A walk in the countryside: Chew Magna

 

In mid-September Mr C and I went on a country walk with friends. Living in Bristol we are lucky to be a short drive away from a number of great places to visit. We decided to take walk from Chew Magna to Chew Valley Lake and back again. We wanted to combine the walk with catching up with friends, a pub lunch and the chance to pick blackberries on the walk and hopefully sloes if we could find them. I bought Mr C a handy little book, Food For Free, last Christmas and we took with us as it fitted perfectly in Mr C’s back pocket of his trousers.

The weather was perfect for a walk, cloudy at first and later on the clouds broke to deliver a little bit of sunshine.  It took us only about 30 minutes on our walk to stumble on a bountiful crop of berries. At first we started to collect blackberries…


and to our surprise found sloes growing close by!

Inspired by the opportunity to make apple and blackberry crumble and our own sloe gin we set about collecting the berries. We took so long picking berries during the first part of our walk we managed to miss lunch in our destination pub, so instead we had a half pint of cider and some crisps to tide us over until we got back into the village. Later on during the walk we found elderberries too and also picked some of these.

We walked through some lovely parts of the local countryside, through fields of cows…

a field full of the clover with the largest leaves we’ve ever seen…

and a recently harvested field…

We got back to Chew Magna and had a late lunch in the quaint garden of a cafe on the high street…

 

We then headed home after a fantastic day out. Delighted with our collection of berries we promptly put the three sets of berries in the freezer to keep them until we had everything we needed to make a things from them.
I feel really lucky to live only a few miles away from somewhere we can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the tranquil countryside. Why don’t you plan a walk near where you live to explore somewhere new, spend time with friends and see what berries you can find.
Over the next week or so I’ll let you know what we have made with the berries we collected!

 

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