Saturday, June 3, 2017

Upton Ham

We woke to a beautiful morning and since I did not want to be driving around on a weekend when the roads would be busy, we decided to go for a walk around Upton Ham. If you remember from the blog on Tewkesbury, a ham is a low lying area beside a river that acts as a floodplain.

We started towards the upper left and headed south and continued anti-clockwise.

Walking out of town.

Interesting fence made of slats of wood.

The countryside coming into view.


Bucolic scene. It's all just so English.

A little lane-way headed south. Fortunately no cars appeared.

A man was standing at this gate so I asked him if we were on the right path to walk down the Ham. He called out his wife who gave us instructions and of course, their dogs had to supervise. I suspect they would have liked to join us.

Wrecked remains of a barn.

The lady told us to walk down the side of this field. There was no path as such but it was a walking right-of-way.

Fortunately we did not have to cross this.

However, there was no visible path other than where you could see somebody had knocked down the grass some time before when they walked this way. However I just checked with the GPS on my cell phone to make sure we were on track.

We headed to the crossing just to the left of the gate. By now, I was feeling like I was back on the Coast to Coast path again.

Yes, there was the novel way of crossing a wall and there was the marker to say we were on the right path.

And there was the total lack of indication where we should walk. Again, we just headed south across the field following the GPS. Fortunately the ground was dry and I had my jeans on. The grass was about 18 inches high and easy to wade through. Somehow I go the feeling that not too many people of Upton upon Severn regularly do this walk.

I finally reached the Severn River.

Marianne was a few paces behind with the church steeple in the background.

Looking downstream at the Severn River.

There was now a more recognizable path.

England countryside is just so beautiful.

And yet another stile to cross. I don't think Marianne was expecting such a 'natural' path.

You get used to seeing vague traces of path after a while.

A place where the cows could go down and drink. Fortunately there were no cows close by since they can be dangerous if you get too close. The woman who is walking around the UK is quite scared of them. By the way, at the time of writing, she is up in Scotland and her blog is excellent.

A little boat passed by and we waved.

The Malvern Hills in the distance. We shall drive up there in the near future.

A very pleasant frontage onto the river.

With the big pylon in the background, I wondered if there might have been a railway bridge here at one time. And after some research it turns out I was correct. The following is from this link.

The first of the bridges was that over the River Avon at Tewkesbury (62 yards), whilst the second crossed the Severn at a point about a mile to the south-east of Upton. The five-span Severn bridge was 145 yards in length, and incorporated a sliding section over the deep-water channel to permit the passage of tall-masted sailing ships that plied the river at that time; this was worked from the river bank by a chain-driven mechanism, and gradually fell into disuse during the 1930s.

This link shows more of the route and photos of the station at Upton before it was demolished.

Perhaps these steps were for boaters. There were two sets on both sides of the river.

A plowed field ready for planting with the steeple in the distance. I was reading an article the other day which suggested that flood plains like this should not be used for crops but left in their natural state. The long grass slows down the water when the river floods and lessens the damage.

I have no idea what these are for.

Another gate of different design. I came across all kinds of ingenious gates and stiles when I did the walk across England four years ago.

More about the Ham which is the name for this floodplain.

It appears they were either loading or unloading a barge load of stone.

Looking across the Ham to the Malvern Hills. The wind was just a bit chilly which helped to keep us cool  while walking. It was all very pleasant and I was really enjoying myself.

Some mushrooms. Who knows if they were edible or poisonous and I was not going to experiment.

Upton upon Severn. You can see the path we used to cross the Ham heading diagonally to the left.

We could have continued down this path that continued to follow the river but we will save that for another day.

The path across the Ham. Very easy walking.

The gate at the other side where we entered the town.

Houses overlooking the Ham, hopefully high enough up to be not affected by floods.

It was a very pleasant and easy stroll on a lovely day. If I lived in England I think I would become what they call a Rambler.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know in England but in Italy those wooden things on the river are used for mooring boats...and they fall apart just the same!