Monday, 28 September 2015

Day 8 - Sat 26 Sept 2015 (Cold Ashton to Bath 10 miles)

After a nice previous evening at The Catherine Wheel, Marshfield we were in buoyant mood as we left the excellent Whiteways B&B on the A46 at 0915 for our final leg of the Cotswold Way Walk. Again the weather was kind to us as we made our way across  the green rolling fields with sheep and cattle. A climb up to Lansdown Hill saw us stop and read the plaque detailing the battle which took place in the very field back in July 1643 between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. At the other side of the field is a memorial which apparently is the oldest war memorial in the country.
We conintued and the path took us through Lansdown golf course before we swept around to Bath race course. At Prospect Stile (755ft) we had the very welcome and lovely views of Bath.
We had a few little ups and downs before reaching Weston and then walking the final descent into Bath, we passed the famous Lansdown crescent before reaching the official  finishing point at Bath Abbey at 1315.
We were all in fine fettle, pleased to have completed the walk and all very much having enjoyed the week.
As we enjoyed a celebrationary pint for completing the walk and to also celebrate Trevor's birthday Phil started yapping again so Dave finally put the ear defenders to good use which summed up the week as we laughed with aching feet........

Friday, 25 September 2015

Day 7 - Fri 25 Sept 2015 (Hawkesbury Upton to Cold Ashton 15 miles)

Our penultimate leg saw us depart Hawkesbury Upton at 0830 in glorious weather. For a change the first few miles were relatively flat. We commented just how well sign posted this National Trail was, it would be very difficult to get lost but it was reassuring to have Dave navigating so he could cross reference our position with various churches. 
At Little Sodbury we bumped into another group of Americans doing the walk and we stopped for five minutes to chat. We then went through Old Sodbury where 3 of the more dubious of the party went Dog Inn as the picture shows!
As we continued at a steady pace we saw an interesting owls and swallow tower. We walked through Tormarton at 1130 but were too early to test the beer at The Major's Retreat so Team Jaguar as we had named ourselves cracked on. 
Crossing the M4 was a physiological boost, with the route then skirting down to and across the A46 before down and around the National Trust's Dyrham House. With only three ten minute breaks we were making reasonable time for the 15 miles but all our feet were aching. We finished with a steep climb up to Pennsylvania before crossing the A46 up to Cold Ashton before crossing the busy A46 for a third time to our last B&B Whiteways and how nice it was. Welcome baths and showers were enjoyed before the landlord kindly gave us a 1700 lift to The Catherine Wheel at Marshfield, only because Trevor said it was Friday so we should go out for a pint. 
Observation of the day - It was looking like Phil, who had brought ear defenders on the walk because of Vince's snoring reputation, but had no need to use them, would have to share them out to the others who by now wanted a break from Phil's constant talking. 
Just one day to go and all looking good with no serious injuries or blisters. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Day 6 - Thurs 24 Sept 2015 (Dursley to Hawkesbury Upton 14 miles)

We had worked out our fuel economy rate (mpg) was 12 miles per gallon of beer. We were sad to leave the excellent Old Spot Pub and Underhill B&B next door, even more so when we had the immediate long climb up Stinchcombe Hill. Once there we continued through the golf course and a wooded area before walking through North Nibley. Another long steep climb followed up to Tynedale Monument (William Tynedale who translated the bible into English) which was well worth the effort as we had great views over the Severn Bridge and much of Gloucestershire. Coming down Phil mentioned that his only blister was on his tongue which was not surprising given how much talking he had done. We went into Wotton-Under-Edge where we had a couple of beers at The Falcon which had its own butchers. As we continued our travels we came off the CWW and popped into The Fleece at Hillsley. As we left and at a fork in the road Phil said "it's important we get the right road", we did which was actually the left road. 
We finished in good spirits at Coombe Farm B&B in Hawkesbury Upton before retiring to The Beaufort Arms where we were told by a local couple to be very careful at a certain point of the walk tomorrow........

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Day 5 - Wed 23 Sep 2015 (Randwick to Dursley 10.5miles)

Day 5 saw a relatively short 10.5 mile walk and we set off at 0900 with a lovely clear, bright morning. We picked up the Cotswold Way Walk at the bottom of Randwick before we went through a vineyard and Trevor had a slight fall down some steps crossing over a railway. During the walk there are a few occasions where you have different route options and we went through Kings Stanley where Dave's excellent navigational skills saw him looking for a church as Trevor stood by the church gate. We then had a steep climb up Pen Hill. This set the scene for much wooded paths which were very up and down in places. Coaley Peak gave us great views over the River Severn and into Wales. Phil got stuck in a stile to much amusement. There was also a 5000 year Neolithic burial mound. We had another steep ascent and descent before skirting around the bottom of Cam Long Down. We were specifically looking forward to our stop at Dursley due to The Old Spot pub which we arrived at with the time being 2pm and in time to watch Japan's rugby match. On the way into Dursley Phil stopped outside a block of flats to put his glasses away when suddenly from the door telecom we all heard someone kept bellowing "Oi baldy" much to Phil's annoyance and our amusement. 
The pub was a former CAMRA pub of the year and the B&B was next door which was conveniently well planned. Our miles per gallon (beer) is going to be worked out tomorrow.....

