Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Cotswold Way -Dursley to Wootton Under Edge

Nothing better than to blow away a few Christmas cobwebs and get some healthy fresh air down in The Cotswolds (although I have done 2 x 20 mile plus bike rides, been swimming and to the gym). An 'old' cricketing friend of mine Geoff 'Biff' O'Dell is walking the entire 102 mile stretch of The Cotswold Way, although not in one go due to time constraints. In fact it is turning into years rather than days.. It was back in the Summer that we planned to do stretch together and was something I was much looking forward to. It is a 102 mile journey starting (or ending) in Chipping Camden and ending in Bath but mainly covering the county of Gloucestershire. It closely follows the scarp of the Cotswold Edge, with views mainly to the north and west; starting in the south with the Severn Estuary and Severn bridges the Forest of Dean, the Welsh hills of Monmouthshire and the Black Mountains on the Welsh border to the west. Today's walk from the Golf Course at Dursley to Wootton Under Edge is approximately 7.3 miles. Although we planed to do a circular route back to the car purely for interest. Leaving Dursley, the Cotswold Way climbs steeply up onto Stinchcombe Hill. The best views here are to found by taking the longer route around the perimeter of the hill. The Trail then descends through woodland into farmland and follows a track into the village of North Nibley. From here there is another steep ascent to the Tyndale Monument. The Tynedale Monument is the sort of thing I love to discover. Not least because it has a spiral staircase of some 121 steps that you can climb to the top to admire stunning views. The Tyndale Monument is a tower built on a hill at North Nibley. It was built in honour of William Tyndale, a translator of the New Testament, who is believed to have been born at North Nibley. The route levels out across grassland and through woodland leading onto Wotton Hill. There you will find a curious walled enclosure surrounding trees planted in 1815 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo, the Trail then descends into the town of Wotton-Under-Edge. A perfect place to sit, relax and enjoy the view, something of a Zen moment you might say. Admittedly on the route back we went a bit 'off piste' some might even say lost. But id didn't matter at all, it wasn't cold as such and the scenery was breathtaking. What struck me was the amazing late afternoon light that had a reddish hue against the backdrop of the woods. It was there that a young Fallow Deer ambled out into the open country.

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