Oldbury to Littleton Walk

I picked up the Evening Post's Summer Special on Friday containing 20 guided walks around the Bristol area. Despite the drizzly rain yesterday I decided to go out with my camera and explore the Olbury to Littleton Walk.

The walk starts in Olbury-upon Severn, a small village near the River Severn and travels past Littleton-upon-Severn before heading along the river back up to Oldbury. I parked up in the carpark opposite the Anchor Inn, put on my waterproof and lifted my increasingly heavy backpack containing my camera gear and some bottled drink with my tripod and a poncho attached to the outside. I really must invest in a proper camera bag at some point...

Starting up a small hill I came across a field with some horses near a school. I'm a townie by nature so anything farm-like automatically seems strange and facinating to me. Despite the rain I decided to start out by trying to get a few shots of horses. After setting up the tripod and attaching my camera I (wo)manfully took off my coat to drape it over the top of the camera to protect it from the rain and snapped away.

Family of HorsesFamily of Horses

After shooting my fill I packed everything away again and continued up the hill to the Church of St. Arilda.

The Church of St. ArildaThe Church of St. Arilda

The Church sits atop the hill, something that I'm sure was completely intentional as you can see it from the surrounding area easily and presumably that helped to remind everyone of what the Church thought the most important thing in people's lives should be. The graves were a mix of dates from about 1830 ish to present (that I saw). The odd recent gravestone amonst the older weathered stones looked very incongruent but in every other respect it looks like an old forgotten churchyard. I played around trying to get different effects from the play of light on the building and it was here that I noticed an interesting and useful fact. When attaching my camera to my cheap Jessops tripod, the top platform sags down slightly under the weight causing the images to never be straingt and the way that the platform angle mechanism is designed makes it hard to correct for this. I found that if you wedge a Jessops filter case under the sagging corner in the gap between the platform and the rest of the head, the angle of the platform is horizontal like it should be. Co-incidence or design? You have to wonder sometimes... This Wedging the Filter Case(TM) was to prove useful for the rest of the afternoon and evening and I'm sure it will come in useful many times in the future.

The Church of St. ArildaThe Church of St. Arilda

After the church it was a walk down the hill into the fields. The walk was livened up by me managing to end up in a cow field instead of a meadow where I was supposed to be according to the guide.


Remember I said I was a townie? I have a confession to make - cows freak me out big time. I have no real experience with cows. To me they are huge half ton animals that are incessently curious about people and who will quite happily walk over the top of you as they are too stupid to realise that you were in the way and might not appreciate it.

The cows were at the other end of the field staring at me when I climbed over the gate into their field. I kept calm, psyching myself up for a possible 'encounter' when four of the cows broke off from the group to walk towards me. I carried on towards a gate at the top of the field. Seeing the interest the four 'breakaway' cows were giving me the rest of the herd then decided that I must be something special and started to walk over as well.

I started to go into a light panic.

So now I'm walking along, trying to be calm, a herd of cows following me at around a distance of three metres behind me.

I started to scope out escape routes.

The gate I was aiming for was stil half a field away and the fence beside me was barbed wire and nettles.

I carried on going. The cows were now getting more bold and closing the distance. Some of the back markers when getting left behind were running up to catch up.

I'm normally a rational person, I know that if I turned around and even looked slightly as if I was going to walk back towards the herd they'd scatter in fright but it's hard not to be scared when you have a gang stalking you and charging towards you every so often. And if you're now laughing at me remember I'm a townie and the words 'half ton', 'stupid' and 'charging'.

Thankfully I managed to get to the gate without them getting the nerve to actually nudge my butt but they were pretty close. Once I was safely on the other side I took a picture to commemorate my safe crossing of the field. Granted it doesn't hold the same kind of gravitas as crossing the Alps or sailing round the world solo but it felt like a huge achievement at the time.


These ones looked especially angry and evil.

Angry Looking CowsAngry Looking Cows

After my epic journey so far I felt I deserved a reward so I stopped off in The White Hart for a coke and a restroom break. Then it was off again into the wilderness...

Along a track and over some stiles and eventually I got to the dyke which runs alongside the river. Much to my horror there were more cows here but the grassland was bigger and they were obviously more used to having random people wander through their pasture as only one followed me while walking along.

The rain had made everything hazy and the clounds were boring and bland. I got a shot of the Severn Bridge but the result was so uninteresting I has to try and liven it up in Photoshop in order to even bother putting it up here.

Severn BridgeSevern Bridge

Since it was getting late and I didn't want to be stuck out in a field in an area I'd never been to and without a map or torch I headed quickly back to the car, home and a nice dinner.


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davidjaymz's picture

Sounds like you had fun. Don'

Sounds like you had fun. Don't worry cows worry me too but not as much as horses... Horses have a brain!

A good tripod is a must. Calumet own brand ones are very good. I have the medium tripod with the medium 3 way head. very sturdy and not too heavy...

And again a good bag is a must. I have the crumpler "the formal lounge" which is very good, fits my laptop in too. I'm a bit concerned that I may be outgrowing the camera section of it though... But its perfect for now :-)

DavidJaymz.com // Photography of Rock

kat's picture

Horses are OK

I actually don't mind horses. They seem so beautiful that I forget that they have the potential to hurt as well.

I think I'd probably want to get a backpack style bag but the only Crumpler ones I've seen are of the side bag style. My spine can't take weights off-centre without complaining the next day - I'd rather save the spine twisting for other activities...

I dunno - it'd be nice to have a proper bag if I end up going to RIAT this year although attaching everything to my current backpack seemd to work ok this weekend - even if it is a cycle carrier style bag and hence weight bearing off centre.

davidjaymz's picture

Mine is a backpack... Bottom

Mine is a backpack... Bottom half camera, top half laptop and normal backpack. check it out (http://crumpler.com.au/cartIndex.php?prodId=88&prodType=Bag&catId=22) but remember it may be a bit small for lots of gear...
I'd forgotten about RIAT... hmmmm

DavidJaymz.com // Photography of Rock

kat's picture


Let me know if you're going and we can try and meet up. I'm thinking of going Saturday (bought my ticket today).