatton to Bristol

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…

I awoke at 4:10am and could not fall back to sleep, so I spent some time catching up on various admin and waited for the sun to rise. I have had trouble sleeping all my adult life and often go nights with no sleep at all or manage just a few hours. I have no idea why and would love it if it wasn’t so, but heigh-ho.

After a breakfast of toast and cereal, I packed up my gear and set off across the final section of the Somerset Levels, making the first few miles of today’s walk essentially identical to the final few miles of yesterday’s. I got absolutely filthy.

But nothing – not mud, not insomnia – could dampen my mood today, because it would not be long until I was walking through hills and woodland once more.

I hiked up the hill from Nailsea and Stone-edge Batch and wandered through Lime Breach Wood, then Chummock Wood, then Prior Wood and could not have been happier.

As I started down from Prior Wood to the village of Portbury, with its pretty church and lively primary school.

I could suddenly see the ship yards and the motorway and all of the heavy industry surrounding them. This was the first time since leaving Land’s End that I had encountered such a stark change of scenery and it was like being jolted from a dream.

But the industrial surroundings also brought one of the highlights of the day, with the need to somehow cross the mighty river Avon, I made my way through some vast dockyard storage areas for imported cars and along an abandoned railway to find my way onto the M5 motorway and up over the colossal Avonmouth Bridge. The bridge crosses 100 feet above the river and runs for 4500 feet end-to-end.

I have driven across this bridge countless times, but had never imagined walking across. The experience was a noisy joy.

Crossing the Avon also marked the point of bagging another county as I left North Somerset and entered Bristol (the county, rather than the city).

Landing on the other side of the bridge meant a walk through several miles of suburbs, along busy streets and through vast housing estates. I noted that many of the footpaths were in worse condition than the country tracks I had been walking. You have to have your wits about you on a Bristol street!

It wasn’t long until I was back in the countryside, first walking through the unfortunately named Common Gout before crossing over the motorway again and onto farmland for a short walk to tonight’s hotel.


The Day 16 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.


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