Thursday, October 30, 2014

On the Way to Broadway tra la la la la la!

I will have to break this post up into a few smaller posts (HAH) as this was my longest walking day and I took a few (HAH) photos along the way :)

Goodbye Winchcombe!

 One of the great things about today's walk is that I am following ONE path called the Cotswold Way - that makes things a bit easier. I just need to look for these signs. That shouldn't be so hard...right?

 However...(isn't there always a "however"?) I will also be climbing a great deal going up 1351 ft. and then another 938 ft. Of course the upside (get it...UPside?) is that the views are always tremendous from on high!

 It's a bit overcast but no rain in the forecast today...I'm glad of that as i have 18km to travel before reaching Broadway, which I hear is quite beautiful.

A little hobbit house?

 Some amazing views of the Malvern Hills today...
I had many encounters of the bovine kind today...but isn't she sweet?

 There were many signposts like this one along the way today which I much appreciated as I didn't have time to muck about looking for landmarks. I  could see these posts from quite a distance and they really helped me stay on track.

 I passed the ruins of Hailes Abbey, a Cistercian abbey which was formed in 1246 and became a pilgrimage site. I couldn't get closer as it didn't open until 10am and I didn't have time to wait around.

So I did the best that I could.

And I did take a few minutes to explore the small 12th century church.

 That's about 900 years ago (or more) that this church was built!!

 At this point I had the choice of a short cut avoiding 900ft of vertical ascent and a reduction of 3km in the route but I decided NOT to take any shortcuts and thereby deprive myself of the full experience so I began my journey up up and up!! through an outdoor cathedral :)

The monks were responsible for building this road through the forest and I thank them for laying in thousands of stones which made it easier for me to propel myself forward in my big clunky (but exceedingly comfortable) hiking boots.

 Trudge, trudge, trudge...

I made it!! See, there's a signpost to aim for!

My own personal greeter!

 I can literally see for MILES!

 Can you see the path?

 In order to get this picture (one of many) I had to lean over a stone wall which also had some barbed wire running along the top of it - the first barbed wire I had encountered. So, sister dear, you asked how I cut myself on barbed wire? - well, for a photo of course...and WHAT a PHOTO!! Well worth it in my opinion. It was also very new barbed wire so I didn't worry about infection or anything though I did use an alcohol wipe from my very handy dandy little first aid kit - this was the only time I used my kit except for when I got a blister while walking around in Norwich (NOT wearing my hiking boots ironically!)

I doctored myself up!

Ok British friends - what does the "No Tipping" sign refer to? In rural Ontario it would refer to "cow tipping"...but here? Is it referring to garbage?

 No tree photos yet today, so here is a dandy!

I never tired of the view!

 Unfortunately this is as close as I got to the Stanway Fountain which rises to over 300ft. and is the tallest fountain in Britain and the highest gravity fed fountain in the WORLD!! Click on the link for more information about this amazing fountain!

And I think I'll stop here for today :) as I still have a long long journey ahead of me!

Which includes more horses, cows and sheep!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Welcome to Winchcombe!

Home of dragons...
Flapjacks and tea...


 Lovely churches (covered in gargoyles:)...

 and the best B & B yet!!
Cozy bedroom...
A cute little tea nook...

And gorgeous fully updated bathroom (the owner was very proud of the self-closing toilet lid!!)

A shower with POWER!! (that was a first!)

 My very own sitting room with TV...

 Even the police station was cute!

 Where I had dinner...

 The most outrageous gargoyles so far...

This cutie-pie is said to have inspired Lewis Carroll's vision of the Mad Hatter in his book "Alice in Wonderland"!!

This is a great Halloween post!!

The countryside is never too far away as glimpsed through this gate...

 I had a protein-filled salad (bacon and chicken!) plus I was able to try the THREE local beers on tap with these uniquely sized glasses each designed to hold 1/3 of a pint! Nice!

The men at their local, along with a faithful companion:)

Heading back to the B & B - my hosts were absolutely lovely and treated me like family. They invited my to share a glass of wine with them when I got back from my rambles and we had a really nice chat. They were genuinely interested in learning all they could about me and where I was from.

I was so appreciative of their warm hospitality that I left a 5L note on the dresser. Lo and behold when I arrived at my next B&B there was an envelope taped to my suitcase with the 5L note in it and a note saying they couldn't accept it - they truly loved meeting me and that was thanks enough. Do they have my business for the rest of my life? YES!! (Sue and Alan at The Vines in Winchcombe!! Go there!!)

They were kind enough to give me an earlier than usual breakfast as I had my longest walk the next morning. Isn't the early morning light so soft and gentle?

 It's still pretty quiet on the streets...

Next stop - Broadway!! But I have a lot of miles to put on my boots before I get there!