Purton Hulks in Gloucestershire is only 40 minutes from home, but feels like another world. Nestled on the banks of the River Severn it seems like any sleepy village in the area, but explore further along the banks you happen upon an eerie sight. A boat graveyard.
I didn’t know what to expect really. I’ve seen images on my pal Laura’s instagram feed, but nothing prepared me for this place. Old boats dating back to the early turn of the century some wooden and decayed and others reinforced concrete that are standing the battles of nature better.
Reading the visitors information, at the start of the walk, it explained that the boats were sailed up the Severn to the area to reinforce the river bank, which on one side was the River Severn and the other the Sharpness Canal.
It made a spooky walk. We imagined ghosts of pirates and sailors old, drifting out of the marshes. Clanking chains and shrieking gulls. We made up stories, of where these boats have sailed, and what their cargo might have been.
No such luck in finding sunken treasure. Only dried grass and the occasional nosy dog, as walkers rambled by. The sound of the wind whistling up the river, and the distant train tooting through the tunnel over the water in the Forest of Dean.
The boys loved it. Climbing on the broken hulls, smacking sticks against the rusting metal hulls, making a clunking sound. It was very muddy, so wellies were a must.
Further on, we headed along the canal, off of the boggy river side marshes, and followed the canal to the modern day boat moorings. Sweet long boats and river cruisers, moored up taking a rest, before venturing inland and traversing the UK’s many canals.
Purton Hulks is a fantastic day trip. Combine it with sunday lunch at The Daneway (my pal Emma Bradshaw’s pub) for a good Gloucestershire day out.