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Day 4 - Tue 22 Sept 2015 (Birdlip to Randwick 14 miles)

After a nice stay at The Royal George, Birdlip village, we set off at 0840 and spent most of a wet foggy morning going up and down through Witcombe Wood then Buckholt Wood which provided some protection from the weather. We then hit the bottom of Coopers Hill, famous for the cheese rolling. The walk then kindly took us to the top! and through Popes Wood and Painswick golf course before we had a lunch stop at The Falcon in Painswick. We were soon joined by Eileen and Tom, an American couple from Seattle who had, up till today, shared the same Cotswold Way Walk itinerary as us and had stayed at the same accommodation. We continued on our way after Dave had found a church navigation point soon reaching a milestone stating 'Bath 55' on one side and 'Chipping Campden 47' on the other side. When Phil was told about this milestone the previous night his reply was 'so how far in is that?'
The weather improved as we finished the leg at Court Farm B&B Randwick where the owners welcomed us in and said that we were their very last customers as they were closing and moving after more then 30 years. We saw a stunning rainbow over Stroud as we made our way to The Carpenters Arms for dinner and rehydration. Half of our 8 days now complete and no serious injuries.

Day 3 - Mon 21 Sept 2015 (Cleeve Hill to Birdlip 14 miles)

A slightly earlier start given the slightly more mileage on day 3 saw the gang leave at 0845 and quickly climbing back on to Cleeve Hill escarpment. This gave stunning views over Cheltenham and the race course. We then walked down Prestbury Hill and with the rain starting we soon put our wet gear on and moved up in the fashion stakes and on with the walk. We had a good chat about wild cats which have been sighted in the area and which both Phil and Dave have seen and photographed. In good time we were at Dowdeswell Reservoir and crossed the A40 (the nearest point to home). Another steep climb up Lineover Wood tested us all before working ourselves down where Phil slipped over, to much sympathy, before a welcome break at Seven Springs. It was noted that Trevor had a little salad with his snack. We saw an interesting sign showing 'the ultimate source of the river Thames'. As the weather improved we continued our way, going slightly off course but enjoying wonderful views before completing the days leg at Birdlip. At this point Mike left us as he had a taxi and train to catch to get back to Leeds.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Day 2 - Sun 20 Sept 2015 (Wood Stanway to Cleeve Hill 11.5 miles)

Day 2 saw us set off at 0920 all feeling pretty good with another beautiful day weather wise helping. As we made our way we could hear the whistle of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. We passed Hailes and made good time into the town of Winchcombe, too good a time because the pubs were still shut! Onwards and upwards as we began our ascent up Cleeve Hill which at 1066ft is the highest point of the walk and gave great views across to the West. A quick stop at the golf club where the only round was beer not golf, salad on the menu being noted. We then walked a little down hill to our B&B to complete the days walk in good time. Phil got our walk record signed by the Diva from Riga.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Day 1 - Sat 19 Sept 2015 (Chipping Campden to Wood Stanway 12.5miles)

The four of us met friend Mike Cutts from Leeds at the starting point in the picturesque village of Chipping Campden and the five of us set off like spring lambs at 0930. A steady climb set the tone with Broadway Tower the first point of interest, down into Broadway and at 6 miles we stopped at Broadway Hotel for a pint of Cotswold Way brewed by Wickwar (our first Waypoint). The next 6 miles saw another climb before coming down through Stanton. By now the lack of training, work injuries and on going medical conditions resulted in a  few of us being 'knackered'. Everyone was pleased to see sight of the B&B. The mood was good given first day walking done coupled with Watford and Plymouth victories, at The Pheasant pub, Toddington Trevor was delighted to see salad on the menu and the boys had another pint when Japan beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Five years after completing the Coast2Coast walk four coggers from The Masons Arms, Brize Norton will be walking (or trying to) the Cotswold Way Walk, one of Britain's National Trails.

This Blog will provide updates, photos and quotes from the trials and tribulations of Dave, Phil, Trevor and Vince on what will be another blistering adventure, this one being 102 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath.