Sometimes I get so focused on going to the Brecon Beacons, the Lakes or fantasise about trips abroad that I forget what I have on my doorstep…..
One Sunday I had to go and collect The Girl who had been on her first overnight expedition with Scouts and stumbled across a little gem of a place called 365 Steps which lead up to The Eagle’s Nest. Ironically, I drive past it every time I visit Bristol and have only ever stopped once to let The Boy have a quick wee behind a tree. The idea of climbing 365 steps always kind of put me off to be honest, but the views that greeted me were worth it, there was also a certain sense of adventure at times as the steps ascend up the cliff face and you can hear the clanking of climbers gear. At one point the steps, which wind up an almost Tolkein-esque landscape, morph in to a suspended metal staircase over a ravine.
When you get to the top you turn right and walk, depending on the time of year, amongst snowdrops, wild garlic, bluebells and aconites. You need to keep an eye out for the viewpoint, the sign has been re-patriated to the woodland, but you can’t miss the expansive vista across the rivers Wye and Severn. The Eagle’s Nest viewpoint is high above the Wye at Wyndcliff, looking out over the broad curve of the river around the Lancaut Peninsula. In the distance the river meanders out to the Severn with my home city, Bristol in the distance.
The serenity and silence I was enjoying was soon broken as The Girl and her fellow Scouts rounded the corner out of the woodland, for a short while I was hidden down in the ‘nest’ able to hear their hilarious inane babble as they tried to find the meeting point. I am proud to say that they were all blown away by this little spot too and after a weekend of no mobile phones they were able to finally turn their security blankets on and take the obligatory selfie (which you can see I had already done!).
It just goes to show, sometimes it is worth just stopping a while at these places we drive past every day.