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

I walked past a beer shop. The owner is obviously celebrating England’s 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 that 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 fieldThe path then crosses and recrosses the 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 crosses 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 Royalist as they had to attack uphill. The wall used as a line of defence by the Parliamentarians is still present. As 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) and 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

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. It could be shorter 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 distance. This is a GPS system and the maps it draws correspond to the OS maps so I think it is accurate.