UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews
The Winchcombe Way
42 Miles longOfficial Guide Available
Day 1
The Winchcombe Way Day 2
Day 2

We had made the decision to take our diving undersuits instead of sleeping bags to sleep in. On the face of it, a good idea - they are filled with down, so compact and lightweight, they are warm, come with booties and would be ideal for avoiding that 'Mummy' feeling of a sleeping bag. Unfortunately, they were not quite warm enough, so we both woke frequently, feeling not cold, but not warm either.

Winchcombe Way

We had breakfast and between small spots of rain packed away and set off at about 9:00am. By the time we reached the Plough pub some 1/4 mile distant we had to stop to repair Adriana's boots again - the duct tape had not held. Never mind, we still had four metres of the stuff. I set about repairing the boot and we were soon on our way again, walking through the Jackdaw Estate, a well-known (apparently) horse training stables. Stopping briefly to say 'Hi' to a couple of horses we were soon through and into open country again heading through Cutshill, Taddington and on to Snowshill. Snowshill is a lovely little village, most famous for its' National Trust Owned Manor House and slightly less well known for the 'Snowshill Arms'. We were tempted but managed to resist a visit, knowing it would end badly.

Walking through the village we crossed into a field through a gate that had a notice stating that 'Someone was stealing Winchcombe Way signs and that the person or persons should desist from this activity'. Greatly amused by this we went on, knowing that the signs were almost certainly taken by walkers wanting a souvenir rather than someone trying to sabotage the walk. The route drops into a valley, then steeply up the other side along a path with a muddy section. Now muddy sections rarely merit mention as they are generally so frequent, but this was the first real mud we had encountered so far - we must have looked comical trying to walk past without getting our boots dirty! Once on the ridge, again the walking eased but we elected to stop for a brief rest, chocolate and a drink. Also we had to effect more repairs to the boots as the tape had come off again. No problem, a good three metres of tape left, but slightly worrying as this time the repairs had not lasted as long.

Moving on, we followed the woodland for almost a mile before breaking through and heading down to Buckland - important because it marked the turning point of the way back in the direction of Winchcombe again. Buckland is a pleasant village as is Laverton but both were dispatched quickly on our way to Stanton and our lunch stop.

Arriving in Stanton is like stepping back in time, apart from all of the cars that is! The village has been used in films and TV series, most notably for us anyway; 'Jeeves and Wooster' where it features in Season One Episode Three as the local village where the betting syndicate is formed. You can spot the cross where we sat for lunch if you look carefully.

Adriana also added more plasters to her feet - one for almost every toe, both heels and an instep - there must have been some weight in plasters alone. Also, we had more boot repairs to be done. At this rate, I calculated, five metres may not be enough! Lunch done, next stop was Stanway, following the Cotswold Way for a while. Just as we crossed the B4632 I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my left foot, so bad I was forced to hobble to a point where I could sit and remove my boot and socks. Expecting blood, innards and toes hanging off I gingerly removed the items, but discovered nothing to indicate the source of the pain. Strange! We rested for a short while, I massaged my foot then re-dressed and carefully stood up. Whatever had caused the pain had gone but my foot was still sore so we walked slowly along until the discomfort eased enough to pick up again.

Approaching Hailes Abbey we had a tough decision to make; detour the quarter mile to the cafe or continue on the way? The detour won, although it seemed an awfully long quarter mile we were rewarded with Cherry Cake and Tea so it was worth it. I purchased an extra can of coke to take with us for a JD and coke nightcap later on. Whilst we sat in the sun drinking and eating we discussed the overnight stop. The choice came down to stopping just short of Winchcombe or continuing through Winchcombe and stopping the other side. The former won on the grounds that the other side would involve climbing Langley Hill before there would be any possibility of stopping - not something we relished at the end of a tiring day.

Walking back from the cafe we soon rejoined the route and headed cross country towards Winchcombe, looking around for a likely spot - then it appeared! The corner of a large field against the hedge just seconds from the route. It was ideal and probably the last chance anyway. We stopped, quickly put up the tent, then lay relaxing in the sun for an hour or so, enjoying the sunshine at the end of the day. As the sun began to dip down we dressed in warmer clothing, then busied ourselves with dinner; Noodles a la Chicken followed by Snack a Jack Surprise - the surprise was that was all it was - a packet of Snack a Jacks! Later on we had our nightcap and wandered up to some tree stumps to sit on, taking in the peaceful surroundings and setting sun. The site was perfect. Eventually we retired and were soon asleep dreaming of the long soak in the bath tomorrow afternoon.

Day 3

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