The Richard Jefferies Museum by Coate Water in Swindon has initiated the Wildlife Walk in celebration of Jefferies’s life. This walk spans a whopping 175 miles, connecting various places that were significant in Jefferies’s life.
Three weeks ago, I took on the challenge of walking the length of the ridgeway, a grueling 99 miles over 6 days, which coincides with some of the Wildlife walk. It was a test of endurance and determination, but I’m proud and glad to have accomplished it.
Today, I connected that path, by walking from the Richard Jefferies Museum to the Ridgeway. Despite it being one of the hottest days of the year, and having already run a Parkrun earlier this morning, the main challenge was indeed the heat. You can check out the stats of my walk on Strava.
My friend Craig, who’s well-versed with the route, was my guide for the day.
A significant portion of our walk coincided with the National Cycle Route 45, leading us to the Three Trees Farm Shop. There, we took a much-needed break (mostly looking at all the goodies in the shop) and refreshed ourselves with cold drinks.
Our journey was mostly smooth, except for a stretch of long grass that we inadvertently ventured into. But that’s the beauty of such walks, isn’t it? The unexpected turns and the surprises they bring! And the rash on my legs has almost gone by now 😀
We were also treated to sightings of squirrels, red kites, rabbits, and deer along the way.
Craig, ever the enthusiast, suggested we circle around Liddington Castle, which I was relunctant to because my legs were getting tired and it was so watm, but I’m actually glad we did (I just moaned a lot). The views from the trig point, overlooking Swindon, were absolutely breathtaking.
Our return journey, though still under the scorching sun, felt a tad easier. Most of it was downhill, and we eventually made our way back to Coate. To mark the end of our 11-mile walk in the heat, we decided to treat ourselves to a drink at the Sun Inn.
Now, here’s where I urge all of you to get involved. The Wildlife Walk is not just a physical journey; it’s an experience, a tribute to Richard Jefferies. I encourage everyone to explore the route, walk as much (or as little) as you can, and share your experiences with the museum. And if you’re around on the 6th of November, do join in the celebrations of Richard Jefferies’s birthday and life.
The Richard Jefferies Museum is a treasure trove of events and exhibitions. If you can, drop by for the “Music and Cream Tea” afternoons held on Sundays( you might see me there volunteering). In fact, there’s one tomorrow, and given the sunny forecast, I hope to see many of you there!
Another recommendation from me is to buy and read this wonderful book Wildlife, to learn more about Richard Jeffries.
Lastly, if you’re in a position to, consider donating to support the museum. Every bit helps in preserving the legacy of Richard Jefferies.
As for me, I aim to walk the entirety of the 175 miles, though I will not be able to complete it by the 6th of November. My next segment? Joining the Ridgeway to Tolworth, Surbiton. Life is proving busy and a bit difficult at the moment, so I’m not sure yet when this will be, but I’ll keep you updated in this blog.
Until next time, happy walking!