The Avalon Marshes

We were going for a day out, taking a picnic and looking forward to a sunny day. We decided to go to the Peat Moors Centre in the heart of the low-lying land near Glastonbury, a place where people have lived, worked, and used for thousands of years. We would look round the little museum, and the exhibits – including a reconstructed neolithic dwelling, have a lovely walk and eat our picnic.

We drove straight to the place… except it wasn’t there, we must have made a mistake, and we drove round and round looking for it. We saw one small brown sign, which led nowhere. We stopped and Googled it with no result. In the end we went somewhere called Avalon Marshes which had a tea-shop and a visitors centre (irritatingly called a hub – why have things got to be called hubs instead of centres, another stupid name!)

We were greeted by a very friendly and helpful volunteer who explained all about the place and where we could find the various walks and other useful information. The place (I won’t call it the hub) had a great display of paintings, ceramics, textiles etc from local artists which we had a brief look at – must come back and have a better look.

Armed with our picnic, we walked the quarter of a mile or so, along the straight road, back to a bridge we’d already crossed over what we discovered was the Glastonbury Canal, or was it the Huntspill Drain, I’m not quite sure – we must visit again and find out.

Along the side of it, the left side in the picture is the track of the old railway and we decided we’d walk a little way along there before turning round coming back, crossing the road and exploring the other side. As we stood taking photos a waft of wind took my husband’s hat and it ended up floating in the water. We weren’t able to rescue it, and there it might still be!

We walked along the old railway track, then back and then stopped to have our picnic where we discovered what can only be described as a Marmite explosion. I’d prepared wraps for everyone, cheese and ham for husband, almond butter for daughter, and Marmite for me. Each was wrapped in its own foil, but for some reason the Marmite had slid off the wrap, inveigled its way through the tin foil, and spread itself over everything else… It is remarkably sticky, Marmite…

Picnic consumed we walked along and then followed a trail to see the reconstructed Sweet Track; the Sweet Track (named after Mr Sweet who found it) was a neolithic trackway:

Tree-ring  dating  (dendrochronology) has proved that  it was built in the  spring  of 3806  BC when  farming and settled life was just beginning in what is called the ‘Neolithic’ period.  Fats extracted from pottery found beside the track were from cow’s milk, providing the earliest evidence of dairy-farming in the UK.

We saw dragon flies by the hundred, a  great white egret, herons, a frog, and we might have seen the ripple of an otter… The air was full of the sound of birds, but unfortunately I can’t tell you what they were, except they were very cheerful!

We had a wonderful day, managed not to get bitten by any creatures, saw some wonderful things, and now we can’t wait to visit again. It’s the sort of place where every time you go it will be completely different.

Here is a link to the website, I’m sure you’ll enjoy looking, and then maybe you’ll be inspired to visit!:

http://avalonmarshes.org/

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