Day 27 Tuesday 27 August Bath to Tormarton

Miles walked:today 18 cumulative 405.2

I had one final look at Bath by getting to the start of the Cotswold Way via the Circus and the Royal Crescent

The lawn in front of the houses is owned by the residents. When we went there on Sunday a number of picnics were in progress. One of the houses has been restored to its Georgian state and is open to the public. Well worth a look round.

I walked past a beer shop. The owner is obviously celebrating England’s cricket success. All the fielders have England names on their backs.

I tore myself away from Bath and headed up the Cotswold Way. As I left the Avon valley it was obvious to me how small the historic centre is compared to the whole city which has expanded westwards along both sides of the valley.

I passed through what used to be the village of Weston which is now really a suburb of Bath. This photo was taken from the trig point on Weston Hill. Unusually, the path continues to climb after the trig point which is not at the summit of the hill.

The path more or less follows the Western escarpment of the Cotswolds. Views were limited by the haze. The day was hot and humid. I could see several areas of rain showers, fortunately they missed me.

The path crosses Bath racecourse to reach the Iron Age (or earlier) hill fort at North Stoke. On the South side the banks and a ditch are well preservedAfter the fort the path runs alongside a golf course. Half way along there is a rather macabre sculpture in an adjacent field. The scultor is David Morse who specialises in using scrap metal for his pieces.The path then crosses and recrosses the county border before deciding to settle in Gloucestershire. Hoorah! My 4th county. The Cotswolds make for grand walking. There should be good views to the West but it was hazy today and the forecast for tomorrow is not good.

The path then crosses and recrosses the county border before deciding to settle in Gloucestershire. Hoorah! My 4th county. The Cotswolds make for grand walking. There should be good views to the West but it was hazy today and the forecast for tomorrow is not good.

I then crossed the site of the Battle of Lansdown Hill (1643). This was an attempt by the Royalists to take Bath. Placards along the path tell the tale of the battle and bring it into perspective with the terrain. You can see the difficulty for the Royalists as they had to attack uphill. The wall used as a line of defence by the Parliamentarians is still present. As the forces advanced and retreated skirmishes took place over several miles of this hilly countryside. Historians feel the result was inconclusive because although the Royalists dislodged the Parliamentarians they did so at such a high cost (800-1000 killed or wounded) that they had to withdraw. Ironically the commanders of the two armies were friends before they found themselves on opposite sides.

nearby there is a monument to Sir Bevil Grenville who was killed in the fighting

I continued northwards along the escarpment. The Way passes through the parkland of the 17th Century Dryham Park. There is a country house and church here, now owned by the National Trust. My timing was perfect! I stopped for a cup of tea and a slice of NT tea lady cake.

The next milestone was reached when I crossed the M4. Like my psychological feeling that the M5 marks the boundary between Southwest and Southern England I believe the M4 is the boundary between the South and the Midlands. I completed the 400th mile about the same time. I could have chosen a shorter route, but, as I said earlier, I intend to meander to visit parts of the country I want to walk through. For the technically minded I am using the app “walkmeter” to measure my waking distance. This is a GPS system and the maps it draws correspond to the OS maps so I think it is accurate.

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