Showing posts from March, 2011

Dove Down: Dove Up: Dover's Hill

Let's start with a video. It's shot in HD, so it should be good. It shows the view from the trig-point on Dover's Hill, near Chipping Campden, and is our start point for our Cotswold Way  circular walk. Date: Saturday 19th March,2011. Location: Dover's Hill Purpose :   Cotswold Way  circular walk No. 1 " Chipping Campden" Conditions: Sunny, blue skies, ground drying quickly, temperature 8 - 10 degrees Distance: 2.5 - 3.00 miles (aprox.) Perceptive readers will have noticed that the walk is entitled "Chipping Campden," yet my start point is Dover's Hill. My reasons are twofold: 1 The walk commences in Chipping Campden and walks up-to Dover's Hill following the Cotswold  Way . It is a steep climb, and rather than follow the old route, it was easier to use the Dover's Hill car park and  continue on the fresh part ( to me) of the walk. 2. The good citizens of Chipping Campden, seemed to me less than enthusiastic towards the  Way ,

A Pick 'O Grass In The Hill Fort

The Date: 16th March 2011. Location: " The Dog Inn " Old Sodbury Conditions: Grey/ Misty  4 - 6 degrees, Dry. Purpose:   " Cotswold Way  Circular Walk 11 ' Old Sodbury - The Hill Fort and Church .' Distance: 2.5 Miles. The walk starts from The "Dog Inn '' on the corner of the busy A432 Chipping Sodbury road; which the walker must take care crossing over. Once across, rather than follow the opposite road, up towards Old Sodbury village, take a left and continue through the gates of a drive passing two cottages and a barn; usually containing cattle and onto a field. Crossed diagonally to reach a kissing gate and right upwards to the Church, which hugs the summit of the slope.  This rather elegant array of ancient  crosses greets the walker as the church is reached. This fascinating, medieval church and churchyard, richly deserves  your attention, before you continue. Further details and pictures can be found via a previous posting.  &q

On Broadway.

Tuesday 8th March 2011. Clear blue sky; ground moist and slightly cloying in places; Temperature 5 - 7 degrees C.  Location: Broadway, Worcestershire. The Object: Cotswold Way Circular Walk No.2 " Broadway and the Tower. " Distance: 4 miles. This walk exemplifies a classic Cotswold outing; being an even mixture of up and down modes; a yin and yang route, if you will. Starting at the war memorial, on the High Street in Broadway, the walk quickly progresses via a right turn into an 'activity park & picnic area ' and thence into footpaths through green fields until the Snowshill Road is reached.  Turning left,  one steadily climbs to reach St. Eadburgha's Church, which dates in part to the 11th Century. After the church, the route turns left passing through a gateway into a muddy track, called Coneygree Lane, named,  as the instructions said " after the 'free ' rabbit warren granted here by Henry 111 in 1251. " Poles are needed at t

Life is a Cabaret.

In Cheltenham, at this time of year, there is a buzz in the air, the parks are neat, with spring bloom and on  the dual carriageways entering the town, daffodils make a show on the grass verges. The shops are spruced up with eye-catching window-displays; none more so than this one: There is a spring in the step, because we are less than a week away from the annual Cheltenham National Hunt Festival; with its usual invasion of the Irish  from across the water. Even the  trainers are  'putting on the style,' tidying their yards up. This year, is particularly important, because, the Festival opening day, Tuesday 15th March, marks the centenary of racing at Cheltenham ( 1911- 2011 ). To celebrate this occasion, a large number of bowler hats are to be given away. "A Dark horse, which had never been thought of,  and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph." Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881

Lydiard Park: A New Perspective

A while back, I borrowed a book from the local library, with subject matter, relating to short walks in the British Isles. Naturally I looked first at walks in Gloucestershire, my local county. To my surprise, considering that the oft-mentioned  Cotswold Way  runs through it, the nearest walk in the book was in the neighbouring county of Wiltshire. The walk was a 2.5 mile stroll through Lydiard Park, near Swindon. My mission was clear, to find and walk at this location. Using the above web-link I downloaded the directions, as coming from Cirencester. The day March 2nd, was dry, grey, with a cold wind; temperature range 2 - 4 degrees. Thus armed, with flask, sandwiches and warm clothing, I set off in the car. Coming off the M5 at 11A, I headed on the A419. The directions told me to exit at the Turnpike Roundabout and follow signs to North and then West Swindon. I saw the 'Turnpike' in my mind's eye and confidently proceeded onward; b