Friday, 15 March 2013

53-56 - Bristol and surrounding areas - 5th March 2013

This week I was off to Somerset to visit a balloon modelling workshop and I decided to make it a 2 day trip with some climbs as well. I left home on the morning of Tuesday 5th March and headed along the M27 towards Bristol, my first stop however was not going to be on my list of highest points, it was a smaller but very famous hill just outside the city of Bath.
On top of Solsbury hill 

After driving through the country roads I arrived in the Bath area and drove up a long winding lane and eventually parked in a very small car park. Where had I driven to? well its the subject of a song by Peter Gabriel and more recently performed by Erasure, its Solsbury hill, a hill I have wanted to visit for years.

Solsbury Hill was probably the highlight of my day, it was a beautiful sunny day and It was the first day of the year I had managed to wear just t-shirt and shorts out, as I reached the top of the hill I reached a large flat area, this was because it was once an iron age fort, I walked along one edge of the triangular hill towards the west and eventually I was over looking Bath, It was somewhat misty but I could still make out a lot of the city. I slowly made my way around the top hill and finally back to where I started where I took a few photos and made my way back to the car.

Looking down on Bath

Battle memorial
My next stop was just a 20 minute drive away, My first high point of the day waHanging Hill in South Gloucestershire. I parked near the high point and walked up to an information board only to find that this was the sight of a civil war battle, the Battle of Lansdowne, on the 5th of July 1643 the Royalists forced the Parliamentarians to retreat, however the royalist suffered terrible losses. 

Driving west towards Bristol and through several housing estates and what seemed to be the local rubbish tip I reached my next high point Dundry hill, this is the highest point of Bristol and it was a nice view over the city but with the amount of litter around it was not a pleasant stop, onwards in a southerly direction now.

Bristol from Dundry Hill

Niver Hill
Driving to the next high point I passes a rather dramatic lake and eventually drove up the hill towards the top of Niver Hill, the highest point of Bath and NE Somerset, I had to park some distance away from this one but I went for a walk around and I think I found the high point, It was either a clump of trees, a trig point or a radio mast, I WAS however in the right area. back at the car park I drove the very short distance to my last high point of the day Blagdon Hill farm in North Somerset.

Blagdon Hill Farm
Blagdon Hill Farm as the name may suggest is a farm, and therefore it is a private property, I did however park as close as possible and took a few photos, it was a bit odd as there were several hills much higher in the area however those hills were in a different district so were not the highest points.

That was the end of my high point visits for the day, the highlight was defiantly the one hill NOT on my high point list but I still had a nice drive and explore, I finished the day driving to my hotel and spent the next day making balloon models.