Sunday 1 June 2014- Kingswood- Ozleworth
Me, Paddy Garcia, Kate Force One and Magic Dave
A Sunday stroll of uncertain route and length (perhaps 6-10 miles?) in Gloucestershire from Kingswood to Ozleworth and back again, through incredibly beautiful valleys and ridges.
Parked the car in Kingswood by the monastic gatehouse ruins, and set off through the churchyard in an easterly direction. There hadn’t been a huge amount of advance planning, the destination being decided by me based on dim memory of previous Geoff walk around Ozleworth.
The route took us along a clear stream (with trout visible) through a deserted trout farm (at Nind), now tiny wildlife haven, into the small river valley that leads to Ozleworth. The countryside was intensely green and lush and satisfyingly free of people, cars or anything else much except fish, birds, livestock and us. And the occasional former barn/ luxury residence. Near Wortley we encountered an enormous bull, the kind that appears in Victorian paintings. Fortunately it was the other side of a gate.
At this point, it started to become clear that navigating with the aid of a 10+ year old 1:50 000 map is not that helpful in a landscape full of residents wealthy enough to get footpaths diverted away from their houses. Very confusing. So we milled around alot, but persevered, eventually giving up near the quite strange Alderley Farm and walking along the road to Ozleworth. Geoff would never have approved.
By this time, the hot weather and late night was catching up with us, but we made it around Ozleworth (more shenanigans with gates and diverted paths, more trout-fishing envy for PG)* and then headed back to Kingswood along the top of the ‘Edge’ (as in Wotton-under-). Enjoyed astonishing hazy early evening views right down across the Severn floodplain. Avoided a tree that had fallen across the road and taken out the phone lines.
Final trot along the road and it was back to Kingswood for a pint in the Dinneywicks Inn. Overall, strikingly beautiful walk, perfect English countryside, and lots of great wildlife- not just the fish and the prize bull, but rabbits, pheasants, herons on the wing and many other birds. Probably longer route and harder work than we intended, but worth the effort. Must buy up-to-date 1:25 000 map!
* Forgot to mention we stopped at the marvellous farm shop in Tortworth on the way, so had emergency pasties at this point.