Cotswold Way

Day 1 – 4th May – Chipping Campden to Broadway – 6 miles

The weather forecast was for almost wall to wall sunshine for the week and so it was as we walked to the train station. We felt good to be on our way, full of anticipation of what was to come. Our packs came in at 25lbs for me and 24lbs for Rachel which was near enough what we normally get them down to.

The train took us to London Victoria and then on the tube to London Paddington. While on the tube there was a jazz band playing up and down the carriages and an American chap took it upon himself to start clapping and shouting loudly, as well as dancing in time with the music. Getting little response from the other passengers to join in with him he followed the band as they moved down the train which was a relief to us all, although Rachel thought it was great. On arriving at Paddington, we got ourselves a coffee and then boarded the train to Moreton-in-Marsh. The journey was uneventful and we soon found ourselves at Moreton looking for our taxi to take us to Chipping Campden. We were told to look out for a black Ford Galaxy with certain markings, but when we got there, there was no one. One of the taxi drivers said he was picking up two walkers but with a completely different name. After all the passengers had left the station it was obvious that he had no fare and we had no taxi, that was until my phone rang. It was the taxi driver phoning me from about 10 feet away. It transpired he was doing a favour for our taxi firm (Moreton Taxis), but in a different car, and they had got our name wrong, crucially no one had bothered to tell anyone.

So after finally finding each other we climbed in and set off. We were given a constant commentary about anything and everything about the Cotswolds, the local celebrities and the Cotswolds Way itself, from the driver, which was quite interesting. We had planned to use the bus but for some reason the company had changed the timetables for the summer and no longer met the train in the middle of the day, which was rather odd. We had only found this out about a week before we left and had to make the alternative plan with the taxi, as a wait of a couple of hours didn’t seem a good idea – we had a walk to do.

On arriving at Chipping Campden we found the start point and took the obligatory photos before setting off through the pretty village. Once again we were using The Trailblazer Guide book which have never let us down, but this time we didn’t take any maps, which being a map man was quite a leap of faith. We soon came to the first climb of the day up to Dover’s Hill where we got our first glimpse of the Welsh hills in the distance. The walking was easy as we approached Broadway tower but we decided to stop for something to eat at a picnic spot near the A44. Suitably refreshed we headed on to Broadway Tower where we saw the first proper view of Broadway but also a herd of deer that seemed to be very tame. The long descent to Broadway took quite a while and gave the knees a bit of a battering but we were only on a short day and our bed for the night was not far away.

Mark at the start

The start

Rachel at the start

Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden from Dover's Hill

Route to Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower



Broadway was all we thought it would be, clean, tidy, nothing out of place. We found our B&B and were shown to our room. After decanting our packs and showering, the question of where to eat had to be decided. As we were to find out, pub meals in this part of the world are expensive but the Crown and Trumpet seemed reasonable but there was also the chip shop. In the end we opted for fish and chips and a couple of beers bought from Budgens. We opted to dine on the green but being the only ones doing it in this posh village did make me wonder whether there was any local byelaw prohibiting it. The chips were very good, and, we didn’t get arrested. A local man came up to us and started chatting about various things, and this would become a pattern throughout the week. People were genuinely very friendly.


The local tramp!

There was a cool breeze picking up so we gently made our way back to our B&B where we settled down for the night. It had been a good day. The travelling had gone well, it hadn’t rained and the first 6 miles were under our belt.

Accommodation – Hadley House (B&B)

The hosts were very pleasant and looked after us very well. The room was just about big enough for us to empty our packs but was a little snug, but we managed. The bathroom was fine but there wasn’t really enough shower gel for two people but we managed. Also the ‘click clack’ sink plug jammed shut so we had to set to and free it so that the water would run away. The bed was comfortable and the room not too hot or cold. The breakfast was good and they seemed to have a system that works, so we were on our way in reasonable time.

Score – 8/10

Evening meal – Russells Fish and Chip shop

This is an upmarket chip shop. It was very good but expensive (£4 for a sausage anyone!), more so if you dine in or use their seating outside. However, the green is just across the road and is free! There was lots of packaging, boxes, sachets of things we didn’t want, wooden knives and forks, serviettes etc., which is just given to you whether you want it or not in a large paper carrier, all for a takeaway. They use local rape seed oil and the food did have a slightly different taste but not unpleasant.

Score – 8/10


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