Solo Coastal Walk from Portishead to Clevedon
The days are drawing in.
This phrase is one that I often hear in England to describe the time of year where night is stretching drastically into the morning and evening hours.
In June the days are extravagantly long here. After the summer solstice, they begin to shrink, but the light is still so plentiful that you only seem to lose a tablespoon of its liquid gold at a time. But towards the end of September, it’s like the sunlight is being poured out by the pitcher. It is dumped off the beginning and ending of the day until you feel like the darkness is closing in on you.
At the beginning of October, I was already feeling it.
The days were definitely drawing in.
I had planned to go to the United States for a visit during the last two weeks of October. I knew that when I came back, between the long nights and the rainy, gray skies, the light was going to feel absent.
So before I left town, I cleared my schedule for a day when the weather looked decent and I planned one last long walk of the season. I took the bus from just outside my house to Shirehampton, then I walked over the Avon River and to Portishead through Portbury, a nature reserve. I did a loop around Portishead from the marina to the beach where I reached the section of the walk I was really out for, a seven mile stretch of gorgeous coastline between Portishead and Clevedon along the Somerset Coastal Path.
It turned out to be an incredible day. The sun was shining and the temperature crawled all the way up to 65 degrees, the warmest it had been all week.
As I walked along, I paused when the path touched the sea and few a threw stones into the water.
When I stopped to eat my lunch, I lapped up the sunshine and the breezy air blowing off of the Bristol Channel.
After some snacks, I passed an old lighthouse and climbed over sand dunes.
The afternoon sun probably slowed my pace a little, but I didn’t mind.
When I reached Clevedon, it was well into the afternoon, so I didn’t stay long, though it seems like a place that warrants a longer visit for sure. Maybe next spring I’ll come back again, I thought.
I checked the bus schedule and saw that a bus for Bristol would be arriving soon, so I made my way to the stop. The bus ride was about an hour back to the center of town. There was still some light left when I stepped off the bus, so I walked home from where it dropped me. That way I could take the route under the trees of the promenade while they were still fluffy and green.
By the time I got home, I had walked a total of almost 18 miles. My body was definitely talking to me. I wrote in my journal that it was worth the aches in my knees to be outside all day in the sun one last time before the days draw in for good.