Cotswold Way

Day 2 – 5th May – Broadway to Winchcombe – 12 miles

At breakfast we spent a bit of time chatting to a Canadian couple doing the walk but at a sedentary pace. They suggested that they walk in their native country with 10lb packs that included all camping equipment, food, clothing etc – I don’t think so. Our packs had a minimum of 6lbs of food and water alone!

We left Broadway in bright sunshine and the met office were suggesting temperatures in the late teens, early twenty’s, so we knew we were in for a warm day. The first stop was at Budgens where we topped up with provisions for lunch. I was also carrying a bottle of beer left over from the previous night which we hoped to drink at some point on the route.


Broadway


The path

The first few hundred yards took us through Broadway and across open fields until we got to our first steep climb up to Broadway Coppice. We had just stopped for breath at the top where we met an elderly couple just about to start the descent. We stopped and chatted for a while. He had just had his 81st birthday the day before and they were doing various walks while on holiday. They had done all manner of LDP’s in the past and we compared notes before bidding them farewell. The path levelled out before climbing again to Shenberrow Hill and then steeply straight back down again to Stanton. It was very hot now and we were slowing down so decided that we would see what the Mount Inn had to offer. However, it was closed and we weren’t prepared to wait the half an hour until it opened. Stanton is a beautiful village and so we decided to try and find somewhere to stop to have a refuel. Just at the end of the main street we found a patch of grass and a seat but someone had beaten us to it. However, he soon went and we bagged the seat for ourselves just as a group of about 8 walkers came round the corner who then took our position on the grass. We cracked open the beer and had a couple of things from our larder before setting off. As we prepared to go a couple of the group came over to grab the seat. They were Dutch and regularly walked in the UK. They were easy to talk to and we had a few laughs before saying our goodbyes.


I've walked all this way and it's blinking closed!


Stanton


Rest stop in Stanton

We set off for Stanway across undulating fields, passing several people who had parked at the cricket ground and were walking towards us across the open parkland. After Stanway we marched on to Wood Stanway where we started the climb up the hillside. It was now getting rather uncomfortable due to the heat and we had decided that we would stop at the top where there appeared to be a seat. It was a very steep climb and we slowed to a plod. There was a couple about 300 yards ahead and we were willing them not to take the prize of the seat before we got there – but they did. It probably took us about 10 minutes to reach them by which time they had caught their breath and gave up the seat to us, which was good. As I have mentioned before in the other journals, every time we stop for a rest or food stop we take our boots and socks off. It really does rejuvenate the feet and more than compensates for the time and effort taking them off and putting them on again. We could almost pour the sweat out and our socks were absolutely drenched. The seat was in the shade and there was a breeze blowing so after about 15 minutes, our boots, socks and feet were in much better shape. We saw a couple of walkers coming so did the honourable thing and gave up our seat for them. They were part of the Dutch group but we never did find out why they had split up.


The path

After the food and rest we felt better and started off in the direction of Hailes. We suddenly thought that we ought to book a pub table for the evening as it was bank holiday weekend, so eventually after getting a signal we did the deed and knew that at least we would be eating that night. After reaching the monument after Stumps Cross it was all downhill to Hailes where there was a hive of activity as there is a campsite, the remains of an abbey and a church. After this descent we were sweating buckets again and stopped at the little church and sat on the wall and had something else to eat and aired our feet again. We went into the church and it was blissfully cool in there so we took our time before exiting and setting off for Winchcombe.


Hailes church


Hailes Abbey

The path here was boggy in places but with a bit of fancy footwork we avoided it all. We had heard a steam train during the last couple of hours and finally saw it as we crossed the fields on this last leg of the day. We entered Puck Pit Lane (try saying that after a couple of beers!) and then entered the town of Winchcombe.


Winchcombe


Winchcombe

We found the Co-op and topped up on supplies before finding our B&B which was tucked around a corner just off the high street. We were shown to our room and settled in, rinsing through a couple of items of clothing. The room was hot so we knew it would dry overnight. We were exhausted. The mileage was lowish but it had been very hot, hotter than forecast so we were fortunate not to have any blisters, just aching bodies. Soon it was time to find the pub but we had left it a bit late, and not wanting our booked table to be given away to someone else we scurried along the road, the distance being further than we thought. We need not have worried as it was empty, although quite a crowd eventually arrived and it livened up a bit. Resisting the urge for a dessert we retired to the B&B for some hot chocolate and bed.

Accommodation – One Silk Mill Lane (B&B)

There is a report that this B&B no longer takes bookings but it certainly does and it does it very well. There are two rooms and it is run by Jenny and her husband Gary who are very good hosts and easy to talk to. The room was a very good size which allowed us to empty our packs and spread everything out. There was a fridge which was a great touch as we could use it to keep our supplies fresh, and a good welcome tray. Breakfast was very good and plentiful, and everything had been thought through properly and very nicely presented. A great find.

Score – 10/10

Evening meal – The Corner Cupboard

Again in Winchcombe prices are inflated and the menus very bistro like. We chose The Corner Cupboard as it seemed more of a proper pub and prices to suit. However, the menus that we had in our room at the B&B and I had seen online weren’t the same as we found in the pub. We did find something suitable which was good but Rachel’s pasta was large and very creamy and she couldn’t finish it. Our waitress reminded us of Julie Walters as Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques, which was amusing. There was nothing wrong with the pub but it didn’t really gel but it is difficult to know why.

Score – 7/10

 

<<< Previous Day Cotswold Homepage Next Day >>>