Monday, 13 January 2014

December River Walk

Nearly every month in 2013 we did one of our favourite circular walks from Ford in North Wiltshire up the Bybrook to Long Dean, a little way towards Castle Combe and then back to Ford. We took photos every month to mark the seasonal changes.

December's river walk got slightly delayed what with all the festivities, so we ended up doing our last walk of 2013 in 2014! That was OK though - it was satisfying to be doing the last walk of the cycle on the very same day that we began - 2 January.

So what did we find on the river walk's first anniversary?

Well, just like last January it was wet. But this January it was very wet. The river was really high.

The Bybrook, Jan 2014, nearly reaching the top of the bridge's arch
The same place in spring 2013

At the little 'beach' area where we have picnicked in sunnier times, the river was roaring, and it was just too deep and dangerous to paddle.

The fields were flooded and Son would have got soaked if he had laid down on the grass to take photos, which is what he usually likes to do.

In several places the river had burst its banks and it was tricky to get across the water.

Finally we got to a point where we could go on no further. The wooden footbridge was surrounded by water. This meant that we couldn't do our usual circular walk which was a shame, but we had a conversation about the saying 'go with the flow', and how sometimes in life you have to do just that.

So we retraced our steps and walked up the other side of the valley, where the path is on higher ground. The pigs were enjoying the sun and the mud. 

We argued about these grassy mounds. I think they are just mole hills that have grassed over.

The beech trees are completely bare.

There must have been some sort of trail around the woods; Son enjoyed looking out for the names that were dotted around, not all so visible as Hercules (Hurcules being the Wiltshire version...) We found Ben Affleck and Marie Curie too, but couldn't work out any connection between them.

We took our usual shot up the Bybrook Valley but rather than overload this blog post with photos, I shall do another wrap-up blog post with all the shots for the entire year for a final comparison.

It's been a good year in the Bybrook Valley, and we've enjoyed seeing the cycle of nature turn in this small area of the world. A few people have asked whether we shall do the same thing this year, maybe another route, but we're not sure yet. It's been a great way of making sure we get out, and we've all enjoyed it - it's one of those walks that really lifts the spirits and we always came back feeling happier than when we set out, no matter what the time of year. But whether to repeat the exercise? I really don't know. What do you reckon?


  1. If it's one of those walks that lifts the spirits, then I say keep going!

    I'm reading a great book on walking called "The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot" by Robert MacFarlane. I recommend it!


  2. That's a lot of water roaring through the area. Did you have a lot of rain or warm weather and a lot of snow melt or a combo to cause it? As far as doing the same walk or another one, there's a lot to be said for each. I will say that in walking around my yard on a almost weekly basis for two and a half years now, I continue to notice new things.

  3. Nice post and simply superb in nature. it's pleasure to read this kind of post. thanks