Day 1 Frome to Shepton Mallet

Should have been approximatey 13.5 miles…we did about 14.5 including detours!

Frome (pronounced to rhyme with broom!) is a pretty little town with lots of independent stores, historical buildings…and lots of hills!

We started our day seeking out the start point for the Mendip Way which conveniently has a cafe (Cheese & Grain) where we could buy sandwiches for our lunch.

After a false start of walking round in circles in Frome trying to follow little blue arrows, we headed into the countryside & had pleasant days walking!

This part of the route was largely wooded valleys which worked out well as we could avoid the light showers under the trees!

The area has an industrial heritage. As well as disused quarries there is a large working quarry at Whatley which had dusted the foliage on that part of our walk with limestone! We also saw a long freight train. Fortunately, the rest of the route was quieter & we didn’t even see many people.

We are regretting our lack of preparation & not listening to our own advice in that regard! Tonight we are relaxing by the open fire at a quirky place called the Dusthole in Shepton Mallet, nursing our achey limbs & bag sores!!

We are proud of ourselves for walking pretty much the entire width of OS map 142. But looking forward to a shorter day tomorrow!

R & L

Our trusty jetboil providing us a tea break before our descent into Shepton Mallet in the valley ahead. The view would have been spectacular if it wasn’t disguised in the clouds.

All packed & ready to go

We finally decided what to take & we’re pleased we could still lift our bags – whether we can walk with them, is yet to be discovered!

We always get asked how heavy they are – we reckon about 13kg. Not quite sure how we can need so many things!

Very important is to not risk running out of snacks! You can read about what we think make the best backpacking snacks here.

cup a soups & crackers for emergency lunches
snacks decanted into little clear resealable bags

After a good nights sleep at the Cornerhouse Inn in Frome, we are about to embark in the first section of the Mendips Way. Our feet are prepped – wrapped in animal wool and leuco tape. Just fuelling ourselves for the day ahead with a cooked breakfast!

R & L

Walking is all about the coffee stops

I’m sure you will all agree that the refreshments are a very important part of any day out… and our lastest walk was planned around starting and finishing at Wilfrid’s Cafe in Droxford.

We’d discovered this community cafe before Christmas when we walked from Beaconhill Beeches – and with ample car parking in the village centre, we thought it would be a good place to start the next leg of the Wayfarer’s Walk.


Happy new year!

Both the goats are looking forward to some good camping trips in 2022, and we’ll be sure to tell you all about them!

The weather is mild enough to be camping today, but sadly we aren’t! I did go for a new year’s day walk, but it wasn’t very exciting… instead I thought I’d tell you about the lastest bit of the Wayfarers which I completed before Christmas: Beaconhill beeches

If you live near enough, maybe it will inspire you of an idea where to walk this weekend.

Happy new year!


Long Distance Walks – guest post

During Lockdown it’s nice to reminisce over previous adventures. We thought you might enjoy reading this guest post from a loyal blog follower about his favourite long distance walk. On his recommendation Glyndwrs Way is on our to do list!

L & R

The UK is blessed with wonderful walks – many just the right length between incredible views and reasonable places for overnight stops.  We’ve met visitors from Australia and USA who come to the UK just because such walks are not possible with their huge distances between centres of habitation.  So which walk to do – mountains, or coastal paths or perhaps moorland?  Having done many long distance trails, the favourite so far has been the 135 mile horseshoe shaped walk “Glyndwr’s Way” which is perhaps the least known of the 15 National Trails of England and Wales.  The walk commemorates the rebellion against the English by Owain Glyndwr, proclaimed Prince of Wales in the early 15th century, and passes through much of the countryside where he fought the English.

As it is in Wales, the walk is inevitably full of hard-to-pronounce place names and comes with the continual fear of rain (although apart from one spectacular display of thunder and lightning while we were very exposed on the top of a hill, nervously holding our (conducting?) walking sticks, that fear was unfounded).  You are unlikely to see many other hikers on the route and I’m afraid there aren’t many tea shops but there are plenty of sheep (Wales has 10 million sheep and only some 3 million people)! 

It has varied, beautiful scenery between the charming mid-Wales towns. The trail is clearly signposted (we only got a bit lost once!) starting in Knighton literally on the Wales – England border, going all the way to Machynlleth which is not far from the Irish Sea coast, and then makes its way back to Welshpool. In fact, there are only four small towns on the entire route: Knighton, Llanidloes, Machynlleth and Welshpool.

With reasonable fitness it can be done in nine or ten days.  According to the guide book the total ascent is 23,556ft and one or two bits are really quite steep!

For me the highlights were probably the reservoir Llyn Clywedog and the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy (below) with its wonderful, many arched viaduct and dam but you spend much time on the walk with spectacular scenery while crossing open moorland (with sheep), working farmland (with sheep), river valleys (with sheep) and woodlands (yes, even some sheep there!).

We took a day off at Machynlleth to visit the Dyfi Osprey Project which is well run and worth visiting.

From a practical perspective, it is worth noting that some of the campsites, pubs and B&Bs in our guidebook were no longer open so careful research is vital.  However, everyone we met on the trip was friendly and helpful.