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Over Old Down and round the hill at Hill - winter sun in the Severn Vale

Wednesday 17 January
by wjhall
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A modest, generally level ride for a short but sunny winter day enjoying the clarity of winter light on the plains. Ride along the river front to New Passage, cross the marshlands to Olveston and climb over Old Down to descend the steep Kyneton Hill from Mumbleys. To the Oldbury-on-Severn Community Cafe for morning coffee and cake, then north by Shepperdine and Nupdown followed by a circuit of the hill that gives its name to the hamlet of Hill, starting the return at the equally tersely named hamlet of Ham and crossing the low watershed between the Thornbury and Berkeley Vales. Back through Kington and over the gently graded Stock Hill with its views back across the vale to return along the river front by mid afternoon as the light fades, surmounting the midget bump of Ingst Hill before the final marshland stretch.

Community Cafe and shop at Oldbury-on-Severn, inns in Oldbury, Littleton & Olveston, baker, cafes and inn in Severn Beach.

Generally quiet roads, only the B4461 has fast but sparse traffic. Access to the marshlands is along the NCN4/41 cycle path beside the motorway from New Passage. Arrive at Severn Beach station at 0925 returning for the 1501. Train times as of winter 2024. Generally an hourly service operates to Severn Beach during the day.

Calm winter morning at New Passage - the new bridge.

About to descend Kyneton Hill.

Near Shepperdine, the twentieth century looming over the nineteenth. Disused Oldbury nuclear power station and Knights Farm.

Behind the hill at Hill: New Park Farm perched above the flatlands.

Bilsham Lane: the last of the marshlands - well drained.

Late afternoon winter light over the Severn.