A couple of weeks ago Lynnie’s brother John mentioned he had recently stayed in a holiday cottage at Oldbury Naite, close to the River Severn in South Gloucestershire, where a new CL was about to open. It is a part of the Country we have not previously visited so decided to give it a go.
Following an email exchange with Vic the CL owner we find ourselves booked in as the first visitors to their brand new site at Golden Valley House CL. Access to the site is really good and as you would expect from a new CL the facilities are top notch. After pitching up Crosby and I are out for a walk to stretch our legs and explore the area.
Leaving the site I turn left into the minor road Stoneyard Lane, and then at a junction in a hundred yards turn left into Shepperdine Road, signposted to Shepperdine and the River. I stay with Shepperdine Road until it turns to the right just after passing Knight’s Farm. I am now on a lane heading towards Jobsgreen Farm, nearing the farmhouse I take a bridleway on the left and follow this to reach a gate. I don’t go through the gate but turn left onto a bridleway running along the perimeter of Oldbury Nuclear Power Station.
On reaching a road I turn right and then almost immediately left to take a path that follows the high fence line of the Power Station to reach the River Severn.
Oldbury Power Station was commissioned in 1967 and the nuclear reactors created enough electricity each day to serve a city twice the size of Bristol. It has two nuclear reactors, the second being commissioned in 1968. The power station was decommissioned in 2012 and is now going through the decommissioning process. The defuelling process will continue until 2027 and apparently the demolition of the reactor buildings and clearance of the site is scheduled for 2096 to 2101. A stark reminder that nuclear fuel leaves a legacy for future generations to clear up.
I now turn left to join the Severn Way and follow this footpath besides the River Severn. Last week we were walking on the Severn Way around Worcester, then we would only get an occasional glimpse of the water, here the full expanse can be enjoyed as I look across towards the Forest of Dean.
In front of me are the two road bridges crossing the River Severn. The closest suspension bridge was opened in 1966 by Queen Elizabeth II, this originally carried the M4 linking England to Wales. The second, newer bridge, The Prince of Wales Bridge, opened in 1996 and now carries the rerouted M4, whilst the old bridge has been designated as the M48.
I stay with the path to Oldbury Pill with the Thornbury Sailing Club tucked into the inlet. I am not keen on being on water and have never ventured out sailing, the Isle of Wight ferry is my type of sea transport. However, it is obviously a popular activity and this club was formed back in 1949 and according to its website is thriving.
The footpath soon joins the tarmac driveway to the sailing club and on reaching a gate the Severn Way goes to the right over Oldbury Pill, but I stay on the tarmac drive and walk into the village of Oldbury on Severn. The lane comes out almost opposite the Anchor Inn.
After a long day a pint would be very welcome, but it is getting late and I know that Lynnie will be preparing food back at the caravan. So I turn left away from the pub and walk through the village passing the Community Shop and then following the road as it bends to the right into Chapel Lane. On reaching a junction I turn left into The Naite and follow this minor road to reach a crossroads where I go straight over and then walk the short distance back to Golden Valley House CL.
My stroll has covered five miles and it has been an interesting introduction to the area. Time now to plan some walks for the next few days.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer OL167 Thornbury, Dursley & Yate
9th July 2021
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)
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Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.