Winchcombe: Caught Knapping

Date: Tuesday 29th March 2011
Location:  Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.
Purpose :  Cotswold Way  Circular Walk: 4. Winchcombe and Belas Knap.
Distance:   5.25 miles.
Conditions: generally grey, but sun possibly emerging later. Good to firm ground.
Temperature:    8 - 11 degrees C.

All went well at the start; the picture above shows daffodils at the point along Vineyard Street, where the trail turns right and heads across a grassy meadow " in the shadow of St. Peter's Church."
After passing along field boundaries, Corndale Lane is reached.
Turn left, and continue along the road for about .25 miles until a right is taken  to pass by the Winchcombe Cricket Ground. The walk then continues on the left via a kissing gate up a steeply rising field.

In this field were many horses.

This field represents a good fitness check; as it is a tiring ascent.
In the top left hand corner is a further kissing gate, leading onto a road. At this point the mission went wrong.

My directions had instructed me to go right leaving the Cotswold Way , but I thought this was  meant for the shorter 3.5 mile walk , which bypassed Belas Knap. So, mistakenly, I crossed the road and ascended by paths and fields to reach Belas Knap.
This is a wonderful iconic Cotswold landmark; being a Neolithic Long Barrow, dating back over 6,000 years.
A perfect spot for rest, reflection, and of course a cuppa'.

Here, also is a picture of one of the side views of the barrow.

Following, rest I carried on the Cotswold Way, moving away from the barrow in the wrong direction.

Even more perplexing, dear reader, after awhile I espied a green circular walk sign, deluding me, that I was back on track. I  carried onwards  and found these old ramblin' farm buildings.

I couldn't match these striking barns, with the detail on my trail plan; so I knew I was on the wrong path.
I came to realize, that the confusing green signs, in fact related to the nearby  Cleeve Hill Circular Walk.

Reluctantly, I headed back to the Knap; and then as I retraced my route I saw those signs again.
It dawned on me, that if I had followed that road green sign, I would have been led  up to Belas Knap, by another route, and then of course by descending, my former way, would have been back on  my circular walk.

All then became clear, ( although you're not  following, I guess), but knowing that, by the time , I got back to the starting point, I would have walked 6 miles. I decided that was enough for the day.

As Yoda might have said: ' Complete the walk later we will.'
Have a restful week and make good investments at Aintree.




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