The Cotswold Way – Starting 1st November 2015
Day 1 – Left the car at Bristol Parkway having driven up from Plymouth, then caught 3 trains to arrive in Moreton in Marsh. No taxi rank but found a number for Campden Cars and 10 minutes later a very nice lady called Liz in a smart Mercedes Estate car turned up to take us to Chipping Campden. We were staying on a special deal at the King’s Hotel, which included supper, but having been invited out for supper by some friends nearby converted this into staying in their best room with no supper. So after luxuriating in a huge bath in the bedroom we enjoyed an excellent supper with friends in nearby Broad Campden.
Day 2 Chipping Campden to Wood Stanway
Left CC at 09:30 after excellent breakfast at Kings Hotel. Missed out on views from 1st hill because of fog. Arrived in Broadway for 12:00, excellent coffee at Broadway Deli, also brought sandwiches. Had stopped for a brief rest at Broadway tower about 20mins before Broadway.
Quite a long climb out of Broadway and then some easy walking, had lunch in the sun beside the path. Then down into Stanton, very pretty village, with pub that was closed (winter hours closed on a Monday). Then onto Stanway, beautiful house also closed (limited opening times during the summer).
Arrived Wood Stanway at 15:30 waited outside b&b for 40 mins for owner to arrive. Interesting place, old fashioned. Had evening meal at the b&b.
Day 3 Wood Stanway to Cleeve Hill
Left Wood Stanway at 09:30, starts with a climb, views obscured by mist. Arrived Winchcombe for 11:30, coffee then sandwiches at Deli then Haircut. Long steady climb out of Winchcombe ate lunch at the barrow at Bels Knap. Then some nice walking, remember Heartbreak wood but no views. Came off path at Golf Club, Cleeve Common, should have carried on and come of just after racing stables. Arrived at 15:30, Cleeve House hotel very nice staying in the suite at the top. Rising Sun pub 5 mins walk where we went for supper. Nice atmosphere and staff but food only average.
Day 4 Cleeve Hill to Birdlip (need a pack lunch)
Left at 09:30 walked out of the back garden and up a long way to golf course where we picked up the path. First stop was the Seven Springs pub 13:00, a part of the Hungry Horse chain so nothing great but good enough for a drink and a shared bowl of soup. There was a drinks stop at Dowdeswell but it was closed, the pub marked on the map is now an Indian Restaurant (with accommodation). We got rained on at Leckhampton Hill (there was a coffee shop past college) so were quite wet. Very tired by the time we got to Birdlip (took a wrong turn right at the end just to add to the misery). The George (Old English hotel) has been renovated, looks very smart but was full the night we wanted (according to the bar made it was booked solid with super models!), so we caught a taxi to the Cheltenham Chase Hotel where we were staying. Excellent room, big bath, warm. Dinner was pretty good, bottle of wine was expensive.
Day 5 Birdlip to Painswick (and then on to Wotton under Edge)
Walked out of CC hotel and left then left at roundabout then right towards Roman Villa, about 1 mile up the road. Footpath continues to join up with Cotswold Way. We left hotel at 09:50 and walked pretty much non-stop to Painswick arriving at 12:30. We had lunch at The Falcon in Painswick which was very good. Painswick very attractive. Two very steep climbs at Cooper’s Hill where they do the cheese rolling. Enjoyed the Iron Age fort before Painswick, it is now covered by a golf course. With heavy rain forecast for the afternoon we took a Taxi from Painswick to Wotton under Edge.
The Swan Hotel in WuE is currently the only accommodation available and not at all smart, our room had been renovated but shower is poor, we were up 4 flights of stairs with views over roofs that were not attractive. In Wotton under Edge we had dinner at the India Palace , excellent food. On the way to the restaurant stopped in at the Falcon (a steakhouse) very friendly excellent steaks (need to book if wish to eat).
Day 6 Wooton under Edge to Tormarton walked from Hawkesbury Upton
Heavy rain was forecast for the morning so we bought pack lunch in WuE and then had an excellent coffee at the Edge café on the high street. Then Dave owner of Swan Inn dropped us off at Hawkesbury Upton outside the Beaufort Arms Pub. Lovely gentle walk first along an old Roman Road and later through Dodington Park (beautiful grounds, owned by James Dyson). Stayed at Noades House a lovely B&B in Tormarton. Went to Major’s Retreat pub for Supper. Roy (the owner) served us, a real character. Pub is very old fashioned food very standard pub fare.
Day 7 Tormarton to Bath
Again heavy rain in the morning so took a Taxi from Tormarton to the back entrance to Dyrham Park. The Roy at the pub had told us that we could this way avoid the entrance fee and still use the café. We had a coffee at the Tea Rooms then out the back (should have turned right) and about 1.5 miles to Pennsylvania Petrol station where we bought lunch. Had lunch with great views of Bristol, the Severn Bridges and Wales. Not much later after walking through a golf course came off the hill heading south (instead of East) and got quite lost, eventually re-joined the path at Kelston Round Hill. We headed down into Bath and after snatching a quick drink promptly lost the path and resorted to google maps to find our B&B. The Abbey Rectory was very nice but a good 20 minute walk to the east of Bath City Centre.
We resorted to a taxi to get us back into Bath for super where we celebrated completion of the walk at an excellent Italian Restaurant called “Nonna’s” on Gay Street.
Day 8 Bath
Walked into Bath and took a train to Bristol Parkway to pickup our car and bring it back to Bath. Then spent the rest of the day looking around Bath. Ate lunch at the café at the Holburne (excellent soup) and then an early evening meal at the Turtle Bay (Carribbean Restaurant) near Pulteney Bridge, we took advantage of the happy hour to celebrate the end of our Cotswold trip.