Walking the Wolds: Cold Aston to Buckle Street

" North, South, East and West:
Think of whichever you love the best.
Forest and vale and high blue hill;
You may have whichever you will,
And quaff one cup to the love o' your soul
Before we drink to the lovely whole. "

From ' A Song of Gloucestershire '
F W Harvey.

The third line of this verse, became the starting point for ' The Gloucestershire Way, '  a long distance walk of 100 miles; the project of which was completed in 1996. The 'forest' is the Forest of Dean; the 'vale '; the vale of Gloucester;  the high blue hills; the Wolds,  The route runs from Chepstow to Gloucester, thence to Stow On The Wold and then returns to its end-point  at Tewkesbury Abbey.

D. and I have therefore a long-term plan to walk this Way. We are starting in ' the high blue hills,' in particular, the stretch from Salperton to Stow on The Wold.

Our guide-book is " The Gloucestershire Way " by Gerry Stewart. 
GW is not, as yet a National Trail, like its cousin  'The Cotswold Way,' so its signing is not as detailed, but we hope from our experience of CW, we will manage the route. We have now a better idea of distance, so we are less likely to get into an anxious state, before we encounter the next way-marker.

Last week you may remember we were at Cold Aston, where I remarked upon the avenue of beech trees there.

Here is a different aspect for you:

as you can see within a week the beeches are nearly bereft of their leaves, but still leave a deep impression upon the viewer.

So it was last Wednesday (23/11), we parked the car in the main street of Cold Aston and started our walk to the left of the village green by a large sycamore tree.

The route took us down the Rissington Road, to the valley bottom and then upwards to meet on the left a marker post,  which led us onto a field edge, where we followed the hedge line  into a further field.

D. noticed some green moss on the stone wall, which she put in a pile ready to retrieve upon the return journey; for making into a Christmas wreath.

The ground was much softer and cloying than in past weeks and we were glad of our boots.
After several fields we came to a road, where we turned left and walked down until we crossed the bridge over the River Windrush, near Little Aston Mill.

 Leaving the bridge, the route goes left up a bridle way which leads up to the Wolds themselves.
The wolds are high open, often uncultivated land; bringing with it a sense of antiquity.

There is a clear feeling  of walking  ancient tracks.
 Indeed at our finishing point Buckle Street, there is a note in the guide-book, which states " Buckle Street- Buggildsway Saxon AD 709- feeling of ancient and infinite remoteness." P. 81 (tell that to the pilot who overflew us at this juncture !)

Although not at Buckle Street, but in a nearby field, I saw and wondered at this clump of trees. Did they mark a burial ground?  They certainly looked the part.

Talking about the Saxons, reminded me of a Saxon Cross, which I had previously seen  on the wall of nearby Notgrove Church.

A remarkable relic from the past.

By this stage, on our jaunt,  the ground was becoming increasingly damp and the afternoon light was beginning to fade, so we retraced our steps, picked up the moss and made our  way home in the car.

Enjoy the last of the November rays and I'll write to you all again in December.

If you are game for my poetic interpretation click here : Wold Song.



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