Sunday, 26 April 2009

Day 20 Friday - Leckhampton to Winchcombe

Walking 8.45am to 5.30pm
Distance walked 12 miles
Distance left 768 miles

Ian and I shared breakfast this morning. He produced some excellent coffee and some toasted home-made rye bread. Laila being German, this is one thing from home she can't do without.

I set off to meet David through the back roads of Cheltenham, about three miles. He was waiting at the Reservoir Inn when I arrived.

We joined the Cotswold Way just over the road, the path taking us across the end of Dowdeswell Reservoir. It then went uphill through woodland. At some point, I must have missed a CW sign because I realised we were no longer on the CW. However, the bluebell wood we were in was too good not to stay in so I navigated us up to the lane ahead and we rejoined the CW from there.

The way went north with marvellous views over Cheltenham and beyond to the west. David had brought an excellent packed lunch for us both.

We debated whether or not to go round the complete loop of Cleeve Common or to cut across the bottom of the loop to save time. However, the weather was fine and time was on our side. Navigation was a bit difficult at times, though, as someone had thoughtfully removed all the CW roundels!

Belas Knap long barrow was interesting but the entrance had been blocked up. I'm sure that when I last visited it years ago, I was able to go inside, unless my memory is at fault.

Belas Knap
There was then a long and gentle descent into Winchcombe where David's wife, Jane, was waiting for us with a couple of bottles of Old Hooky. A few minutes later, my son, James, turned up with his girlfriend, Lia. David and Jane then left (I'll be seeing them again on Sunday as they are provding a bed for me in Stratford-upon-Avon). The three of us then went in search of the farm a fellow Backpacking Club member had arranged for me to stay on (thank you, Neil).
We then went back into Winchcombe in search of food. The Plaisterers Arms looked about right; the food was good and so was the beer. A good end to a good day.

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