Day 1 of 8 of the Cotswold Way is a wrap and wow there is just nothing like it!
The Cotswold walk is a National Path in England from Chipping Campden to Bath. The distance is 164 kilometers and the trail is largely rolling hills between quintessential butterscotch colored brick and thatched roof buildings clustered together into small villages. The buildings are so different than any other area I have walked in before in the UK – so signature! Very touristy compared to Offa’s Dyke Path truth be told but only in the towns. While on the Path it’s just us and nature!
We (myself, my sister Shar and our two besties Rosa and Cheryl) kicked of the fun this morning just after 8am at the official start/finish – which is the very old market area of Chipping Campden.
From there we made our way out of town and and across parkland and pastures and quiet lanes most of the day. The temp was meant to be about 24degrees so we were a bit worried about walking in the heat – but the ‘trail provides’ as they say and it was warm but we had cloud cover all day. Yahoo!
We walked right through a little village called Broadway where we stopped for a fantastic lunch at the deli. A goat cheese with chili jam and red onions toastie (panini) for lunch? Yes please!
We made our way out … or should I say up .. from Broadway after lunch to enjoy more pastures, quiet lanes, and parkland.
Our afternoon (or two-sies) break was on some well placed rocks along a quiet lane – just long enough to have a bit of a snack and for me to put my foot up for a wee bit. If I stay ahead of it with pain killers, sports tape and elevation for a bit every 10+ kilometers – its golden!
As we came into Stanway, a small village just before the hamlet where we are staying called Wood Stanway, we discovered the Stanway Fountain and Manor House was open. So we popped in for a break at the 300 foot fountain (largest gravity fountain in the world?) and a look around the home and estate that has been with the same family since the 1600s. You can even tour the actual manor house – but not the house kitchen as the Earl himself was making a cup of tea. For reals!
From there it was a short skip and a jump (ok at 20+ kilometers there was no actual skipping and jumping) we arrived at the Wood Stanway Farmhouse our B&B got the night. Not only was this B&B farm house built over 400 years ago, but our host Maggie was amazing, and she made us a delicious home-cooked meal for dinner. Wow! Checks all the boxes.
That’s an early night for us. 2 of our crew are still adjusting to their 7hr time change and all of us are keen to get a good sleep and on the Path early tomorrow before the day gets too hot!