Geocaches - 2
Previous Walks - Walk 1, Walk 2, Walk 3, Walk 4, Walk 5, Walk 6, Walk 7, Walk 8
Pubs - Horse and Groom, Upper Oddington and Kings Head, Bledington
I boldly claimed that Stage 8 of this superb walk from Hereford to Oxford along the Cotswold Railway Line would be the best.
It appears I may have peaked too early in my praise.
It could have been the sunshine (after all, we have had two weekends at opposite ends of the country in Fog) but this is a special, easy walk.
And it will be remembered for the day when Mrs Mappiman smashed the psychological double digit walking miles barrier.
We've looked at the train times and know that the two hour mid afternoon siesta taken by Great Western Railways means an early start. Frost knocked off the car and at 7:30am, we are the first to park up at Moreton-in-Marsh railway station car park.
And out, through the surprisingly busy high street, and into the countryside. Nice to report a new geocache has been placed at the Duck Pond since the last leg.
|Geocache GZ 1 - The Duck Pond|
|Early Morning Countryside Views|
The Monarch's Way takes us out of town to the first architectural highlight of the day, Sezincote Hall, a little bit of India in the Cotswolds. Worth the short detour off the planned route to get the an up close view. I will meet it again when I complete the Heart of England Way. Look at the views, it's going to be no hardship.
|The Heart of England Way|
This walk is a collection of pretty villages. If you time it right, it could be a four pub beauty. If you judge a village by its local, then Longborough is the pick of the lot. We are greeted by the beautiful church and then meet the Coach and Horses, including the landlord who tries to convince me its never too early. It's 8:30am. He may have been joking with the daft ramblers.The HOE Way is shunned and we let the Monarchs Way take us through Donnington and a revisit into Broadwell, a mere 5 months since our last visit. One day we'll time it right for when the Fox is actually open.
|What a Beauty - Coach and Horses - Longborough|
|Photos of the Fox - 2 - Actual Visits - 0|
I get that look. The one that says "You're not having a pint, are you?". As usual, she is correct. The landlord will only sell me tea. Cafe culture, my aris.
|Tea for 2 and a 15 minute breather|
The main wall painting in the church is the 14th century'Doom',dated to about 1340 it is 32ft long and 15ft high.I wouldn't mess with his roof.
In the upper part is the seated figure of Christ,attended by Angels and Apostles.Below Angels blowing trumpets summon the dead from their graves.To the right the lost are being propelled by devils into the jaws of hell.
Nearby some of the torments of the damned are depicted with fearful realism inc a man suspended from a gibbet and a group of persons being boiled in a cauldron.
The final part of the walk can be filed under "Mud", as we cross woodland and Bledington Heath. The railway station is mid way between Bledington and Kingham. We have made an excellent 2.6 MPH and timed it to perfection to at least visit the one pub. The Kings Head in Bledington, located idyllically on the village green.
Everything I want from a pub. Open and serving pints. And a chance to sample a never seen before Otter Bright.
|Kings Head, Bledington. Shame about the Telegraph Wires|
|I've got Sunshine in a Glass!|
|Cheers All - Happy Spring!|