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The Cotswold Way – Selsley to Painswick

From Selsley to Painswick - WCF-.jpgIt was time to take a slightly more ambitious hike on the Cotswold Way as we had only been rambling about on shorter 4-7 mile walks. So we mapped out a route to Painswick that seemed a perfect destination for a 10+ mile, long day’s walk.

We had already visited Painswick by bus and had walked quite a bit around the village; but since we did know the bus routine getting back would be simple. Taking the bus to a starting point and walking back, or walking to a place and getting the bus back was a good way to cover larger distances since we still didn’t have a car.Route down Selsley hill from home. - WCF-5035.jpg

It was an early start from our apartment and just a few hundred yards away to the Cotswold Way where we began going downhill. Crossing a pasture we continued and eventually came across the Stroudwater Navigation canal and followed it for a brief time.

It didn’t take long before we were turning uphill and along the way passed a large vineyard. Historians believe that the Romans once produced wine in these gentle hills, and over the past two decades, a warming climate and the availability of new, hardier breeds of grapes has meant renewed grape cultivation.

A long, green tunnel. - WCF-5076.jpgContinuing to climb out of the Stroud Valleys over grass pastures, the trail leveled off and eventually entered the cool shadows of the Standish Wood. The branches of the tall trees seemed to form arches resembling the Gothic arches in many of the great cathedrals we have visited. Indeed, to walk in these old forests is like being in a natural grand cathedral.

Further along, we emerged at Haresfield Beacon (a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest) with views of the Cotswolds escarpment and the River Severn. This seemed a good location for a picnic, so we found a place to sit and enjoy our lunch.

In the distance, Painswick. - WCF-5151.jpgContinuing on, we descended from the Haresfield Beacon, through more woods, across the Edge Common with wonderful views over Painswick before passing Washbrook Mill, a former corn mill then a cloth mill. A tablet in the wall of the house is dated 1691.

We arrived in Painswick with time for a pint at the Royal Oak pub before our bus would arrive. The route had taken us over ten miles with 1033 feet (315 meters) of ascent and 1082 feet (330 meters) of descent. After taking the bus back to Stroud and then back to Selsley, we ate a good dinner before retiring our tired feet and bodies for a well-deserved rest.


This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Chris & Jeannie,

    With the explanation of places & tour, I feel I’m right there tagging along on this journey, made my Monday!

  2. Looks like it was a spectacular day. Thanks for bringing us along with your wonderful pictures.

  3. I would love to do one of those long walks. While I’m still biking some,
    most of my exercise is now walking. You both are in such a great place for
    those walks. Enjoy and keep posting those great pictures.

    1. Thanks for the compliments Tom. The Cotswolds are pretty easy and inexpensive to get to, and while they do speak English, they do understand American! 8^)

  4. Looks like a nice casual walk!!! ‘Raven admiring thistle’…funny. and of course he was likely admiring a juicy caterpillar on the thistle. You caught a photo of my favorite childhood flower – sweet peas. My mom always grew those when we lived in southern Kansas.

  5. A forest bath!

    1. Ahhh yes, shinrin-yoku.

  6. Amazing… love seeing photos of Jeannie here and there walking her path. Following her bliss.

  7. Clear to see why you wanted to live in the Cotswolds, with all that beautiful landscape and varied nature.

    The grain sort on one of the shots – isn’t it rye? At least that would fit with the distinguishing rules from my childhood, where you would see wheat, barley, rye, and oats in Danish fields. But today they use so many variants, e.g. of “naked” barley, so …

  8. I like the Standish Wood. They definitely do look like a Gothic cathedral, as you enter the coolness of it. Very nice ! And I will agree with Alice with my amazement that you two walked 10 miles. Cool!

  9. You’re something else! That’s a long walk!!

    1. Thanks, but we had all day! 8^)

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