Wednesday, 24 February 2016

140.Severn Way Berkeley - Purton Rtn (10.4 Miles )


Parking @Berkeley, Gloucestershire GL13 9DE

On this walk we rise early 630am and drive to Berkeley,Gloucestershire.
A Frosty Morning at -2.5 to start but well worth it stunning blue skies and not a sole to be seen until Sharpness docks !

The first pic Shows tree absolutely covered in Mistletoe.This on the Banks of the Little Severn.

With the sound of Oystercatchers and Wigeon calling and Meadow Pipits Bouncing from fence post to fence post idyllic !

The 2.5 miles from start is soon covered and we arrive at Sharpness dock once a very busy Port opened in 1827 giving access to the Gloucestershire and Sharpness Canal But on this morning was almost dormant !

Now it looks as though it's Crane Heaven,with Jibs scattered everywhere !

Soon after a detour around the docks we come on to the Canal which terminates at Gloucester some  15 miles further on,picture here show the once Mighty Severn Railway Bridge 

Built  in 1870 to transport coal from the Forest of Dean on the Severn and Wye Railway.  The iron bridge, which was 4,162 feet (1,269 m) long and 70 feet (21 m) above high water, had 21 spans and had stone abutments . 
The span across the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal operated as a swing bridge.
 On 25 October 1960, in thick fog and a strong tide, two barges which had overshot Sharpness Dock - collided with one of the columns of the bridge after being carried upstream. Two spans of the 22-span steel and cast iron bridge collapsed into the river. Parts of the structure hit the barges causing the fuel oil and petroleum they were carrying to set on fire. Five people died in the incident.
Demolition began in 1967 and took until

Further along the canal we come to Purton Hulks not the Incredible Hulks but Ship Hulks abandoned along the shore line with the aim of protecting the bank from erosion by the strong currents in the river.

A great if not bit sad site 
with the once wooden and some stone barges sinking into the mud .

It's also a great place to stop for dinner and watch the Birds flying along, trains on the Lydney side and admiring the great River Severn and its Muddy waters.

Now were on around 6.5 miles and someone mentioning no names Andy!  
Was getting a bit worried about whether there would be a crossing soon! 
The crossing came into sight :) 
A Swing bridge that takes us across in to Purton .

Soon leaving behind The Severn we climb the hills above Purton with some magnificent views across onto the Forest of Dean and beyond.

In this Picture with Frocester Hill in Distance and one of my favorite Places Slimbridge in foreground,you can just about see the Zeiss Hide and some geese on the dumbles !

The next part of the walk a bit boring with winding lanes for some 2/3 miles  but on arriving back at Berkeley i give you the option of paying the £11  to visit Berkeley Castle ,
Yes £11  !! we chose to cut through St Mary Churchyard and sneak a photo from the entrance gate ! a much better option.

Overall a great walk with some very interesting points, views and history i'd recommend it. But i would i love a good walk !

Thanks for looking now walk it !! :)

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