Week 9 day 63 – Monday 25th May

  • 65 minutes at 150/100/120 watts
  • Max heart rate = 117 bpm
  • Calories =601 (total so far = 21415)
  • Distance covered = 23.41 miles
  • Total distance so far = 803.52

Today was a real struggle. I was feeling tired and a bit sick so the only way to get through was to drop the watts a bit. I reduced them to 100 but managed to get them back up to 120 and still achieve my usual mileage for a long day of 23.41 miles.

Appropriate choice for music today, the fabulous Kylie who played the legend spot at last year’s Glastonbury and was apparently the most watched Glastonbury act of all time.

I leave Coxley and continue south west on the A39, bypassing Glastonbury on the way. Although the original Glastonbury Festivals were established here between 1914 and 1926 by classical composer Rutland Boughton (1878–1960), the modern festival was started in 1970 and is actually held some distance away in the village of Pilton near the Somerset coast.

I pass through Curry Rivel, home of Burton Pynsent House and the Burton Pynsent tower, which is sometimes known as the Cider Tower. A political wrangle over a 10 shilling tax on a hogshead of cider meant that on his death Sir William Pynsent left his entire estate to William Pitt in recognition of his opposition to the tax. Pitt developed the estate and built the tower (designed by Capability Brown) in memory of his benefactor. 

As you can imagine this didn’t go down well with the Sir William’s relatives who were left the princely sum of 1000 guineas each. 

Another town with an interesting name on the route is Fivehead, which comes from a Domesday manor which measured five hides (about 600 acres). Fivehead is home to three historic houses.

The very fine Swell Court Farmhouse (15th century) and Cathanger Manor house (16thcentury) are both private homes.

However, if you fancy a stay in a historic house, the 16th century Langford Manor describes itself as ‘an intimate and indulgent manor house in the Somerset Levels, with gourmet food, romantic rooms and a peaceful setting’.

And we arrive at Curry Mallet. William Malet, a Norman knight who fought at the Battle of Hastings, gave his name to the village when he established a castle here.  The current manor house is built on the site of the castle and incorporates some parts of it.  After various sales, the estate came into the hands of the Duchy of Cornwall and as a result, Elizabeth II stayed here as part of her duties when she was head of the Duchy. It’s now a private house and is said to be haunted, with reports of various noises including clashing swords, rustling silk and footsteps. 

After nine weeks, we are beginning to feel the ‘bars on the cage’ loosen just a little with estate agents getting back to work, a return date for schools proposed and talk of shops opening again. However, for many of us, there will be an initial reluctance to venture far afield and return to some sort of normality. 

Everyone will move at their chosen pace and Rosalind has been observing something similar with a family of robins in her garden. Four of the chicks have already felt ready to face the big wide world, but the last one is staying close to mum – not quite ready yet. Watch out for updates next week!