Sunday, 26 April 2009

Day 21 Saturday - Winchcombe to Broadway Tower

Walking 7.35am to 4.00pm
Distance walked 12 miles
Distance left 756 miles

It was raining when I struck camp at 6.45am but everything got packed away under cover of the tarp so no problem. As luck would have it, it had virtually stopped by the time I moved off and it's been a clear, quite sunny day.

I passed Hailes Fruit Farm where camping would have been a possibility had I gone two miles further on last night. The route went alongside Hailes Wood before going uphill through sheep-filled fields and up to an ancient hill fort (marked on the map as Beckbury), past some old farm buildings at Upper Coscombe (where I took a photo of a strange farm building standing on staddlestones).

Upper Coscombe

There was then a gentle descent into Wood Stanway. On the way down, I bade good morning to a couple sitting admiring the view and, in another of those coincidences, realised that I knew them! Larry and Olivia from home. They were walking the Cotswold Way north to south using B&Bs.

Larry and Olivia
I then came into Stanway with its beautiful gatehouse and adjacent church.

Gatehouse and church at Stanway
The village of Stanton came next, pure chocolate box. There was quite a climb to Shenberrow Hill, followed by an elevated track northwards (more beautiful views, now to the Malverns) and then down to Buckland Wood.

It was here that I left the Cotswold Way for today, taking footpaths eastwards by Buckland church and then uphill towards Broadway Tower.
I came to a restaurant/tearoom and was tempted by a cream tea. I recognised the lady running it, Kim, as someone I knew through work some years ago. She was so impressed with my adventure that she brought me another and larger pot of tea and has allowed me to camp here.

This where being quite close to home at this point has its advantages. During today, I noticed that the heels of my boots were coming apart. James, bless him, drove over with my other boots and also a new backup battery for the Pocketmail which threw a serious wobbly last night, hence the lateness of yesterday's posting. I hope it's OK now.

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