The morning greated us with blue skies and a clear forecast. Such a relief from yesterday’s rain. We can expect some muddy trails but at least it’s dry and sunny.
Our walk today takes us south to Old Sodbury which is approximately 12 miles. We started full of energy (and looking rather coordinated).
Our first steep ascent was within moments of leaving the village. It turned out to be one of only a few climbs. Good to get this steep one out of the way.
Soon we were crossing along fields and emerging into more wooded paths.
There’s a great variety of trail to keep your interest and there’s just something about waking through fields that makes me wish I were a poet. Stanzas evoking images of strolling through wooded English glens and wind buffeted pastures; patchwork vistas and swaying grasses. Ahh, to be a writer would be grand!
This section of the Cotswold Way features lots of creeks and some little mini waterfalls as this area historically had numerous mills.
The sound of bubbling brooks, birds, baying sheep and cows are heard in the distance. We soon arrived in Alderly which featured a beautiful old church and impressive manor house.
The next several miles took us through gorgeous fields and a variety of livestock.
Soon the Somerset Monument outside the village of Hawkesbury Upton appeared in the distance.
Hawkesbury was our eight mile point with four more to Old Sodbury. We detoured quarter of a mile into Hawkesbury to avail ourselves of the conveniences before returning to the trail.
As we emerged from a wood the emense Harcourt Hall could be seen through the trees below. It is one of the largest and oldest private residences in the country.
Picture perfect scenes begged to be photographed. In fact this horse followed us much to our panic as he nearly jumped up a rise and quickly approached to pose majestically in front of this nesting folly.
We continued downhill through more fields of baying sheep and a surprise Guinea fowl sighting to come upon this serene moment.
After nearly twelve miles we reached the church in Old Sodbury.
And of course since we had gone up, we had to go down. This resulted in my favorite photos of the day.
Shortly thereafter we reached The Old Dog Inn and after checking us we joined the local men in the pub.
The wine is medicinal dontcha know. We’ll get a good night sleep and back to the trail tomorrow.