steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Pilgrimage to Steep Holm

On Sunday I went with gair and gerald for a walk along Brean Down, the promontory that sticks out from Somerset into the Bristol Channel, pointing longingly at Steep Holm. This is the hill which I notionally used for the very first scene in Calypso Dreaming, though in my book I helpfully supplied it with a road. In reality there are steep, steep steps, but that’s appropriate, because (as gerald pointed out) hikers are like pilgrims, and pilgrims ought not to have it too easy. I’ve often thought the same – ever since I walked Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight, in fact, not long after first reading Bunyan. It makes the journey more significant if one remembers that it's a pilgrimage...

The Hill Difficulty
Going Up the Down
"... On a huge hill,
Cragged and steep, Truth stands, and he that will
Reach her, about must and about must go,
And what the hill's suddenness resists, win so."

The Valley of Apollyon (Apollyon was away for our visit)


On the Strait Path, set on either side with quags and dashed bones

We catch our first glimpse of the Celestial City (thanks to lady_schrapnell for the gloves!)
View from the castle of Giant Despair

The end is in sight! But there is a river to cross...
Drawn hypnotically towards Steep Holm...

In other news, apparently Brean Down is a notorious suicide spot for dogs. At least one a month throws itself off the edge. Who knew? Of course, most of the dogs were chasing rabbits at the time. But aren't we all?
Tags: bristol, real life
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