Despite the M6 doing its level best to stop me heading south I eventually made it back to my home turf of almost twenty years, south Warwickshire, for a weekend of catching up with friends and a day of walking in the Cotswolds. Arriving in the small village of Kineton made me realise how we simply ignore that which surrounds us every day. The soft sandstone, thatched roofs and village ponds of even villages off the tourist map deserve to be noticed occasionally. Unfortunately I was so fed up of being in the car I had no intention of delaying my exit by stopping to take photos… for once!
Thankfully an evening of excellent company, food and drink preceded the arrival of a bright autumn day. Seeing these seed heads from my breakfast seat sent me out for my camera before I’d even put my boots on!
A short meander through the distinctly flat lanes between my overnight stop and next destination highlgihted the difference between my old home and the Lakes. Flat, open and arable.
My ultimate destination though, was the rolling hills and chocolate box villages of the Cotswold Way.
The area around Broadway and Snowshill, the two villages enroute has a web of paths and rights of way making it easy to walk anything from half an hour to a long hike down the Cotswolds Way.
It is hardly an isolated area and on a lovely day like it was, the main tourist points are busy with, well tourists, so don’t expect to find the likes of Broadway Tower empty. Try it on a windswept winter’s day when the tea room is closed and there are not quite so many people hiking up the hill from the village.
The landscape is far softer, no jagged peaks and not many very steep climbs. The villages are soft brown rather than rugged grey. The wild life is familiar, decorated with the same colour splodges. This guy had his kit on ready for business.
Some of the buildings may look vaguely familiar too. Snowshill village was where Bridget Jones visited her parents for Christmas. Though it was all covered with artificial snow at the time.
There is one crop rather more familiar in France than the UK – sadly it had finished and was not aromatic at this time of year. Anyone recognise it?
If you not into walking then it is a culinary delight, with tea rooms, pubs and up market restaurants. Start at the Lygon Arms in Broadway and work your way down. The Snowshill Arms was a little marred by the rather ‘mardy’ attitude of the bar staff. We did put in our order one minute before closing.
So if you fancy a change of scenery head south, (for a while). More ideas from the area here or give me a call. Route here, start at SP112 358, buy map OS OL45 here.
Cotswolds walks here and here