Today’s statistics: 10 miles, ascent 1085′, descent 963′.
As we headed out of Old Sodbury, we could not realize the
Dodington House and the park are owned by the Dyson family (yes, the vacuum cleaner people) and our path went directly through this gem of a landscape. The park was designed in the mid-eighteenth century by Capability Brown, a well-known landscape architect at that time.
Just out of town we crossed the M4 motorway, one of the major traffic arteries of the UK – a reminder of the busy lives we had left behind 13 days ago as we began this walk. We hurried beyond the motorway to return to the comforting, tranquil countryside. Our path directed us on a route that passed an attractive working farm, Lower
The Way once again presented us with some lovely views.
The rolling hills, dotted with cows and buttercups presented an ideal pastoral scene.
We were surprised when we arrived at Dyrham House and Deer Park. We had not expected anything as grand as this. Entrance to the park and exterior areas was free; there was a charge to enter the house. The property was run by the National Trust; National Trust sites usually include a nice tea shop with snacks. Dyrham was no different, and our timing was perfect for lunch.
We spent a relaxing hour wandering the gardens after lunch before continuing our trek. The surrounding area was also very enticing.
And the lush views just kept on coming…
Throughout the remainder of the afternoon, we walked by wild flowers, through open fields and over rolling hills before arriving at our lovely B&B, Whittington Farm in the tiny hamlet of Cold Ashton.
Our host, Janet, greeted us warmly, serving a scrumptious afternoon tea in her back garden.
A pleasant stroll around the farm revealed an old church that was just outside the farm’s garden wall, with a tower dating back to the 14th-century. We discovered generations of Whittingtons that had been buried there.
Months ago we had made dinner reservations with the only restaurant in the area, but the owner slipped: she had not entered our booking into her reservations calendar. She felt so badly about it that she drove us into another town, Marshfield, to the Catherine Wheel Pub for dinner and then returned to retrieve us. Dinner was delicious, and we got to visit a village we otherwise would not have seen!