The weather forecast was for sunshine. It turned out to be a cloudless day, with only light, cooling breezes at height. We left Swineford at 9.30 am and followed the River Avon down to the Bristol – Bath Railway Path, near the Avon Riverside station, opened in 2004. We used it to cross the river and descended to follow the river towards Bath. We enjoyed the river sights – mooring jetties, narrow-boats, weirs, locks and approaching Saltford, increasing activity on the river from rowing and kayaking. Because the trees were not yet in full leaf, the views were clear.  As we reached the outskirts of Bath, the path became busier, especially with cyclists. We turned off the river path at the suspension bridge and climbed up Marlborough Lane to pause and admire Royal Crescent.

We then followed the Cotswold Way, with a climb up High Common at Sion Hill. We turned west to follow an interesting route through Weston. The Cotswold Way then became a path through fields with a long climb and improving views.  We continued on the long path, mostly a gradual slope, up to Prospect Stile. From here, we crossed the end of Bath Race Course, through Lansdown Golf Course to reach Hanging Hill. Here, we turned off the Cotswold Way, descended down a field, and followed a gully through a wood to reach the road at Hanging Hill Cottage. Fortunately, since my recce two weeks ago, the descent was less muddy. We crossed a road, which became a track to Coldharbour Farm. We turned south on the Monarch’s Way on good, flat paths, past our second Sewage Works and at Boyd Farm, we started a long climb up Mill Hill into Upton Cheyney. We took a path into the back end of the picnic site, arriving at 5 pm. It had been an enjoyable walk of 18 miles, with some challenging sections.