In search of Battlefields

It’s a Sunny day in June and we are allowed to meet up in groups of 6 for some outside adventuring. Socially distanced of course.

So where to go .. Claverton Down … check, Banner Down … check, Although not sure I told you about that one yet. Charmy Down … check. So Lansdown it is.

Landsdown is the home of some of the most iconic Bath architecture of the Circus and the Royal Crescent designed by John Wood father and Son partnership but we were after much earlier historical sites of note.

Our timing was perfect after waiting for a short downpour to end and off we went towards the village of Woolley with the plan to loop up and around and end up on the Landsdown Battlefields. On  5 July 1643 this was the scene of a punch up between one time friends Sir William Waller and Sir Ralph Hopton respectively a Roundhead and a Royalist. Neither fella actually won it seems.

Back to the route … a short steep up, down and along to Woolley past lovely flowery fields.

Left turn up what is apparently one of the best running descents in Bath if you are in to that kind of thing as a couple of my companions are.

Past another pretty flowery vista.

And up onto Landsdown and the Monument in memory of Civil War Commander and Royalist Sir Bevil Grenville who was one of the casualties at Landsdown as the head of a force of Cornish Pikemen. Not sure why he warranted a monument built 100 odd years later but it is a strange curiosity.

There are some flags marking the battle locations which conveniently mark our route.

We then popped out adjacent to the Landsown Golf course and the route gets more popular and busy with Sunday afternoon walkers.

There is a group of brilliant sculptures near the Golf course cafe which was serving from a table outside. I need to pop back up there with more time and fewer people and find out more about the Artist. This was my favourite piece an I managed to catch a snap with no intruders.

It seemed appropriate for the battlefield and today’s grim times. Although difficult to be too depressed on such a beautiful day.

Incredible views across to Bristol and looking out onto to the Kelston Round.

Day 14 Landscape

Then through the race course, past Beckford’s Tower and round the nose of Landsdown to skirt back down to our starting location … you can just see the roof of our house from here.

Wow that was a long one. We waved goodbye to our companions .. no popping in for tea or coffee sadly .. maybe soon .. fingers crossed!

Time for a Bottom

The inescapable truth is if there are Downs there must be tops and bottoms so welcome to Chilcombe Bottom.

It’s a decommissioned reservoir turned mini nature reserve. I didn’t realise but Bath is surrounded buy hidden reservoirs and this one dates back to the 19th century.

You can’t see much of the water as it’s full of bulrushes and quite inaccessible but it is a rather lovely spot and at this time of year (middle of June) it was full of wriggling tadpoles.

Our Route to get there was up and over Solsbury hill

Day 13 .. Pink

Complete with wild Orchids and big fat thistles with little visitors.

Past my favourite footpath sign.

Then along up and over to the bottom

I think the sheep had been up to no good in this Christmas tree plantation

Love the ancient mile marker was clearly a well trodden path 200 years ago.

And more Orchids at the Bottom

Plotting the next Down tomorrow … Lansdown, home of some very fancy Bath architecture and a racecourse and another flipping Golf course.

Claverton Down

Well apparently Charmy Down is now nationally famous for its illegal raves according to the BBC … So today we can talk about the next one which is probably most famous for hosting the University of Bath in all it’s 70’s architectural monstrosity and the building frenzy that has kept it growing ever since I graduated from there too many years ago to count.

We recently re-discovered the ancient woodland which climbs up the Bath City side and pops out at Sham Castle.

It seems the well to do residents of Bath in times gone by had a penchant for building pointless edifices either to show off or improve their views.

I have fuzzy memories of summer evenings up here from Student days

We then braved a golf ball to the brain with a dash across the golf course which also occupies the top of the Down and after complaining about the ridiculous waste of a beautiful open space for a privileged few to enjoy had to beg forgiveness as at least they have kept a wild part full of amazing grasses and daisies and other wildflowers.

There are a few different walking routes up here so I expect we’ll be back to explore the woods again.

Today was a quick trip up and down with the return route taking us along the Kennet and Avon canal.

#swanlings

The Swanlings have grown up since our last encounter and Dad has got quite feisty. Well who decides a good place to put the kids down for a nap is on the canal towpath .. honestly!

How many other downs to go?

Oh I also joined a little distracting photo of the day instagram fun courtesy of the Cumbria wildlife trust. A little lockdown exercise & local exploring incentive.

30dayswildphotochallenge