Cotswold Way

Day 5 – 8th May – Painswick to Uley – 15.6 miles

Generally we didn’t feel too bad and psychologically ‘only’ having just over 15 miles to do it was going to be an easier day. So after settling up we set off on our next leg with my wet socks floating in the wind.

The village was very busy with queuing traffic through the high street. We soon found some countryside and set off across fields and then steeply uphill up to the Edgemoor Inn where we were faced with a cordoned off area with a couple of police officers in attendance. We passed straight through but have since found out that a woman was raped the day before in the pub car park, in broad daylight, shocking!


Painswick


Woods near Washbrook Farm


Not even half way!

The next part of the walk was through woodland all the way to Haresfield Beacon and as we admired the view we were aware of Sophie and Adam coming up behind us. We had spied a seat on the map about a mile ahead so made it our mission to get there first, which we did. After a few minutes they passed by our perch and stopped for a chat. They had recognised us from Belas Knap and had also seen us as we arrived at our B&B in Painswick. They were staying directly opposite us and Rachel remembered seeing someone at the window but didn’t recognise them. They too had done a lot of walking over the years and their enjoyment and frustrations of the walk were very similar to ours. Our longest day had been their shortest day and they were thankful that today was their longest and that the sun had hidden itself behind some misty low cloud and the temperature wasn’t going to be as high. They were amazed that we had managed to do the mileage that we had in the heat of the previous day – so were we! They were planning on finishing a day before us so we didn’t see them again.


Haresfield Beacon


Money tree in Standish Wood

As we set off once more the legs were starting to stiffen up a bit which was probably a direct response from the previous day’s efforts. After crossing the open ground we were back in to woods again for what seemed ages before coming out at Maiden Hill with a view of Stonehouse and Ebley below. Moving further downhill we stopped at the edge of a field for a break before continuing down to the railway line and canal. As we were tired from the day before and sensing that the route over Selsley Common was an alternative route too far, we opted for the original shorter route via King’s Stanley and Middleyard. These alternative routes and the route in general is something we will come back to at the end of the journal.


Stonehouse


Hollow tree


Stroudwater Canal

Another long period of woodland followed, with the steep undulations we had come to expect, but not enjoy, before coming out onto Coaley Peak where it was very windy but had great views towards the River Severn. We met a couple there out for a walk with their dog and we stopped for a chat before setting off and getting back into the woods again before having one final stop before the last pull up to Uley Bury. This was where we left the path and joined another footpath that took us all the way down to Uley village, our overnight stay.


A tight squeeze!


Coaley Peak


Uley

We found the pub, which is where we were staying and were shown to our room. It was another hard day and again very warm despite the early mist and breeze, so we were grateful for a chance to relax and take the weight off our feet. At around 6pm we decided that an evening meal was in order so wandered downstairs to the bar to make our selection. We stayed a bit longer than usual as this was in effect our lounge and after agreeing on a breakfast time we headed back upstairs to bed.


The Old Crown Uley

Accommodation – The Old Crown (Pub)

On first appearance the pub does look a bit run down from the outside and the same theme continues inside. The room itself was the worst of the walk and very small making unpacking difficult. It needed decorating and all furniture needed replacing to bring it up to a satisfactory standard. The bed was hard and had a very thin mattress and the bathroom had tiles and trim missing. However, it wasn’t quite as bad as the Kingshouse Hotel on the West Highland Way. As most LDP walkers will tell you, there is a point on any walk where you just don’t care anymore. You need a roof over your head, somewhere warm to rest and a bed. That’s how we felt at The Old Crown. Strangely enough it probably had the best shower so far, and, we also had what turned out to be the best night’s sleep for quite a while.

Breakfast was fairly standard and everything was on offer that you would expect. Mary and her team were all very pleasant, but overall we wouldn’t stay there again.

Score – 5/10

Evening meal – The Old Crown

The menu was standard pub fayre and at the right sort of prices, which was a welcome change from all the gastro pubs we had frequented. The chips were the best I have tasted in a long time and the portions were good. There was hardly a table spare as there were a lot of locals in on our night which gave it a bit of a buzz.

Score – 8/10

 

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