Sunday 29 June- Chedworth
Me, Paddy Garcia, Kate Force One, Magic Dave, Burge, Mother of Two and The Boy
An 8.5 mile walk from Geoff’s first book, amazingly as yet unticked by Burge. Like slipping on a pair of old shoes, Geoff guided us around a beautiful walk, only tripping us up occasionally.
We started out at Fossebridge. After a certain amount of faffing (Geoff’s ‘layby’ for parking is now a turning lane on the A429), we headed off through lovely meadows towards Lower Chedworth, then onto a steep lane up into the village- running the gauntlet of some persistent horseflies and taking an antihistamine break. We admired the phonebox-now-library/defibrillator, then returned to a footpath through more meadows.
We enjoyed a circling buzzard and some marvellously entertaining llamas rolling around and frolicking in a field. At this point it became apparent that, as always, I am not in sympathy with Geoff, so the book was handed to Burge for proper translation. Instead of trying to find the route, we walked through Chedworth village until we rejoined it at the Three Tuns.
Quick tour around Chedworth parish church to view the medieval pulpit, then up through the churchyard and some very prominent earthworks to an avenue of beech trees. Then across a slightly confusing set of tracks and beanfields- duly warned by Geoff to watch for unmarked paths- across disused WW2 Chedworth airfield. Something very evocative about the old patches of overgrown runway, helped by model airplane flying around.
By now, the talk was all about lunch, so after a brisk march along a small lane, we turned onto a disused railway embankment/ now nature reserve and picked a spot to eat (avoiding the ‘caution- live archery’ signed areas). A really special spot, high up at birds eye level in the trees. Big eating of tortilla, sandwiches, watermelon, ‘very moist’ cake and coffee.
Remembering at this point that we were up against a hard deadline (Mother of Two to pick up said Two), we soldiered on, past the Roman Villa and then along a private road which came out at a wide valley, with hyperreal green grass, blue skies, white clouds and creamy buildings. Then on through another perfect set of barley fields, horse jumps and fields of sheep before a sharp descent back to Fossebridge.
Those of us not picking up offspring had a pint in the garden of the extremely charming Inn at Fossebridge. Definitely one to return to for Sunday lunch. The Boy navigated us home and we enjoyed some pylon spotting on the way. Pylons of the South West can’t come soon enough for us. We await the ungilded lily.
Overall, a very pleasant, easy walk- didn’t feel like 8 miles at all- with beautiful countryside, great weather, and the satisfaction of one more Geoff ticked off*.
* Even though we missed a bit in the middle, Burge reserves the right to tick it off anyway, if he wishes…