The sun was shining as we set out this morning on what promised to be a glorious day’s walking along the Coleridge Way.

We started at Coleridge Cottage, the official start of the trail and headed into Nether Stowey with the village just coming to life. We’d had an eighteenth century breakfast of ‘furmity’, an oat, sultana, sugar, cream and RUM porridge! We were not sure that Coleridge would have started the day with this, but given that this dish would have been popular at the time – and was the primary reason that the Mayor of Casterbridge sold his wife in Thomas Hardy’s novel of the same name – it seemed a good idea at the time.

It soon becomes apparent that this is not going to be a flat walk and we were soon heading up into the foothills of the Quantocks and, as we reach the grimly named ‘Wolford’s Gibbet’ we catch up with David Worthy, local historian and author, who tells us the sad story of Jane Shorney who was murdered by her husband of fifteen days. However, the background story told by David afterwards is equally as disturbing. Listen to it here….

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At lunchtime we came across the Bicknoller Inn, and as the effects of the rum had worn off topped up with a pint of ale.

After skirting around the Quantocks we were now heading into the next range of hills, the Brendons, for our overnight stay at the Notley Arms. As we arrived at the pub at five o’clock we just caught the beginnings of the Paul O’Grady programme on Radio Two; and the first song he played? Xanadu by Olivia Newton John and ELO. Now, I’m not one for coincidences, but…