Saturday 23 August Clutton to Bath/

Miles walked: today 14.2 cumulative 387.2

Most of today’s walk followed the Cam valley before passing over a ridge to enter the Avon valley to reach Bath.

Rather than walk back through Clutton I set off down the road to Timsbury. This was a B road but there was little traffic. It follows a valley and there were pleasant views up to the surrounding low hills. At Timsbury I rejoined the Limestone Link.

I crossed the path of the disused Hallatrow to Camerton railway. This was only briefly used for passenger traffic. Its main role was to carry coal from the local collieries. These were never important nationally but supplied the South West.

The railway was a branch of The Great Western Railway, known locally as God’s Wonderful Railway. The other local line, the Devon and Somerset railway was known as either “dirty and smelly” or ” delightful and serene” depending on your viewpoint.

The railway is most famous for its starring appearance in the Ealing comedy “The Titfield Thunderbolt.”

I saw this unusual building next to the Cam brook. I have no idea what it was used for

I made good time along the valley, mostly through farmland adjacent to woodland. I re-crossed the Fosse Way, the Roman road running from Lincoln to Exeter, and climbed the hill to Combe Hay. It was very hot and I stopped for a cooling pint.

As I descended into the Avon valley it was surprisingly difficult to get a good view of Bath.Bath lies on the river Avon, or more accurately, one of the river Avons. There are actually 9 in mainland Britain. The name is derived from the Welsh for river, so the one in Wales is actually the River River.

Angela has come down from Manchester for the weekend. I crossed the 18th century Pulteney bridge. This is one of only 4 bridges in the world to have shops lining both sides

There is a legend that Bath was founded by Prince Bladud, father of King Lear, who was banished from Court because he contracted leprosy. He was sent to look after the pigs who also had a skin disease. He saw that when they wallowed in the hot mud they were cured and, following their example, so was he. When he became king he founded Bath on that site.

Statue of Prince Bladud

I found Angela in our pub/B and B enjoying a glass of wine. We had a good weekend. We visited the Roman Baths, which has been developed into an excellent museum, The evidence is that the Romans developed Bath and built the town, temple and baths around 70AD and named them Aquarian’s Sulis. What was there before is unknown.

There is a lot of a Georgian architecture in the city and one of the houses on the Royal Crescent has been restored as a museum, also well worth a visit. Sadly, it was soon time for Angela to go home. For me, the Cotswold way awaits.