Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Today we went to Stanton Drew, site of the second largest stone circle complex in the UK (Avebury is the largest). I've never seen the stones and I don't think Kai had, up close anyway: it seemed a fitting way to end his holiday.
Getting there is awkward without a car, though. There is a bus - just one a day, which leaves Brislington village at 1.15 and arrives in Stanton Drew village at 1.50 pm: there's no return bus (well, not until 9.30 the next morning...) But the Wells bus (two an hour each way) stops at Pensford, which is a couple of miles away from Stanton Drew over pleasant countryside (Kai said), so we opted for that instead.
Photographs here instead of on a separate page, as most of them are of individual stones and not of great general interest...
Pensford has a lot of small, ancient bridges (might have something to do with the river Chew that flows right through it!) It's a small place right down in the Chew Valley, with lovely old grey stone buildings and very friendly people.
Pensford is most famous (these days) for its astounding viaduct built in 1873, which used to carry trains for the Bristol and North Somerset Railway. I've been trying to find out how high it is but that info isn't readily accessible (no idea why). Later edit: found it. 995 ft long and 95 ft high at its highest point, with 16 arches. Quite magnificent!
See that tiny black dot left of centre?
That's an adult male with a massive rucksack thing on his back. He's not even reached the viaduct yet.
This thing is HUGE.
Looking back from the other side. Those are fairly large trees you can see to either side.
The walk to Stanton Drew took about an hour, under the viaduct and along a footpath by the river. It was a fine walk, cloudy sun and not too blisteringly hot, until the end, when we had to make our way through four fields with cows. At least, we thought they were cows from a distance - turned out they were bullocks. I'm not that fond of cows anyway, but bullocks scare me: we ended up coming back partly along the road to avoid the worst two fields...
The Cove is the remains of a megalithic tomb, standing in the beer garden of The Druid's Arms pub. (That's Kai, to give the stones some scale.) The pub is very small, and unfortunately now a little run down, but seemed friendly enough and the menu looked good (though we arrived too late to eat, so I can't vouch for the quality!)
a smaller but impressive secondary (that stone in the middle of the shot is about as tall as Kai, maybe a little shorter):
and a third one of mostly much smaller, toppled stones that was very overgrown with thistles and nettles (although there was a badger sett there, with an entrance right under one of the stones and a lot of pawprints around it. Gamma and contrast altered slightly to try and bring out the prints).
We spent about an hour walking around the stones (with me taking photos) then began the trek back.
An aaaarty photo of the viaduct from the footpath.
Overall it was a wonderful day out - but ye gods we're both of us knackered now! Didn't get back until well after 5...
Kai's back to school tomorrow, just for two days, then he has a four day weekend (wedding on Friday and the Monday is the Beltain bank holiday). Unfortunately he has a mock English GCSE tomorrow, but he seems OK about it.
Me, I'll be quite glad to get back to what passes for normal 'round here - I can have a rest!