Monday, 31 March 2008


Severn Beach → Clifton


Distance: 12.5 miles
Ascent: unknown
Duration: 4 hours 50 minutes

The end of the Severn
« Severn Tunnel Junction | Portishead »

For the second month in a row I'm walking on the last day of the month. If this carries on it'll be a very stressful way to complete one coastwalk each month this year! I've decided to start making my way down the Severn Estuary from the bridges. There are probably two walks to do between Newport and here; I'll come back and do them later.

Starting at Severn Beach the walk initially follows the end of Severn Way. While not a National Trail, it's a long-distance path which I'd like to come back and do in its entirety some time. The path ends in Avonmouth and begins two hundred miles upstream at the source on the flanks of Plynlimon. This final section is far from attractive, and although well sign-posted there's no clear finishing point. One of the metal signs has been shot through.

It's possible to cross the River Avon by a footpath on the M5 road bridge, but after taking one glimpse of it I decided to detour to the next bridge upstream. After all, a motorway can't compete with Brunel's suspension bridge at Clifton.

Back underneath the M5 I passed by a small shrine. Flowers and candles surrounded a photograph of a teenage boy. A stonework angel watched passers-by. On the other side of the path a burnt-out shopping trolley presumably once provided warmth for a late-night vigil. It's easy to guess what went on here, so after a quick glance skywards I moved on up the river.


The gorge narrowed and eventually the Clifton Bridge came into view. Climbers looked down from the sheer rock faces on either side while next to me the busy Portway carried road traffic in and out of Bristol.

This hasn't been a particularly scenic walk, but still the scent of spring flowers and the warmth of the sun reminded me what a pleasure it is to spend the day outside exploring another corner of the coastline.

Posted by pab at 19:27 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!