First serious day walk at 22km! (May 2012)

The route walked

A GPS export of my walk to Google Maps.

This blog entry is about my first serious day walk of around 22km back in May 2012. The walk was very near Bristol to the South-West. I think a lot of people would be very surprised to discover how many trails there are so close to our city! All within easy reach!

I have to admit that when I planned it I was a little anxious. I hadn’t done any real kind of physical exercise for a while and had certainly not walked such distances since my thirties. I wondered whether I would be able to complete it.

Route planning was done using Ordinance Survey’s GetAMap online route planning software (see GetAMap). The subscription is very cheap and for that you get full map coverage of the Uk. If you don’t subscribe, the site still lets you browse the maps. A screen-shot of the planning tool can be seen below:

Planning Software

OS’s GetAMap online route planning software.

The software is simple to use, but after a lot of use I do have reservations. It seems that it doesn’t properly take elevation into account. On my last walk in the Black Mountains the actual walk was some 20km more than the planned distance(!)

As this was my first walk I decided to keep elevation changes at a minimum and plan the route so that the latter part would be all down-hill. Below is the elevation profile for the walk:

Elevation Profile

Elevation profile for the walk. Nothing too strenuous to begin with!

I learnt a lot on this walk. Got my first practice at using a map & compass and soon learnt that what’s on the map isn’t necessarily what you are going to see on the ground. On this particular walk there were a number of places where the indicated trail simply didn’t exist and in some cases some farmers had even used copious amounts of barbed wire on what should have been public trails!

The biggest lesson I learnt was about my own water consumption. I started the walk with just around 1.2 litres of water and even lost a 500 ml bottle whilst scrabbling through deep undergrowth in the woods. The end result was that I ended up quite dehydrated and found that I got to the point where I had hit a virtual wall. Every attempt to move seemed to require great exertion.

In the future I would be taking water supplies much more seriously.

The walk was very enjoyable – if a little muddy. It certainly whet my appetite for more adventures!

Below are some photos from the walk – enjoy! 🙂

Me on my first proper walk!

Me on my first proper walk!


Gorp!! A look in my Gorp pouch. Gorp is trail food that you eat as you walk. I use dried fruit, nuts and minstrels!

Abbots Pool

The Abbot’s Pools. These are hidden in the woods – not many people know that such sites are available very close to Bristol!

Compass Practice

Deep in the Woods for some compass practice!

Compass Practice

Compass practice deep in a small wood.

Reading the Map

Using the map. Map cases are mandatory in the Uk due to the weather 🙂


This sign was a bit worrying – especially as I only saw it when I exited the wood!


Kit down ready for a spot of lunch consisting of a Cornish Pasty and Apple!

Lunch Spot

The view from my lunch spot. Up ahead is the Severn and the Severn road bridge. Down below is the village of Pill where I work!

A mini water fall - I was up to my ankles in mud here!

A mini water fall – I was up to my ankles in mud here!

No trail but lots of barbed wire!

No trail but lots of barbed wire!

The Avon Gorge!

The Avon Gorge!

The famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.


Looks like the bridge painters had fun!

The River Avon

Following the last part of the River Avon before the walk ends.

GPS Statistics

GPS Statistics!



About RobP

Got into backpacking in the spring of 2012. I started as a couch potato then made my way through walker, hiker and now backpacker! As you can see from below I have far too many hobbies! :)
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