Monthly Miles: March 2021

There’s a sense of relief that has come from the lifting of Lockdown, here in England. This pandemic is by no means over and certain restrictions shall remain for the months ahead. Walking has become an essential activity for so many people. Myself, included.

Sand Point, Weston-super-Mare.

01/03 – 3.5 mile run – St. Georges, Weston-super-Mare
02/03 – 4.25 miles – Wick St. Lawrence, North Somerset
05/03 – 2 mile run – St. Georges
07/03 – 10 miles – Sand Bay and Sand Point from Home
08/03 – 3.5 mile run
11/03 – 2 mile run
13/03 – 8.5 miles – Sand Point, Weston-super-Mare
14/03 – 4.5 mile run – Wick St. Lawrence
15/03 – 11.5 miles – Wrington, North Somerset
16/03 – 3 miles – Wick St. Lawrence
18/03 – 2.5 mile run – St. Georges
21/03 – 10 miles – Sand Point from Home
22/03 – 3.5 mile run – Wick St. Lawrence
24/03 – 3 mile run – St. Georges
25/03 – 8 miles – Congresbury, North Somerset
26/03 – 3 mile run – St. Georges
29/03 – 15.25 miles – West Mendip Way to Shipham

Total for March 2021 = 98 miles

I don’t think I’ve ever come so close to reaching one-hundred miles for the month of March, in the few years that I’ve been keeping an eye on my mileage. Of course, many evening runs account for much of this tally.

I also find it strange to thing back one month ago. Terrible weather, at times. We’ve had a mini heatwave more recently. Further crap weather, another cold snap and a few flurries of snow (in the south, at least). Yet the daylight hours continue to increase, along with the average daily temperature.

Outside of Woodspring Priory.

For the most part, I stayed very local and often walking from my own doorstep – as I had through January and most of February. It’s something I’ve believed in, even where I’ve bent or broken those rules. This has been the longest stretch of lockdown that we’ve endured in the UK. Many of us have come face to face with that wall. We’ve each reacted in our own way(s).

There’s a great sense of freedom in being permitted to travel a bit further. Some will always abuse this – as some already are and have done. ‘Stay Local’ remains to be the message, if somewhat more mute, when compared to the fines handed out to people choosing not to stay at home.

View of the Mendip Hills from Bleadon Hill.

On the day that lockdown was eased, I drove out to the Mendip Hills for the first time since… Probably December. Such a long absence from an AONB that was only ever twenty minutes away. I’ve missed those hills. I’ve missed hills!

Above Goblin Combe, North Somerset.

At this time one month ago, I ‘bent’ my own lockdown rules to drive for a walk and meet part-way with a friend I’d not seen since sometime before Christmas. It was a mutual decision and the walk was good… If someone difficult, for me personally; struggling to adapt to that forgotten notion of spending time with another person; sharing that outdoors space. I’ve met up with a few others since (in this less-restricted time) and I’m hoping these experiences will become easier, again and more enjoyable, over time.

Middle Hope and Sand Point.

I don’t know when or if(!) I’ll ever do those doorstep walks again. That constant through what has been a very challenging time. Certainly, I have no ‘need’ to walk that way again right now. Being allowed to travel further, there are so many other places and spaces that I’d prefer to visit and explore.

Sand Bay, Weston-super-Mare.

They’ll always be available… I sincerely hope that never become ‘necessary’ again. It has certainly been a very long three months, after all of what was 2020!

Congresbury Yeo near Hewish, North Somerset.

For another walk in March, I drove five or six miles to start a local-ish walk around North Somerset. I’ll write about it soon, as I follow a section of the Congresbury Yeo river and revisit memories from a “coastal” walk back in 2015.

Tea beneath Crook Peak.

This year appears to have started quite well. Changes are already afoot through the month of April, as I’ve taken to cycling and that’s leaving me with less energy to spare for habits like running… We’ll soon see how that’s going!

Current total for 2021 = 240 miles

Thanks for reading.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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